Tag Archives: anxiety

COVID-19

The Coronavirus, as it is commonly called.  What a week, or should I say month, huh friends?

I’ve gone back and forth about what I would actually say, if I would actually say anything about what is going on in our country, let alone the world.  But for my little corner of the internet, I thought it would be appropriate to tell my story, my experience, so far, as a little memory capsule for years to come.

So, in my normal routine, I get supplies for the house about once a month and groceries once a week.  Starting at the end of February, Michael and I decided to go ahead and get March’s supplies and two weeks’ worth of food for the pantry, plus a few nonperishables.  At the time, I’ll admit I thought I was being a little overreactive, but even at that point, there was no hand sanitizer on the shelves and very little Clorox wipes available either.

Then last week happened.  The Stock Market started tanking.  The first states to be hit with the virus started shutting down and taking more extreme measures.  The President addressed the public several times.  The CDC went from just washing hands to social distancing recommendations.  And the number of people affected by this virus in our area started to climb.

My dad works at one of the biggest grocery chains in the country.  He told me stories of people waiting by the stock room door for pallets of toilet paper to come on to the floor.  They get picked up before they even make it to the shelves.  By Saturday, every department was hit with empty shelves as people continued to buy in double the normal average amounts.

But the reality is this.  We are not running out of food.  Employees are working overtime to make sure we can get the things we need.  And I am so grateful for them.  And I’m also reminded that I need to not let myself succumb to the hysteria while still being alert and informed.

There is a lot of unknown and scary right now.  Anxieties are high.  My anxiety has gotten the best of me several times.  I’ve had to designate phone-free times during my day.  I’ve also had to designate clean-free times as well, because I will stress-clean (as my husband calls it) obsessively.  I have to be really intentional about down time and self-care.  I haven’t finished a book in over a week because every time I try to sit down and read; my brain won’t turn off.

One funny example from last week, I made myself some tea and was going to curl up in bed with a book while my son napped.  But first, I needed to clean off my bedside table, and then my headboard, and the other bedside table, and might as well wipe down the dresser.  I knew I was in trouble when I found myself kneeling on a chest wiping down the frames on the wall.  So, I have started using timers. I also bought myself some puzzles.  For some reason, puzzles can take that obsessive aspect of my brain and keep it occupied.

And of course, I’m leaning on God.  He is revealing things about His nature through this experience.  His faithfulness to our family, His love and strength.  I am so thankful that He is in control, and no matter what happens in the next few weeks and months, I know He won’t leave my side.

I hope you are finding ways to bring calm and sanity into your life.  Whether it’s gratitude for the hard-working men and women at the grocery stores or organizing and structuring your life to keep you from obsessively cleaning (or is that just me), or leaning on God morning, noon, and night.  I hope you stay safe and healthy and find new ways to stay connected to both God and the people around you.

And as always, wash your hands.

Anxiety Update

I wanted to write an update on my anxiety, but I’ve kind of been in the thick of an anxiety storm. And when I’m in a storm like this, it’s harder to really articulate what I’m trying to say. Every time I try to put pen to paper (or in my case fingers to keyboard), I’m constantly deleting what I’m writing because it sounds like gobbledygook.

Overstimulated has been a well used word in my vocabulary lately. Usually, it is used to describe my son when he is really in need of a nap or is experiencing big feelings. It’s been interesting how helping him to navigate his feelings can help me navigate my own.

Which brings me to what I learned about my anxiety. I realized that my anxiety ramps up after a string of days of being overstimulated. Mix that with major changes in my schedule and it becomes a perfect storm for an anxiety episode.

Photo by energepic.com on Pexels.com

Autumn has always been a busy season in the year with a completely full schedule. All fun and exciting things, but a lot of changes to my schedule – travel, events, new experiences. Knowing what I now know about my abilities and limitations, I want to be able to incorporate times of rest and reflection between the craziness of the weeks and months ahead. I also realize that sometimes it might not be possible to balance everything perfectly.

