How I Deal With Anxious Feelings

I don’t know about youuu, but I’m feeling twenty-twoooo….

…mosquito bites.

I counted twenty-two mosquito bites on my legs thanks to an evening session of frisbee golf on Saturday (worth it). I used to never get bitten (mostly in my ED phase, perhaps because I had low blood sugar?).

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looking slightly diseased

Since I was unaccustomed to so many bites, I Google searched what to do with the itchiness and found some good suggestions: aloe, rubbing alcohol, and oatmeal. I also found some questionable “cures”, like Scotch taping your mosquito bites at night to prevent subconscious scratching. I mean, I get the idea, but I think I would subconsciously rage over the fact that there were little pieces of tape all over me.

Anyway, yesterday was a MONDAY kind of Monday, especially coming home late from a few days of vacation in St. Louis. A long list of errands needed to be completed on minimal sleep, although a couple mini naps happened in order to tame the beast that is Alison Sans Sleep.

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It’s no surprise that I have a greater tendency to feel anxious and stressed when I’m very sleepy; I think most people can vouch for that. The anxious feelings* and stress escalate when I know I have a bunch of time-sensitive tasks on my to-do list.

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After dealing with insomnia* during my senior year of high school— perhaps the most stressful time of my life— I’ve learned how to reign in the anxious feelings and deal with stress in a more mature, effective manner (i.e. not bawling my eyes out in a panic at night).

So today, I’m sharing with you how I deal with some of those anxious feelings that threaten to interrupt my daily flow, productivity, and joy.

*I use the term “anxious feelings” rather than “anxiety” because I have not been diagnosed with clinical anxiety. I’ve also never been diagnosed with insomnia. All I know is that I couldn’t sleep for an extended period of time, which impacted my daily life for a while. Since I have no clinical diagnoses and since God blessed everyone with different brains, I understand that these tips may not be helpful for everyone or even anyone.

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1. Tell myself that it’s okay to feel anxious.

Nine times out of ten, my anxious feelings perpetuate because I am nervous to feel anxious or tired. My brain tends to create catastrophes out of small trials or signs of negative health.

“I NEED to get a lot of sleep. I’m not going to live as long if I don’t. My performance will plummet if I don’t fall asleep now. This isn’t okay.” 

“Stress will kill me. I need to stop being so stressed. Why am I feeling so stressed? I’m trying really hard to reduce my stress.”

Answer: It happens. This too shall pass.

2. Make a to-do list of many little things.

Write every little detail down in your to-do list. This may seem counter-intuitive, since your to-do list will look longer, but being able to check off several little tasks is a big morale booster for me.

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Always.

For example: Rather than writing “clean bathroom” on your list, you could break that down into “clean toilet, clean bathtub, clean sinks, clean floors.” That way, each item on your list is a small and doable task. This strategy can make a monster project seem less daunting.

3. Make humorous commentary about what’s happening.

(Edited to add this one!) 

Whenever it seems that more stressors are arising, sometimes I just need to laugh at myself and just make lighthearted commentary about all the things that are stressing me out. It’s the same idea as making humorous commentary when watching a scary movie to decrease the fear factor. 🙂

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4. Move (and groove).

It doesn’t have to be a grand workout or anything.

I didn’t include a solo dance party in my day in the life vlog just for comedic effect. I truly do love blasting tunes and dancing to keep me smiling. Some quick yoga or inversions to get the blood flowing in all sorts of directions helps to clear the head as well.

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5. Talk to someone.

The power of a listening ear is such a blessing. And if no one is available, I talk out loud to myself or to God. Hearing myself sort out my anxious feelings can help me understand them better.

6. Nap.

Naps are magical if time permits. Even if time doesn’t seem to permit, sometimes I allow myself a quick one anyway, because it will help me be more productive and less crabby for the sake of others.

If I can’t sleep, lying horizontally with my eyes closed for ten minutes can still bring me some sanity.

