3 Things to Do Less Often

Photo credit: garycycles8 on VisualHunt.com / CC BY

The other day I posted 3 Things to Do More Often. Today I’ll examine Things to Do Less Often.

  1. APOLOGIZE: I say “I’m sorry” waaaayyyy more than I ought to, and about inconsequential things. For example, if my husband and I reach for the same item at the same time, I’ll apologize. In the car, if I don’t secure my seatbelt fast enough, the obnoxious alarm goes off, and I apologize. Out in public, if someone brushes against me and says, “Excuse me,” I apologize (and try to get over the fact that a complete stranger touched me). Well, none of these things or others like them are my fault, so why do I keep apologizing? I’m guessing it has to do with my self-esteem: it’s low. I think so little of myself that I’m willing to take the blame or claim that whatever the situation is, is my fault. I need to do this less often.
  2. PRESSURE MYSELF: I have a habit of pressuring myself to post once a day here or to my dog’s Instagram (shameless plug — follow him here! @rudy_thegoodboy). I’ll have 5 posts ready to publish in the next 5 days, but I feel that I need to write yet one more. The thought of not posting for one day makes me uneasy. Rationally, I know that I don’t have to do any of this, but in my mind it gets warped into some sort of hang-up. Not fun. I will stop pressuring myself more often.
  3. AVOIDANCE: I’m a HUGE avoider. I avoid actions/interactions because I’m scared of them. I can’t even pay for something at the check-out line without feeling anxious; I’ll step aside so my husband can pay, but he’s on to me now. I avoid answering the door when we order food and delivery arrives. The restaurants don’t always give you the total, so you only learn what it is when delivery shows up, and then I’m confused about how much to tip because I can’t do math that quickly. Plus it’s a total stranger, and you never know. I need to stop avoiding things and people.

These are just some of the habits in my life that I want to stop: apologizing needlessly; putting pressure on myself; and avoiding everyday things.

Is there anything  you need to do less often?

3 Things to Do More Often

I have a lot of bad habits, but I’m trying to establish good ones. Here are some things that I can do more often:

  1. EXERCISE: Well, I exercise nearly every single day by walking on the treadmill and doing one exercise, like jumping jacks, push-ups, crunches, lunges, or squats. The former, I do for 10 minutes. The latter, according to that particular fitness challenge, I’m supposed to do 3 of the above exercises a day. I only do one because I can’t do all 3 one after the other yet.
    I can’t walk for more than 10 minutes because it is so frickin’ boring, even though I always read a book — which helps. Plus, it’s challenging for me right now. I went from doing zero exercises to what I do today. I can increase the length of time or the speed in which I walk, slowly. I feel that I can increase the exercises, but in very small increments. My therapist says that any movement is good.
  2. DIET: I feel that I can eat better than I do, like eat more salads because they aren’t as calorie dense as say, a cheese quesadilla. The problem is I don’t like salads. It’s not that I don’t like vegetables — I hate trying to spear the pieces of lettuce with my fork. It’s unsatisfying not to get a nice mouthful of food. I do occasionally eat — and enjoy eating — a salad, and I can choose salad more often when we eat out.
  3. READ: I haven’t been reading anywhere near as much as I used to. Part of the reason is I don’t have enough time. Another is because the last few books I read have bored me.
    I’m currently reading Educated by Tara Westover. It’s a memoir about how the author grew up in a survivalist family. That is, the dad was convinced that the End of Days were near and made sure his family would be protected. He also didn’t believe in the government, so some of the kids didn’t have birth certificates or drivers licenses.
    It’s interesting and I like it so far. But it’s not the kind of book I can’t put down and finish in a day.

So these are 3 areas of my life that I want to improve: slowly increase the number of exercises that I do; eat more salads/make healthier food choices; and make time to read every day, not just while I’m on the treadmill.

Is there anything you would like to improve?


Sticky Note Drawings
Photo credit: tophrrrr on VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Thank you so much to my new followers and old followers for sticking by me and my blog during the time that I took off. I don’t know when I’ll post next; hopefully it will be more regularly.