In those moments when things are out of balance, it’s so important to give myself enough grace to learn from the experience and adjust. Of course, this is all easy to say and not always easy to do in the moment. I just need to keep reminding myself that I’m growing and learning about this season in my life. It’s okay to make mistakes.

But I’m not a mistake. Even though my limitations and my anxiety are a part of who I am, they are not the whole package. I am a daughter of the living God who created me as a part of His plan. I have purpose in that fact. Even in the darkest parts of my journey, God is the light guiding my way. So I’m making Isaiah 43 1 (the second half of the verse) my mantra this season to hopefully remember that I’m not alone in my anxiety, and that God will see me through all of it, one step at a time.

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;

    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

Isaiah 43:1

3 Things I Learned from Yoga Class

I’ve been doing yoga since college, but I’ve never actually taken a class. That is, until recently. I’ve taken two. One of them was at a local gym and the other was by a friend of mine from high school who was doing a Holy Yoga session.

Being in a public setting has become something that causes a lot of anxiety for me. I didn’t always use to be that way. Maybe it’s because I’ve gotten older and more set in my ways. Maybe it’s the PTSD and anxiety that are a result of my pregnancy loss. Maybe it’s all of the above. So, I celebrate the fact that I showed up and went through with it. Twice.

Even though I’m familiar with the movements, positions, and vocabulary of Yoga (and Holy Yoga which sometimes uses different words for the same positions), I still learned a few things from these two classes.

Photo by Burst on Pexels.com
  1. Everyone is a little self-conscious. If you had any question about this fact, look at the number of yoga mats laid out towards the back compared to the front of the room, no matter how much encouragement comes from the teacher.
  2. The only person who can really challenge you is you. In both classes, you are encouraged to go at your own pace, which means no one really knows your pace. Only you know whether you are taking it easy or really pushing yourself. So it really is up to you to decide to grow.
  3. Sometimes you fall and then you get back up. Oh, this happened. I got caught up in my thoughts or my breathing or something and lost where my feet were and just toppled over. But I just got back into the next position, realigned with the breath and kept moving.

I hope to incorporate more yoga classes into my weekly schedule this year. Taking the time to move with the breath in a group setting was so relaxing and enjoyable. I highly recommend it!

Anticipating November

Two more months left in this year.  What a year it has been!  But, like always, a little look back over the month of October

I didn’t read as many books this month as I hoped I would.  I only completed three books of the seven, and I’m in the middle of two of the other books on my list.  I think part of the reason I didn’t read so many was that I had a big project to complete at the end of this month (which I’m hoping to share with you next week).

I continue to purge throughout the house.  I actually got into the holiday decor that I was hoping to get to earlier in the year.  I also rearranged my kitchen a bit after the purge from last month.  And we have been doing some furniture upgrades in our house, so it’s a bit crowded with older furniture and boxes (because I order to deliver everything).  But once everything is sorted, it’s going to be amazing (and another possible post to share with you soon as well).

Halloween was stormy and rainy, but still so much fun.  We passed out candy at home and had a blast.  Sam had no idea what was going on, but spending time with the neighbors was super special.  We also remembered our daughters on Pregnancy Loss and Remembrance Day.  We didn’t go to a balloon launch like we have the past two years, and instead just spent the evening at home.

Sam is 6 months old this month.  He is such a sweetheart.  He’s still not crawling, but he is mobile.  He loves to roll to places and grabs or explores everything within reach.  And he has begun talking nonstop, still just babble, but it is starting to sound like actual words.  He also plays really well on his own.  He will be talking and laughing on his activity mat.  When I say something, he looks up a bit startled like he was in his own world and forgot I was there.  Signs of an introvert, maybe?