7. Make a mental gratitude list.

“Be grateful for what you have, and you’ll end up having more.” (<— from this amazing blog post via Marc and Angel)

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Gratitude helps eliminate any of the “woe is me” thoughts.

8. Remember Him.

The #1 thing that gets me through anxious feelings (or any negative feelings, for that matter) is remembering that my life belongs to God. He will provide, and He will not give us trials that we cannot overcome with His help.

There is nothing that I’m feeling that our Lord Jesus Christ has not felt.

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With that, I hope you all have a day free from anxious feelings! Stay tuned for a cool blog switcheroo tomorrow with Actively Gemma!

So tell me:

Do you deal with anxiety or anxious feelings often? How do you deal?

Do you know any good mosquito bite treatments?

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Boston-Bound + Fascinating Friday Links #41

I’ll try not to be dramatic…

…But this is the last post I’m posting from my New York home before I go to Boston. From now until Thanksgiving, I’ll be posting from college— sometimes via ethernet cord, sometimes from a library, often when I’m procrastinating work. YAY!

I’m moving in on Monday, but I actually don’t start classes until September 2nd. Next week I’m participating in a volunteer program for freshmen called FYSOP➔ First Year Student Outreach Project. It’s an optional program during which you get to volunteer in a certain focus area with some of the current Boston University students and of course, fellow first-year students.

My roommate and I are both doing the “Hunger” focus area (hmmmm…wonder why I chose something relating to food), which explains the #NOMaste I posted at the end of this week’s WIAW. They want us to use that hashtag along with #KungFoodFighting on social media. I love these people already!

So that’s what I’ll be doing this coming week. I’ll do my very best to update you all on what I’m doing and eating sometime! If you don’t hear from me though, you’ll know what’s happening.

Alrighty! I’ll catch ya on the flip side, but in the meantime, check out some of these awesome links from the blog world!

Since there is a slim chance I will be doing these Fascinating Friday Links every week from now on, I’m making this week’s roundup slightly longer! (I also just found a ton of great links I needed to share with you all.)

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Health and Fitness

[Assess your workouts] Top 5 Reasons Your Workout Isn’t Working via Eating Bird Food

[Drastic restriction just does not end well] This is What Dieting Does To Your Body via Better With Sprinkles

[Drop it lowwww] 40 Squat Variations You Need to Try via Greatist

[Core strength is essential] 5 Core Exercises That Will Take Your Adventures to the Next Level via Sierra Social Hub + Your Trainer Paige

[For mind and body] 6 Easy Ways to Be Healthier via I Heart Vegetables

[We all wonder this at some point] WTF Does It Really Mean to “Listen to Your Body?” via Greatist

[Move and groove] 30 Minute Dumbbell Workout via Your Trainer Paige + Dumbbell Circuit Workout with 10 Min. HIIT via Fit Foodie Finds + Cardio Core Circuit via Run Pretty

Food for Thought

[“Yes” isn’t always good for us] The Small But Soul-Crushing Word You Use Every Day via Goins Writer

[Life.] 25 Things to Remember When Life Gets Tough via Marc and Angel Hack Life

[You absolutely cannot judge a book by its cover] Rethink Homelessness via LifeBuzz

[Fitness for life, not looks] Fitness Isn’t About Building a Better Body, It’s About Building a Better Life via Peanut Butter Fingers

[For new moms and dads] 12 Things I’ve Learned in My First Year of Parenting via Sweet Tooth Sweet Life

Food for Belly

[Who wouldn’t like these?] Healthy Cookie Dough Bites via Yeah…Imma Eat That

[Heck yes] Gluten-Free Peach and Oat Pancakes via Cookie and Kate

[Flaaaavor] Garlic Butter Salmon with Caramelized Shallot Relish via How Sweet It Is

[Brunch at its finest] French Toast with Pear Chutney and Mascarpone via Pinch of Yum

[All of it] 9 Gourmet Grilled Cheese Recipes That Are Totally Easy to Make via Greatist

Miscellaneous Fun

[So…don’t go to a club?] Admit It: Clubbing is LAME via Youtube

[For real?!] Can You Grow Oats at Home? via Kath Eats Real Food

[Gotta get me some mason jars] Ways To Use Mason Jars in the Kitchen via The Lean Green Bean

[Build a business] How to Grow Your Blog and Make Money via Peanut Butter Fingers

Ta ta for now, folks!

