Mic Check

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Happy Wednesday everyone!

Mic check, mic check.

I always have a million & 1 things to say, yet for some reason I’ve been finding it incredibly difficult to capture those thoughts in words when speaking and also in my posts. My apologies for the lack of posts I’ve honestly started 5 posts…which I’ve left unfinished because of brain blunders… I think I need some chocolate milk to get my brain functioning properly. I haven’t had any in a while…

Chocolate Milk = Instant Happiness & Brain Power

Happy Middle of the Week Day!

– Steph

Going Up!

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This made me laugh, clearly I’ve been awake for the past 48 hours because people are dreaming of me. Yah, no. Thr reality is I miscalculated how many pills I still had so instead of having one more days worth… I was out completely. So guess who was up all last night???! Me!!! You guessed right, unless your answer was yourself … then you also guessed right if that was the case.

Oh the joys of not sleeping … sometimes it’s scary how awesome it can be. I cleaned my room, studied my spanish, worked on my interior design course, painted my nails, watched entertaining YouTube videos  (I highly recommend searching “Soul Mystique”… your mind will literally be blown!!!) I also picked an outfit for a special event taking place Friday …. that took me like 2 hrs all in its own… and then I drove my dad to the airport at 5 am so that my mom didn’t have to (she thought she was… little did she know I was lurking haha)

And as soon as I got home … I got the shakes haha I needed to sit, my stutter started to manifest itself whilst I tried to talk to my mom. My brain was going at 100miles/minute and yet my body started saying slow down… so I laid on my mom’s bed and we talked of life. I love those type of conversations. After we had our fill we went to go so some errands including grabbing my medication so I can sleep tonight. BUT more importantly we grabbed fresh blueberries & strawberries, I sincerely find joy in such silly things BUT fresh blueberries is definitely on the top of my list! Eventually we made our way home and my sister joined us with her two youngest boys.

So my afternoon was filled with giggles as my 2 year old nephew ran with nutmeg and I chasing the soccer ball & then we blew bubbles till I thought I’d pass out. It was just beautiful.

My youngest sister joined the party and she and I talked. She has one of the purest souls I’ve ever met. She has cared for me in my darkest times and her love has never wavered.

And then work, oh goodness! It was wonderful! The seniors I tend to and serve were as precious as they ever are and made me feel more loved and filled me with more laughter than I could have imagined on such a long day for me. I felt more energized than ever. I also carried a wonderful conversation with one of the women I work with about fitness and healthy body image… I love conversations pertaining to that as well. And to top it off when I went to finish the last of my work one of the gals had already finished it for me just to be sweet!

This post is long BUT I couldn’t help but share the happiness I felt today, on what could have seemed a long tiresome day I felt amazing and alive and filled with love! I hope your day was as wonderful or that it finds you tomorrow!

Go figure I also found another dog on my way home and was able to return him to his owner .

Have a good night by 42hrs is up and meds/sleep is calling me so I can own another jam packed day tomorrow!

– Steph

Flaws & All

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Sometimes I have goals and visions that I set out to do… the expectation is simple I will conquer the goal each and every day, every single time. Nothing can get in my way! …. wrong…. life does and as a result I FAIL miserably.

For instance I go to the gym no less than 4 times a week. BUT I was going 6 times a week for the past few months. I’ve definitely been swinging in my lows as of recent weeks… BUT still… the gym was something I had consistency with. THEN we can move onto the topic of eating … heck! When I start on my downward spiral it’s as if my stomach has no end for sweets… healthy-smealthy… it’s honestly such a challange. Emotional eating is a reality. I either eat eat eat OR don’t eat eat eat and I rarely just eat… with no extremes attached especially when im in my lows. Something my doctors and I constantly talk about… so with that said… should I scrap the gym altogether because I’m not meeting the quota and I haven’t been eating the way I know I should be?? Mmmmmmm no.

Failures are ineveitable I’m human; riding my bike daily has become a hit and miss…although I’m still pounding on my boxing bag… but holy cow! It’s hard keeping an unyielding routine… life sometimes gets in the way. Whether with health, travel, weather, appointments, family, and other hiccups that come up.

Falling off the bandwagon happens – we are human. BUT what’s more important than falling off is picking ourselves back up AND not ridiculing ourselves to the point where our negative self talk paralyzes our ability or desire to try again.

“If you’re tired of starting over – stop quitting”… I’ve seen this quote on few occasions and I have mixed feelings about it. “We only fail when we fail to try.” I like this quote better.

Sometimes by circumstance we fall off the bandwagon. Sometimes getting out of bed is a huge triumph all on its own. And getting to the gym can wait a day or two. That’s the reality. Going to work and keeping a smile on your face can be exhausting (story of my life this past week) so when the idea of hitting the gym arises, sometimes it takes everything I have to go BUT sometimes it’s just not enough so I stay home (and does anyone die from me taking a day off??? No). If anyone is going to do collateral damage from that choice, it will be myself – beating myself up.

Life’s plan is never going to be 100% error free.

I used to rip myself apart when I failed to meet any expectations or goals I set for myself… do you think that helped me? No. Just like it doesn’t help you. Have compassion on yourself… don’t be a push over BUT have compassion and recognize you are human. We fall BUT we can pick ourselves up. So leave yourself a bit of cushion room as opposed to sharp spikes.

We are what we do repeatedly. Strive for consistency… that’s what I do everyday, if I falter I DON’T throw everything I’ve worked for out the window!