So. Since January I’ve…

  • quit, yes quit my drawing class. I went the first 2 times (it was a 5-week course); made the conscious decision not to go the 3rd time (can’t remember why–maybe because I figured out that I couldn’t learn to draw!); there was a polar vortex in the 4th week; and the last class I didn’t feel would be worth it. I know I was just posting about how good I’ve been keeping my commitments, and I’ve been good about it. I had a setback but I started over the next day, which is an outlook I’ve been trying to maintain. No such thing as failures–just mistakes, which I can learn from. I’m finally starting to see things that way.
  • just finished (all 4 weeks) of another online writing course. It was with the same instructor I had last time. The focus of this class was to simply follow where a story leads, just let your creativity flow to someplace you’ve never been, in terms of your story/writing. As a result of taking this class, along with doing Shut Up & Write’s 30-day Writing Challenge, I’ve been writing every day for at least 2 hours, for about a month. I just can’t think of anything to blog about.
  • signed up for an intermediate (though that’s relative) crochet class that starts in May! I’m very excited about this. I have been crocheting, though I stalled a week or 2 ago because the shawl I’m working on is somewhat repetitive and I was getting bored. I’m determined to finish it, even though the shape is very obviously wonky.
  • been to Savannah, Georgia, though I’ll write about that trip in another post!

Again, thanks for sticking around!


Wha — ?

Photo credit: AnnaAniston on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Just now, I was looking for a wreathe my sister-in-law made me, but that I wanted to decorate. I had no problem with that, and have even been known as crafty (sort of). Anyway, a friend offered to help me decorate it so it’ll be ready to hang on our door around the Holidays. Okay, okay, we’re barely out of the winter season here, it seems. Anyway, I, uh, forgot to look for it until today, when I was texting with my friend.

So I went into the dining room, and didn’t see it in the bags of books that had collected there. The first thing I noticed was the cover/carrying case for my light box. It seemed a little heavy when I grabbed it, and I mean, all that was in there as far as I knew, were the metal legs for the light box, but it seemed too heavy for that. I unzipped it, and was astonished to see the colorful disposable razors that my husband had hidden from me. He’s the one who does the cooking, so I figured that whatever else was in there were knives.

As soon as I saw the razors, I was gone — all the way back to the living room. I tried calling him, but couldn’t get through. I was in a panic! I felt like cutting — the means to do so were right there. But I didn’t.

I tried calling him several times, but his ringer is on low. I’m still a little shaken up, as this just happened about an hour ago.

Have you ever received a surprise that you didn’t want? That affected your mental health, somehow?

Daily Prompt: Astonish

Self-Care: Massage

Photo by Visual Hunt

Did you know that massages can improve depression and anxiety? According to my massage therapist, a massage lowers a person’s level of cortisol, which is a brain chemical that accumulates from stress. Massage also increases dopamine and serotonin, both of which are hormones that increase relaxation and reduce anxiety. Most of you probably know that serotonin is a brain chemical that is deficient in people with depression.

The 2 massages that people mostly hear about, in my opinion, are Swedish massage and deep-tissue massage. For Swedish, the therapist uses a lighter touch, and mainly gets your circulation going. It’s relaxing, but with regard to Swedish massage, my nail tech once told me, “I feel that I need a massage after the massage!” Deep-tissue, on the other hand, consists of more pressure and targets specific areas in your body that are particularly tense. It can be a little painful — in a good way —  especially once the massage therapist works out the knots. Then it feels incredibly relaxing and kind of exhilarating! Both are full-body massages, but I always get a deep-tissue.

In case you’re wondering what the procedure is, this is my experience: a massage table is in a small, candle-lit room. Aromatherapy may be involved by way of essential oil(s) dispersed through a diffuser. My massage therapist plays soft, relaxing — ok, New Age-y sounding — music to increase relaxation. While the therapist is out of the room, I undress down to my underwear. So for women, although you aren’t wearing a bra, you aren’t completely naked. Neither are men. I then slip beneath the blanket onto my belly, and rest my face on a ring-shaped pillow that’s attached to one end of the table. Then the magic begins!

Because I’m in a vulnerable state, being only in my underwear, it’s important to me that I feel comfortable with the massage therapist. When possible, I try to meet the therapist before scheduling a massage.

I get massages regularly — every 4 weeks — and although they don’t make my depression go away completely, I do feel relaxed and joyful through the next day. If we could afford it, I’d get weekly massages. I know this sounds indulgent to some, but why not treat yourself to one massage, and see how you it makes you feel? I insist!

Have you ever had a massage? How did you feel afterwards?

via Daily Prompt: Insist