 

Prom-posal + Fascinating Friday Links #29

Hello!

So I got a little excited on social media yesterday (Instagram + Twitter) because I got asked to prom, which means I’m not a loner! 😉

The run-down: One of my best friends, Michael, has this school project that he’s been working on (he did not make it just to ask me to prom). It’s a cool light box that he engineered himself, and it plays light patterns and effects according to the beat of whatever music you connect to it. I had known about this project prior to the “promposal”, and I thought it was really cool and impressive!

So he brought his project to AP Calculus yesterday, and some people that aren’t usually in our class were stopping by, but I just thought people wanted to see his project. We turned off the lights to see his little light show, and at the end, it was supposed to say “ALISON PROM?” but the bottom section of lights weren’t working, so I didn’t notice the words. I was seriously SO clueless. All my friends knew what it was supposed to say, but they couldn’t say anything of course. So Michael fixed the glitch, and the light show happened again, but this time the letters were clear. Even then, I nearly missed it because my brain was not processing life at that point in the morning. I finally realized that the guy was asking me to prom for crying out loud, and I said yes!

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That was a confusing story. Basically, he’s a genius, I’m clueless, and I’m so excited to be going to prom with my best friend! Here’s the full video (thanks to my friends Daliza and Alexia for filing and editing this! I didn’t even realize they were filming it…I’m such a lost sheep).

Thanks again, Michael! ‘Twas incredible.

Okay link love time. Enjoy this week’s Fascinating Friday Links!

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Health & Fitness

[For those with pesky allergies (in the words of Amanda)] Nut Butter Alternatives for Nut Allergies via Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen

[May help you catch some Zzz’s] Best and Worst Foods for Sleep via Cooking Light

[Fuel the tank properly] Rev Your Metabolism via Kath Eats and The Real Life RD

[For endurance] Foods to Maximize Your Race Regime via Olive to Run

[Carbs are friendly!] We Should Stop Shunning Carbs via The Real Life RD

[Motivation] Triple Threat Workout and Workout Motivation via Fitnessista

[Bodyweight workouts galore] 10 Benefits of Bodyweight Exercises  + HIIT Bedroom Workout via Purely Twins +Lucky 7’s Bodyweight Workout via Blonde Ponytail + 10 Minute No Equipment Workout via Your Trainer Paige + 15-Minute Intense Interval Workout via The Body Department

Food for Thought

[Absolutely love this] I’m Okay With Not Being Perfect via The Story of a Girl

[Don’t let these hold you back] 20 Self-Confidence Traps Holding Smart People Back via Marc and Angel

[For everyone] 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Lost and Alone via Marc and Angel

Food for Belly

[Cauliflower never looked so delicious] Cauliflower Crust Calzones via Yeah…Imma Eat That

[SPRING] Limesicle Pudding via GI 365 + Strawberry Lemonade Scones via Peas and Crayons

[Simple] Honey Coconut Whole Wheat Waffles via Back to Her Roots

[Favorites in one bite] Chunky Monkey Bites via Running with Spoons

[I mean…] Healthy Samoas via Chocolate Covered Katie

[Paleo, but still looks fabulous!] Maple Almond Cinnamon Caramel Glazed Donuts via Peachy Palate

Miscellaneous Fun

[SO accurate] 20 Disney Characters That Would Be Perfect for Reality TV via BuzzFeed

[For run-lovers] All About Running: A Story via Olive to Run

[Budget and kid-friendly] $14, 40 Minutes, 4 Make-Ahead Toddler Snacks via Fitnessista

[Small plates and bowls can be better] Food Photography Tip 2 via Edible Perspective

[Love these fonts!] Fun with Free Fonts! via Peas and Crayons

So tell me:

If you were asked to prom, how so?

