Anxiety Overwhelming? How I dealt with a recent bad patch.

Good morning, fuzzbutts!

Been a busy couple of weeks for me. The job has been working me hard. I’m trying to close a deal on a home. I’ve been talking to various parties on how to get this home purchase done. I’m trying to find the time to draw. I’m working around my folks’ home to improve the place as much as possible before I move (landscaping mostly). I’ve been sleeping really lousy and I noticed I’m starting to get a little shaky in my hands sometimes. When I flop into bed at night, my heart starts to pound and, in spite of how tired I feel, I can’t fall asleep for a long while. When I do sleep lately, I wake up 2-3 times in the middle of the night. Gee whiz! How could anyone not feel so stressed?

The first thing I had to do was realized I was stressed. Not just temporary quick stress but prolonged, untreated stress. Even though I knew I was tired and not sleeping well, it was tough to recognize I was stressed. Once I knew I was really stressed out, I had to figure out why I was stressing. I tallied up the reasons why I was stressed and then needed a way to deal with it. Just diagnosing all of this took a lot of processing.

So what did I do? Normally, sleeping better would be the first step. In spite of trying to sleep better, I wasn’t able to stop waking up in the middle of the night. It was worsening a difficult situation but it wasn’t the cause of my stress. Normally I get stressed due to a lack of sleep but this was me lacking sleep due to stress. I had other things to focus on if I wanted to improve my sleep.

One, I had to stop trying to rush the process on the home buying. Yes, a labor day weekend to move all my stuff and settle in would be nice. No, I can’t actually rush through the paperwork and get all parties to sign it immediately. No it’s not so bad to only have a two-day weekend to move my stuff. Yes I am excited to move into my own home. No, I don’t have to keep talking about moving to everyone or asking for random advice.

Two, just because I was moving didn’t mean I had to rush fixing up the folks’ home. I wasn’t moving super far and would still have weekends to help out if my parents need it. It’s physically demanding enough without me forcing it to happen with everything else going on.

Finding time to draw turned out to be one of the easier things to resolve. During lunch at work, I eat my meal and head to my car. I brave the heat to sit in my car and draw for a while. I don’t care to have coworkers see my furry art and I’d rather keep my time after work to hit the gym. Still, I find this time of the day to give me the least amount of mental resistance and I sometimes surprise myself with a quality piece I enjoyed making.

As far as work, I decided to pace myself better. I have some control of my time and I had been rushing to get as much done in as short a time as possible. If I schedule appropriately, I can get everything done without running around like a wuff with his head cut off. Also, while scheduling my own work, I volunteered any free time between tasks to helping others get their own work done. One of the most satisfying evenings was helping somebody who had to work extra late and save them a few hours of time. Getting out of my head and dedicating a few hours to helping somebody was so helpful.

Last night was the first night in a while I slept well. It’s not like the stress magically went away. It’s still there. I’m still dealing with it but it’s manageable again. Much of the rest will go away with time and once I get through the situation with moving and home purchasing. I also enjoy the thought that my commute will drop by more than half and I’ll have way more free time overall. Things are looking up, even if I got pretty down recently.

Going for Walkies!

Hello fuzzbutts!

One thing I think a lot of us could work on some more is getting outside more often. It’s not the common furry that goes out and about to try new things or see new places. I’m very guilty of this, myself. I’m not even talking about in-suit. I just mean going out. The world around you can be fascinating and beautiful. So why not explore and see if there’s anything out there?

Well, I’m not really into just going out on my own so I started inviting friends. They’ve been working on their own levels of fitness and they were open to hanging out and going for walks around some of the areas none of us really checked out. Top of a mountain that people walk up regularly or a long trail that ends in a waterfall. It’s all enjoyable and you’ll hopefully feel a sense of accomplishment that you finally did something like that. Go with friends. An 8-mile hike might feel pretty daunting by yourself but friends make it amazing and fun. So look up some trails and interesting areas around your place and invite your pals to go with you!

Another thing I might try experimenting with is leading a group. Once I feel comfortable checking out a lot of these hikes and trails, I might start inviting more and more furries and make it a furmeet type of thing, only health-helping.

Good luck fuzzbutts!

Race Review and Muscle Healing!

Hello fuzzbutts!

So I did the Spartan Sprint on Saturday. It was a blast but my conditioning was just not there. A factor in that might be that I sold a pint of blood within 2 weeks of the race. Apparently it takes 6 weeks for the average person to recover that much. On the other hand, I don’t do a ton of very long distance running on hilly areas. This was up dirt trails and steep paths for long distances. I did better on the obstacles than I thought I would but I kept having to take a knee to catch my breath.

Now it’s Wednesday and I’m still feeling a bit of soreness so I started looking up the best ways to recover from muscle soreness and found a few that are easy to do.

Rest

Proper sleep allows your body to heal better. Lack of sleep also results in worse recovery so you need to go to bed on time!

Stretch

Stretching your muscles after a workout improves circulation, allowing the nutrients to flow over your muscles and hasten the healing.

Hydrate

Staying hydrated also works with your circulation, compounding with the stretching to help you heal quicker.

Light Massage

To keep you healing well, massages also improve circulation and reduce tightness in your muscles (like stretching!).

Overall, I’m not very satisfied with my performance and now I want to train more for longer distances over crazier terrain. Maybe look into a water pack because I was dying of thirst the whole time. I’ll probably be doing more long distance running too, taking on some 5ks this coming year and a half marathon too! It’ll be a blast!

Have fun, furries!

Knocking out those negative voices!

Rawr! Intense wuff!