But now on to November.

anticipation

  • Reading and Writing.  So, I’m still going to be reading a few books this month, but considering the holidays are soon here, I’m not going to attempt much.  I’m also going to try the Nanowrimo this year.  I’m not expecting to finish a novel, but I want to get into the creative habit of writing, not just journaling and blogging that I normally do.
  • Upgrades and Purges.  I’m going to try to purge more stuff from the house.  I have quite a bit of momentum right now, so I’m hoping that will continue through the month.  I need to actually bring things to donation centers.  The boxes and bags are starting to pile.  In addition to that, with all the purging, I’m doing a few furniture upgrades (like I mentioned above).  I’m hoping to finish this part of it in the next week or so before the holidays and hosting start happening.  I’ve got a deadline!
  • Thanksgiving.  This holiday is probably the hardest of all the holidays for me.  It’s when my first daughter was stillborn and when my second daughter and my first miscarriage were due.  I don’t know how I’m going to be this month, and being busy with all the projects is probably part of my coping mechanism.  On the other hand, Sam will be eating solids by this holiday, so I’m excited to see what he wants to taste, what he will love and what he won’t.  It will be up and down for sure.

Hope everyone has a great November!

What are you anticipating?

 

 

Anticipating October

I know these next three months are going to fly by!  With the holidays and family time, I am really excited about the coming end of the year.  But first, a look back on September.

I got so many books this last month, enough to fill my monthly TBR list for several months to come (and I even have more coming in this month, though not quite as many).  I’ve really enjoyed reading a lot this month.  I’ve already shared my reviews on Kathy Khang’s Raise Your Voice as well as the second book of the Archived Series by Victoria Schwab, and I will be sharing more reviews this month from books I read in September.

I have filled a donation box of things from my kitchen.  I have another big pile of clothes to donate as well.  It feels good to purge in the Fall.  I haven’t really worked on the home decor or holiday decor yet, but it’s coming.  I did switch out our duvet cover and the placemats in the kitchen to signify the beginning of Fall.  I really like the little traditions I do each year.

The Walk for Alzheimer’s also happened this past month.  We weren’t there very long, though.  It’s the first year that none of our family finished the walk due to the rain.  At first, it was just a sprinkle, but by the time we got back to the car, it was pouring down rain.  Not really the experience we anticipated, but we hope to continue this tradition for many years to come.  There will be other walks that won’t be so wet.

Sam is 5 months old this month.  He can roll onto his stomach and push himself up.  He’s even very recently started to move around on his stomach but not quite crawling.  It will come soon enough!  He is also babbling quite a bit, but no real words just yet.  I know we are on the cusp of some new developments, and I just wanted to write down this moment before everything really starts to happen.

But now on to October.

anticipation

  • Books, books and more books.  I have seven books in my TBR this month, and I really hope to get to all of them.  I managed to read five books last month which is huge considering at the beginning of the year I could maybe eek out three.  Of course, I also have a few books coming in this month as preorders.
  • Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness.  October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, with the 15th being the actual Remembrance day.  I don’t think we will be participating like we have in years past, but I’m hoping to have a few things here and there to remember our daughters.
  • Halloween.  Technically, we have had a few holidays already with Sam here, but I just feel like Halloween is the first real holiday he will experience and be slightly aware.  He won’t remember it, I know, but he is more aware and that is just fun.

Let’s bring on October!

Anticipating September

I remarked to Michael this past weekend how quickly this year is coming to an end.  Only four more months!  Still, there is so much left to anticipate.  But first, a look back.

The month ended with a week of contemplation over my second daughter.  I attended a memorial for another little girl who passed away.  The memorial was close to my own anniversary which only emphasized the reality of it all.  Losing babies is painful and overwhelmingly so, but I do have hope and take comfort in the fact that there is more beyond this life, and our family will be together again one day.

Sam is now four months old.  I’m completely blown away that I get to watch this little boy grow and learn every day.  We had our first small fever/cold this month.  As much as I didn’t like the fact that he felt crummy, I did slightly enjoy the extra snuggles (I was also a little under the weather so it was a lot of nursing and napping those days).  He has gotten quite a bit more talkative, though only in his own babble language, and Michael and I expect he will be scooting/crawling or sitting up on his own any day now.