What are you doing this weekend?

Favorite links from this list?

 

 

Fascinating Friday Links #23

Hey, would ya look at that? It’s Friday!

With only two and half days of school this week, I actually think my “week” starts now. My weekends are just as busy (if not, more) than my week days. At least next Friday is the start of our winter break! As if we haven’t had enough breaks this winter….Not complaining AT ALL.

I started watching the Olympics last night, and I’m already exited for what’s to come! The winter Olympics are definitely less popular than the summer ones, but I’m partial to the figure skating since I used to be a competitive figure skater. I also love watching skiing and speed skating because those can get intense!

Alright, well there are a ton of awesome links that I have to share with you all today! Enjoy the 23rd weekly Fascinating Friday Links!

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Health and Fitness

[Great info] Paleo Diet: Pros and Cons via Kath Eats Real Food and Eating Made Easy

[Are you resting enough?] Four Signs That You Might Be Overdoing It via Zuzka Light

[Go eggs!] The Most Overlooked Superfood in Your Fridge Right Now via Nutrtionella

[For those with a sweet tooth, like me] 5 Sneaky Ways to Beat Sugar Cravings via Health News and Views

[Strength training is key] Mythbusting: Weight Loss Workouts via The Healthy Maven and The Skinny on Health

[Drink up!] How Much Water Should You Drink While Exercising? via Greatist

[Form first] Avoid These 8 Major Abs Workout Mistakes via Brad Gouthro

[Awesome workouts] Crazy Skater Workout via Purely Twins + Total Body Workout via Peanut Butter Fingers + Winter Shape Up Week 2 via The Fitnessista

Food for Thought

[Good point] When Instagram Food Photos Deceive via The Big Man’s World

[Stay strong, mommas] When The Dark Days of Motherhood Threaten to Overwhelm via Tiny Blue Lines

[“Food is just food”] Food Shaming and Comparison via The Real Life RD

[Word.] 25 Things You Need to Stop Wasting Time On via Marc and Angel

[What do you think?] How ‘The Biggest Loser’ Sends an Unhealthy Message via Better with Sprinkles + Biggest Loser Winner: Too Thin? via Blonde Ponytail

[Be YOUR best self] Authentic Assessment: Are You Grading Yourself Fairly? via Run Pretty

[I need to start now] Why Everyone Should Learn to Budget via Fitting It All In

[It’s okay to rest] Let Go of the Ego & Go Into Child’s Post via Your Trainer Paige

Food for Belly

[Dreamy] Chocolate Peanut Butter Creamy Chia Pudding via Edible Perspective

[WANT.] Gruyere, Fig Jam, and Arugula Breakfast Sandwiches via How Sweet It Is

[Delightful] Baked Blueberry French Toast via Family Fresh Cooking

[Childhood favorite!] Homemade Cheez-Its via The Lean Green Bean

[Oh yes.] Oatmeal Cookie Dough Smoothie via Running with Spoons

[So festive!] Whole Wheat Vanilla Baked Olympics Donuts via Chocolate and Carrots

[Wow.] Banana, Pecan, Coconut, and Chocolate Chip Blondies via Top with Cinnamon

Valentine’s Day Specials

14 Bite-Sized Valentine’s Day Desserts via The Lean Green Bean

Valentine Strawberry Heart Pancakes via Weelicious

15+ Recipes for Valentine’s Day via Iowa Girl Eats

Miscellaneous Fun

[Mind=blown] 18 Paintings You Won’t Believe Aren’t Photos via Viralnova

[Pure GOLD] The Men of “Full House” Reunited on Jimmy Fallon via Buzzfeed

[Great tips] 12 Things to Remember When Taking Blog Photos via One Dog Woof

[We all think these things at one point or another] Thoughts When My Alarm Goes Off for a Morning Workout via The Lunchbox Diaries

Phew!!  That was a lot of link love. There were just so many good ones this week! (I say that almost every week, don’t I?) All my reading is invested in blogs. What are books anymore?

