Relaxation Techniques

If you’ve known me as long as some of my friends, you know how stressed out I used to get.  Ok, I still get stressed out, but definitely not anywhere near as much.
I would stress out about ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING, from projects and papers for school, making sure I was getting in exercise/running, that my room was clean, I could hang out with my friends, and anything else under the sun.  I was the moodiest and biggest party pooper because of this stress.  I had a tendency to snap and really, cease to laugh.  I was always worried about something or other.
But over the years, I have been able to sit back and just…take things as they come.  Wake up late? Get out the door quick and make up for time lost when you can.  Car break down?  Call a tow truck and get it fixed. Friend can’t make it for the weekend?  Find something else to explore. Hurt your knee from running and can’t train? Focus on the things you ignore now that you have the time.
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When I was in college I took a tai chi class and while focusing on our “chi” we were also taught how to relax…to focus on the now and clam our bodies and mind.  I was told to focus on a red ball…something along the lines of a sun setting or rising in the distance.  Breathe deep, and focus on it.  Admire the beauty of the sun and it’s colors, taking the moment as it is.
That has helped me through so many nights where I never thought I would be able to go to sleep, pull my hair out or scream to the high heavens.  And I’ve realized that I now start every single day on this note, and believe it helps me be at peace with doing what I love/makes me happy and doing my work to the best of my ability.
Desert sunrises never cease to amaze me.
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(btw, do not follow my example of driving and taking photos at the same time…I know, tsk tsk)
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Clouds also help…the make everything change and scatter in the sky.
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So the next time you feel like you can’t breathe because things aren’t going as planned, take a step back and look at that sun.  Close your mind for just a moment and breathe in the moment.  Feel the air, the heat of the sun, the smell of the trees (or traffic, depending on where you are, lol) and I swear, you’ll feel so much better afterwards.
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If not, try it again. And again.  And again.  One day, I hope it will work for you.  But if it doesn’t, what do you do to relax, spur of the moment or scheduled?
After the relaxing start to my morning…well, beforehand it wasn’t so relaxing as I forgot some things and didn’t get to eat my breakfast before I left, I arrived at my first survey HANGRY.  Thank goodness for tupperware.  Sorry for the repetition foodwise…I’m going with what works right now!
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Gigant-o golden-blush apple, almond butter, and oats.  Totally belly sustaining!
Hours and lots and lots of new and old bird species later, I was ready for lunch. Can’t tell what’s in the bag?  Don’t worry, it’s simple: spinach, tomato, bell pepper, cucumber, cheddar cheese and mustard.  And the obvious banana.
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Don’t mistaken that beautiful scenery for gorgeous weather…it was 40 degrees as I was taking that picture.  Not counting the wind chill.  Oh yes…But it’s so pretty!
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I snacked on an apple and PB and Chocolate Chip PB Raspberry Bar on the way home before shooting out the door for a nice relaxing run. Huff…is how I’m going to put that run. I don’t know how I’m going to survive winter because combining cold and winds, I’m a sissy.  How do you East Coasters do it?  I’m open for any suggestions…I need help for the two 1/2 marathons I’m going to have to train for during the winter!  Yikes!
Anyhow, I ran 4.6 miles and walked another one mile to cool down and did about 20 minutes of strength training afterwards.  I’ve been work’n the abs hard and it’s paying off!
I was excited for dinner tonight as I’ve had it on my mind all day…these  babies scream warmth and winter to me.  Stuffed Bell Peppers anyone?
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I mixed leftover brown rice from last night with 1/2 a can of TJ’s Black Bean Soup, smashed it into the pepper and cooked it in about an inch of water for 10 minutes, or until the bell pepper hit the consistency I like.
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I also had a peach on the side, that I took out to work with me but never got around to eating.  I would have saved it for tomorrow but it was on it’s last leg…oh peaches how fragile you are!
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The night is ending with another one of my homemade bars and a bowl of cereal.  I don’t really think I’m hungry…but my sweet tooth is hungry.  Too bad I’ve noticed that if I eat something sugary too close to going to sleep I wake up with a horrendous sugar hangover headache.  Ugg, live and learn…lets hope this lesson happens quick!  such an icky feeling!
It’s Friday tomorrow though, yay!  What are you guys up to this weekend?  I’ve got another date Winking smile and some shopping to do for the FB Fest next weekend!  I can’t believe it’s already here!  Need.New.Clothes.Now!

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8 Responses to Relaxation Techniques

  1. Allie (Live Laugh Eat) says:

    Oh man, my heart aches just thinking about how stressed I would get over trivial things while in college. I've come a long way the last few months! I still find myself getting riled up about some things but it has definitely gotten better.

    We have a few mini green peppers that I have been meaning to STUFF for days now. I must get on that. Yours look delicious.

  2. Maria @ Chasing the Now says:

    Awesome post Melissa! :) I used to get really stressed out/worry a lot in college and all about stuff I couldn't control. My husband told me to just think of the color white. Not something else that is white, but just the color. It doesn't really work for me, but it works for him. I use running as my way to de-stress and work through problems.

    Love all the photos today!

  3. Amanda - RunToTheFinish says:

    ohh i would love to know more about tai chi! I think it would be such a great thing to do, any tips info you want to share??

  4. Heather says:

    I get very stressed out. Very easily. I try to take a deep breath and realize that I am not perfect. Everything will be ok.

    Good luck with your date this weekend – can't wait to hear about it!

  5. Gabriela says:

    I needed this. Just this morning I left my BF's early because I was just stressed about…nothing. I felt like I couldn't lay in bed for awhile and just relax. I've gotten much better about it recently, but sometimes I just need the little reminder to relax!! Thank you girl :)

  6. Natalie says:

    such a great reminder Melissa! I let myself get stressed out way too easily and it makes everyone around me miserable! I'm working on being more laid back :)

    Have a great weekend, I want some details on these dates at FB!! and I hope you have some success shopping! I have noooooo idea what to wear all weekend-help!

  7. Krista says:

    Stuffed peppers! It's been too long.

    I like your idea of visualizing a sunrise/set. I can't think of anything more relaxing than watching the sun do it's thing. As always, love your photos. :)

  8. mymarblerye says:

    one day we will shop together and get delish froyo. Can't wait to see what you get…jealous you are going to foodbuzz but excited for your recaps…So happy that everything is goin gto well for you!! I can't stand cold weather either…thinking of investing in a NorthFace jacket if I move north…don't judge…heard they are amazing! btw to this day i stress over EVERYTHING. stress->bad eating habits. :(

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