Again, I didn’t get very far with the blog organization.  Between Sam and being sick and just life in general, I actually didn’t spend a whole lot of time in front of the computer.  So, I think I’m going to put it on the back burner for a while, maybe try again in a few months or the beginning of next year.

I have, however, been doing a lot of purging, especially in my kitchen.  I’m getting rid of any gadget or item that I haven’t used in 5+ years.  It really feels good to declutter.

anticipation

  • Books, books and more books.  September is National Literacy Month, but it’s also the time when quite a few of my preorders are coming in.  Plus, I have a few other books on order as well.  And I have a challenging TBR (To Be Read) list this month, but last month I completed five books (the most in a long time), so I’m hoping to continue the momentum.
  • Purging and Moving Into Fall.  While I continue my book binge, I also want to continue purging other areas of my home (maybe finish the kitchen!).  One way I do that is I will be packing up my summer clothes and pulling out the fall clothes.  This is the perfect time to go through both sets of clothes and get rid of things that don’t fit or flatter.  I also plan to purge home and holiday decor as well.
  • Walking for Alzheimer’s.  This month, we also plan to fundraise for our Walk to End Alzheimers.  We have been doing this for over 10 years now in honor of my great grandmother and Michael’s dad.  I have a personal goal of $300, but I don’t know if I will actually reach that since I’ve started so late on the fundraising.  We shall see!  I will probably write more about that later this month.

Even though I didn’t get to accomplish everything I anticipated this month, I still feel like I came out alright.  My number one priority that I anticipate each month is to be a mama to my son, so anything extra is just icing.

Anticipating August

The first day of August.  I can’t believe it’s already been three months since we brought our little boy home.  Here’s a look back before we look forward.

We did visit with family during the 4th of July holiday, which I wrote about here.  It was good to see everyone and to introduce our son to his grandfather.  Also, my mom came for a visit one weekend.  It was so nice to see her.  She was here when Sam was born but hasn’t been back until now.  I was excited for Sam to show her all the things he has learned since she has been away.  I look forward to more family visits in the months to come.

We did celebrate a few family birthdays, including my husband.  All my husband wanted to do was work on his aquarium shed in the backyard.  The electricity and A/C have been installed and he’s currently working on lighting.  It’s really neat to see it all coming together.  Perhaps I will convince him to show you some finished pictures once the major parts of the project are complete.

Sam is continuing to grow up.  He can lift himself completely on his tummy now.  He loves playing on his activity mat.  And he has started cooing more consistently, especially on the changing table.  He seems so happy getting his diaper changed, but I mean, who wouldn’t?

While I have been blogging more consistently this month and have a schedule now in place, I haven’t really been able to organize the posts yet.  Instead, I’ve been working on finding a rhythm to my days.  Basically, each day I have a focus and a few things to do.  I might write about this later after I have been working with it for a while.  But I hope to use these rhythms to find time to focus on my blog organization.

So now, a look into August.
anticipation

  • Remembering Our Daughter.  Our second daughter passed away at the end of this month two years ago.  This will be the first death anniversary since our son was born, so I’m warily anticipating this event.
  • Celebrating milestones.  We also have a few birthdays this month as well in our family, which we will be celebrating long distance.  However, if this past month was any indication, I have a feeling that Sam will continue meeting milestones in this coming month as well.
  • Blogging and Organizing.  I did technically say this was a two-month project, so I’m keeping this up here.  Now that I have a little bit of a rhythm and slightly more predictability in my week, I’m hoping I can turn my focus to this project.

Even though I have these projects that I want to work on, I am very much aware that the continual changes the baby brings will be the most important priority.  As I’ve said in months past, if we just get through the month relatively unscathed, I will be happy for sure!