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

So tell me:

Are you watching the Winter Olympics? Which are your favorite events?

Which links did you enjoy?

What are you up to this weekend?

 

Fascinating Friday Links #22

Happy Friday!

Now that it’s Friday, it seems like the week by quickly, but I definitely did not feel that way during the week. It was pretty hectic, and I didn’t even get to post on Tuesday or Thursday 😦 Ah well. All that matters is that it’s Friday now, so let’s get groovy.

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I want to thank you all for the congratulations on my acceptance to U of Maryland! For those who were wondering, it is in my top two right now (along with University of Virginia), so I’m pretty excited! I still have to hear back from Boston University, but that won’t be until March-April. I’m praying that God will help me make the right decision in the end!

Anyway, I’ll stop talking now and let you all get to reading some of this week’s Fascinating Friday Links!

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Health and Fitness

[Don’t just cut calories and over-exercise] How Eating More and Moving Less Helped Me Lose Weight and Transform My Life via Greatist

[Burpees are my favorite!] Crazy 3 Part Burpee Leg Interval Workout via Purely Twins + Burpee or Bust Challenge via Cotter Crunch

[Never hibernate] Winter Shape Up 2014 via The Fitnessista

[Proteins, carbs, and fats are ALL vital!] Why We Need All the Macronutrients via The Real Life RD

[Keep hydrated] H2Know: What’s Really Happening When Your Body is Dehydrated? via Greatist

[Keep your fire burning] How I Changed My Metabolism via Nutrition Nut on the Run

[Find a quality trainer] 7 Qualities to Look for in a Qualified Personal Trainer via Your Trainer Paige

[Yay for oatmeal extras!] 5 Ways to Add Protein to Your Oatmeal via Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen

Food for Thought

[Find people that make you happy] 7 Signs You’re Hanging With the Wrong Crowd via Marc and Angel

[Yes. Yes. YES.] 50 Things to Let Go Before Your Next Birthday via Marc and Angel

[Happens all the time] When Instagram Photos Deceive— Body Shots via The Big Man’s World

Food for Belly

[Perfect] Coconut Banana Bread via Edible Perspective

[PB&J goodness] Peanut Butter and Jelly French Toast Sandwich via Undressed Skeleton + PB&J Healthy Oatmeal Cookies via Skinnytaste

[I want this so badly] Pesto Egg Salad via The Healthy Maven

[I dig it] How To Eat Chili for Breakfast via Fit Foodie Finds

Super Bowl Specials

41 Guilt-Free Super Bowl Snacks via Greatist

Goat Cheese Poppers with Honey via MyRecipes

Garlicky pull apart bread with cheese and herbs via Smitten Kitchen

Miscellaneous Fun

[U Maryland is #18!] The 50 Fittest Colleges of 2013 via The Active Times

[Dang.] How Far Could You Run in 12 Hours? This Guy Ran 77 Miles! via Greatist

[Neat trick for zits] The dot seen round the world. via Maskcara

[Hilarious] Help, I’m Married to a Blogger! via The Lean Green Bean

[Such fun ideas!] Valentine’s Day Treats & DIY Gift Ideas via Bethany Mota Youtube

[Great tips] Writing Success: How to Find It, Keep It, and Go Farther Online via The SITS Girls

[Just watch this if you want to laugh. Hard. Unless you love T-Swift. But if you do, you’ll still laugh.] Taylor Swift Attacked at Grammy’s via Youtube

Oh man, I didn’t realize I bookmarked so many links this week! I obviously had some great reads 🙂 I hope you all enjoy them too. Have a wonderful weekend!

So tell me:

Which links did you enjoy?

What are you doing this weekend? Tonight I’m going out to dinner with my best friends at a cute French café! Dance, teaching Sunday school, and homework are also on the agenda per usual.

Plans for the Super Bowl? I’m still not sure about my plans, but I know I’ll be having chili and cornbread (mostly cornbread).