In lieu of all that is going on in our country and in our world these days, I have been finding that my anxiety levels have been elevated. My stress levels have been increased. One way for me to combat this stress and anxiety is to focus on gratitude!
Another HUGE stress reliever for me (emotionally and mentally) is running. I have been finding myself running a lot more these days. My fitness goes in waves. I like to mix it up a lot, and in various seasons I am doing more or less of one activity or the other. Right now I am running more, biking less. I find the time alone, running at a consistent cadence is cathartic for me. So I am thankful that I can run. I am also thankful that I have a treadmill. Although it is getting light earlier, it’s still dark when I typically run. Even though we live in a safe neighborhood, we live in an area with a lot of wildlife. It’s not people I’m afraid to come face to face with (here at least), it’s the random animal eyes that are staring back at me in the dark. 🤣 Plus, we have a ton of trees that drop large walnuts, acorns, etc. I have tweaked my ankle one too many times on large nuts lying on the road. I have to be able to see where I am stepping. All that to say, I am thankful for my treadmill and the ability to run. Also, thankful for those days when I can run later in the morning and go outside in the daylight.
I am also thankful for the unseasonably warm weather we have been having here in Indiana these days. I see all these people on social media posting their pictures of all the snow and ice they are getting. I am so sorry! I think we are stealing all the amazing weather – though today it is going to be cooler again.
I am also thankful for the ability to take lots of walks. Another way to combat the stress is walking. I have been taking Bailey on a walk most everyday after lunch – giving myself a 20 minute work break. This has been hugely beneficial to me mentally. I also walk her before it gets dark right before dinner. This is a wonderful way to wind down the day. Dinner prep is usually in a place in which I can leave for 20 minutes or so.
We live in a very active neighborhood. Everyone is out walking, running, riding bikes all the time. Bailey has some of her favorite pals that we run into frequently on our walks.
Another stress reliever I am thankful for is hot drinks. I am almost continually with a mug of something hot in my hands. I start with hot coffee, often move to hot tea, then hot chocolate, hot Organifi, and then hot Nuun and Oasis. There is something calming about holding a mug of something warm and sipping.
Lastly, I am thankful for the stress reliever of journaling and quiet time. For my quiet time, I pray. As I pray I write and journal. It’s a lot more effective for me to process my thoughts and feelings if I write. Lately I have been working through Priscilla Shirer’s study of Gideon.
First thing every morning, I get my cup of coffee, lots of water, probiotics, BCAAs, and sit with my with my journal, Bible, and Bible study. It’s the BEST way for me to start my day.
What are your best stress relievers? What is something you have gratitude for right now? I would love to hear!
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