Back to that quote… “if you’re tired of starting over – stop quitting” SCRAP that mentality! YOU DO NOT HAVE TO START FROM THE VERY BEGINNING JUST BECAUSE YOU FAIL (FALL)!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That’s like saying because you trip on a rock while climbing a mountain you have to go back to the start and begin all over again. Does that even make sense???! NO! Pick yourself up from where you fell and CONTINUE onward.

Build a habit of relentless commitment to try & try again. When you know there is no cap on how many times you can try you allow yourself room to breathe and to be human. You allow yourself the greatest chance to be successful. People who have found success, have found mistakes and errors a hundred times prior BUT the key is they did not let the failures deter them from their objective.

I fail…  but I don’t fail when it comes to trying or putting in effort. Anything worth having is worth working for. Work requires effort. Effort requires time. Time requires dedication. And dedication requires learning. And learning requires failure. Success requires failure.

I may not ride my bike everyday. That does not mean I fail at life. Perhaps it means I need to reevaluate that goal. Rather than every day … maybe I should try for an hr a week and go from there.

Something I get caught up in is running before I can walk. Don’t set unrealistic  expectations that will shake the ground you walk on. Build a foundation that you can challange and grow gradually with. Don’t add so many things to your plate that you set yourself up to fail. Tackle one or two goals at a time…. instead of 20… doesn’t that already sound a little less overwhelming.

Make goals. Achieve goals. Fail at goals but continue in spite of the failures. Live. Learn. Succeed.

That is my objective. And I hope you can find power and resiliency in your ability to be human.

– Steph

Sleeping Beauty … Or Not

Alrighty,

So I woke up this morning with a burning question on my mind. What on the earth was I going to blog about??!

With a million thoughts running through my mind, the task of selecting one single topic seemed like it would be quite the process. BUT then it hit me. What is in common with having a million thoughts?? Anyone?? Anyone at all?? Alright, I’ll spill. Sleep!

That’s right, I’m not sure about you but there are some nights when my brain will literally not shut down, I’m flooded with thoughts that are ground breaking and then literally other thoughts that are absolutely pointless (and then I have to stop and think why I even thought about those useless thoughts in the first place.. do you see this vicious cycle??)

Sleep for me comes and goes… allow me to explain that phrase further. I have this magical condition called Insomnia, which to shed some light is commonly coupled with those who have bipolar. Sleep is a magical thing if you ask me. There are some days or weeks where I will literally struggle to close my eyes for more than 2 hrs a night. And other nights and days I strain to open my eyes after a 10 hr snooze which I call “Sleeping Beauty Syndrome”

Why the drastic difference with my sleeping patterns especially when I claim insomnia?

Simple, the weeks I feel like a superhero that doesn’t need more than a couple hours of sleep I am in my manic state. A state when I run faster than a Duracell Bunny, literally. A high that when I am in it, I quote “sleep is for the weak.”

It’s not, don’t worry – sleep is for the healthy.

However this brings me to the point of when I excessively sleep, this is the period when I hit my low, my depressive state (not so fun) Sleep seems like the safest and most logical form of avoidance (I’ll explain that thought process on a later date)… nottttt the best way to deal with life BUT hey! I’m human.

So what’s my happy medium? It’s is about 7-8 hrs of sleep. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would hit the trademark “optimal hours of sleep” but lo and behold here I am in 2015 sleeping regularly within that time frame- for the most part.

What’s my secret?

Firstly (this is mainly applicable to those with bipolar)            Medication.

Is medication the B-ALL to falling asleep? No! HECK NO! But for me it was something that my doctors and I agreed was necessary for me to start building healthy regular sleeping habits. And it has helped… ALOT.

Perhaps a prescribed sleeping aide is not necessary for you, there are defiantly natural alternatives out there to explore I would recommend talking to your doctor about the right options for you)

Alright now for some tips I’ve been taught along the way (applicable to everyone)

  • Eat a banana before bed. One of my mom’s friends is a nurse and told me this tip. Bananas are a natural source of  melatonin, the sleep hormone, as well as tryptophan. YAY for bananas!
  • Drink warm milk before bed. I thinks it’s just a relaxant, with a calming affect. Tip: add honey with a wee bit of cinnamon (not a lot because cinnamon is a natural spice used to raise your metabolism)
  • DO NOT use your phone, computer or TV an hour or so before bed (or in bed) This is because these devices emit a blue light, which your brain registers as day time… who would’a knew?
  • Get up outta bed that’s right, you read it correctly. When your tossing and turning the best thing you can do is get up out of bed. When you stay in bed restlessly, your training your body to feel anxiety about sleep- in the very place it’s supposed to sleep… twisted.
  • Do low simulating activities till you feel drowsy. Again this is recommended when you are out of your bed, for instance I’ll do crosswords till I start to feel drowsy, then I’ll crawl back in bed and try round two.
  • Set your Internal Clock.  This one is perhaps the most challenging tip BUT for me has made the difference. After so many years of my sleeping being all over the map I screwed up my internal clock and any form of regular sleep was beyond my grasp (even with medication) So the trick, wake up everyday at the same time, regardless to if you fall asleep at 2 am or 4am, when you do this your internal clock will start to reset (it may take a few weeks, CONSISTENCY is key) and eventually you should be able to start falling asleep and waking up at a decent time.

Hopefully something in that mix sticks and helps out with your sweet dreams.

-Steph