TGIF, am I right?! It seems as though the world is going a bit crazy as of late, and I hope that anyone and everyone that is within Hurricane Matthew’s path or wake is out of harms way and safe!
On Fridays I usually focus on Physical Exercise and Healthy Motivations, but today will be a bit different, in that my situation has changed a bit this week! I am going into a procedure this afternoon to have an oh so dreaded double gum graft and I thought it would be perfect to touch on acknowledging anxiety, protecting your recovery, and maintaining healthy motivations through self care and physical exercise!
I had a quadruple gum graft about five and a half years ago, and let me tell you it was AWFUL! My periodontist was shocked with how long it took me to heal from the graft, and how long it took me to recover from the pain….and we quickly realized that this was due to my intense anxiety! I am sure that many of you can relate, in that my anxiety manifests itself in ways that are not necessarily visible to the outside world! For instance, so much of my anxiety “comes out” while I sleep….I clench my jaw, and have night terrors.
My anxiety used to manifest itself in my behaviors…..when I felt lost, out of control, sad, or mad, these feelings would find solitude and comfort within my unhealthy behaviors, such as over eating, purging, over exercising or restriction.
Anxiety was my Eating Disorder’s (ED) best friend….my anxiety fueled all of my unhealthy behaviors…..my anxiety disguised itself within ED’s companionship, albeit ED’s abusive companionship.
The first and most empowering step within recovery is acknowledgment, and when I acknowledged my Eating Disorder, I finally started to gain the courage to stand up to ED, and by standing up to ED, I was able to peel back the layers of my anxiety.
Remember Recovery IS NOT LINEAR, in that it is normal, to “slip up”, to make mistakes…. therefore take away the shame, acknowledge your behaviors, learn from your “mistakes” or “slip ups” and move forward…. Recovery is a beautiful disaster… so embrace the disaster, and embrace the crazy!
While I move into this procedure, I am taking some preventative measures, in order to protect my physical recovery from the procedure itself but to also protect my ED recovery. These preventative steps can be taken within any anxiety provoking situation.
1. Honesty: First and foremost, be honest about your anxiety, look at it straight in the eye! Being honest about your anxiety will lessen the inner burden, the inward pressure, that awful sense of hopelessness. For instance, I have made sure to talk to my doctor about my history with anxiety, depression and an Eating Disorder, therefore I am well supported, self aware, and held accountable for any ED tendencies.
2. Rest: Allow yourself time to heal, to rest, to ensure the best recovery possible. I have made sure to complete all of my work for the week, in order to allow myself ample recovery time.
3. Nutrition: Make sure to ensure you are nurishing not just your emotional self, but also your physical self. Make a meal plan with your nutritionist, and stay accountable by creating a network of support. Seeing that I will be on a liquid diet for about a week, I have made sure to stock the fridge and pantry with nutritious liquid/soft foods, to ensure that I maintain wellness, and avoid any triggering dietary restriction.
4. Network of Support: Make sure to have at least one supportive partner during anxiety provoking times, or physical recovery. This will keep you accountable, safe, and nurtured. I am so sad that Sean and our cat Lilly aren’t here, but I will have all the care I need from our dog Giovanni, my family’s puppies and kitties, and of course my parents.
5. Adjust your exercise routine: Within anxiety provoking situations like surgery, it can be scary, and triggering, in that you most likely are not able to maintain your usual exercise routine. I have made a plan this week to stimulate my mind and body through gentle, safe and healthy physical exercise through Skyfit!
I have turned to Skyfit yet again! Before my procedure I will be partaking in the Pre-Meeting Breather class, by Cesar Barajas…I have taken this class many of times, and it is a wonderful way to calm your breath, bring intention to the mind, and manage your anxiety! Therefore before my procedure I will be practicing healthy motivations! For the rest of this week I will be partaking in some of Skyfit’s “lighter” and “shorter” classes….
This next week, while I recover from my procedure, I will be sleeping and allowing my body time to heal….and Skyfit provides me with safe, healthy and gentle options for me to get my heart pumping, and bring healthy motivations to my physical exercise.
As you move into our weekend, I encourage you to acknowledge your anxiety head on, peel back those layers, and dissect how it manifests itself within your daily life. Acknowledgment is key within the process of Recovery! I also encourage you to take care of your self, protect your recovery with self care, and find ways you can bring healthy motivations to our exercise routine! And as always Self Care it Out!!