So yesterday morning I looked up the obstacle course and some of it looks intense! Of course, my brain did what many brains might do- tell me I couldn’t do it. I see something that looks awkward or I haven’t done before and a powerful voice in my head says “You should quit. That’s too much. You aren’t ready for that.” And then builds onto my anxiety. Before I began to imitate the cowardly lion, I caught myself and realized my brain was trying to push me right back into my safe bubble. It’s an obstacle course full of people I don’t know! So what if I end up looking silly on some of them and doing the penalty burpees? As difficult as some of it looks, there’s no realistic reason to expect to get hurt!

Even when you think rationally, your mind can still build thoseĀ feelings of anxiety or other issues. One way of dealing with it is channeling that energy. Being anxious just keeps you stressed so turn that energy into something else! By imagining the negative voice as a separate entity from myself, I can see it as something to be irritated by, converting that anxiety into annoyance which is something I can work with.

You’re not prepared enough.” POW! I’m going to lay out what I’m going to wear. “You don’t know how to do that! You’ve never done that before!” KABOOM! I’m going to try! Not like there’s a bunch of places with a hanging rope I can practice climbing. I can at least watch videos to learn what the technique is supposed to be so I can try when I get there. “You’re not strong enough.” BIFF! I’m way stronger than I was and I’ve never tested myself before so what do you know about what I can and can’t do? “It’s going to go badly.” WHACK! It won’t but even if it does, I can always sign up for another one and train more with a better idea of what I need to work on!

So yeah. My own technique is to make the negative voice something separate you can fight against. Channel the energy into something you can use like developing plans or working harder toward your goals!

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Rest week for the big day!

That feeling when you wake up Monday, go to work, and realize you missed your weekend post!

Keeping that in mind, my Spartan race is this Saturday. I have no idea what to expect or how I will do but there’s only one thing left for me to do to prepare.

Rest! If you’re training for anything physically intense, train early and often. However, as the date approaches, you have to slow down. The last thing you want is to be sore or risking injury to yourself on the big day. You want to be rested, comfortable, and loose. Sleep well, eat right, and take it easy. You want to be feeling 100% for the event.

So what’s the plan? Making sure I eat good food that you don’t prepare in the microwave for several minutes. Go to bed a little earlier each night so I can make sure I get enough sleep. Lastly, just enough exercise to move blood around- easy walks, light weights, lots of stretching. Keeping these things in my plan, I’ll be as ready as possible. Wait a second, I can check youtube to learn about the obstacles and see the type of things I can expect.

I’mĀ  betting this race is going to be super fun even though I’m nervous and a bit anxious as the day approaches. It’s one of those things that is pushing me out of my comfort zone into new experiences. I hope you’re looking for something new to try out. In fact, hit the Contact Wuffles link to the left and let me know what sort of new experience you’re after. I could always use new ideas!

Wednesday Tailtip: Burpee Challenge

Hi fuzzbutts!

So I have a little less than a couple of weeks now before my big Spartan race. I’m pretty darn excited for it and have been doing some training. Probably not enough training but I’ve never done this before so I truly don’t know how much is enough. I’ll definitely be learning something in the process.

One warning a coworker gave me is that if you can’t pass an obstacle, you gotta do burpees to continue. I had heard of them and had seen them done but never really had them as part of my routine. So I decided to practice those. Holy hooves am I glad I did. These things are hard, especially at the start when the muscle memory wasn’t there and I was starting to fall over after a few in a row. I would have been in trouble if I waited to do them at the race.

Since learning how to actually do them, I realized they are awesome for working out. They’ll get your heart pounding, work out your legs and check muscles and core in every rep. A few sets of those and you’ll be sweating like you went on a run. I’m a big advocate for them now!

So if you’re looking for a way to up your workout, start incorporating burpees. There’s videos on youtube and other sites on proper burpee technique. As a tip I didn’t know initially, spread your legs a little wider than your arms when you jump forward and also when you’re coming back down. It’ll be easier to keep your balance and you won’t fall over the place like a derpy wuff.

Gratitude Time!

Hi Fuzzbutts!

In this time of thanksgiving and the upcoming holiday tomorrow, I feel it’s time to go through our lives and look at things we can be grateful for.

I’m grateful for a supportive family. I’m grateful for those I’ve met in the fandom that are such cool and accepting people. I’m grateful to be born in the USA. I’m grateful for this drive to improve myself. I’m grateful I bought my fursuit before my suit mama raised prices. These are all obvious goods to me and are easy to list off.

How about something you usually regard as negative? Well my job has been frustrating me a lot lately with so little to do that I don’t feel it’s meaningful yet I have to sit there and deal with a lot of fallout from office politics at the higher levels. Well I’m grateful that, in spite of how I feel, people do see me as an authority in my group and I have their respect. I appreciate that the lack of things-to-do lets me carry out some of the worksafe tasks (like journaling or goal-setting or online courses) that I couldn’t do if I was busy all day. I’m grateful I can turn around how I feel about my job and put energy into sending out my resume to other places.

What about a problematic family member? “I’m grateful that my mom was so crazy that it drove me to become independent earlier than most people. My brother is really annoying but he’s always had my back when things got rough. My sister was a huge pain but I’m grateful that she could always give me advice.”

It doesn’t work for everything but it doesn’t have to. The point is to come up with a list of things you’re grateful for and to give thanks for. Realize that even if you’re just reading this blog, you can be grateful that WordPress is hosting it. You can be grateful that I took the time to write this post, that electricity is being provided to you, that you are actually exploring areas of your life to better yourself!