5 Ways to De-Stress

Over the last seven weeks or so, I’ve started to change as a person.  How do I know this?  My husband has commented on my “transformation” several times.  He’s amazed by how the little things that used to make me upset or emotional don’t seem to affect me in the same ways.  And you know what…I feel it too!

What brought on this seemingly sudden shift?  To be completely honest, I was fed up with always being stressed about everything.  I hated how I felt after getting super pissed about something trivial.  It was starting to feel like my emotions controlled me, and I wanted to change that!  But the real turning point came when Vishnu pointed out that my average stress level was way too high, and that I needed to do something about it!

And so I did.

Before I share what’s worked for me in turns of de-stressing and bringing more Zen into my life, I have to say that this is one of those endeavors that requires hard work and focus.  And if you really want to change, you have to face the not so positive stuff head on.  You have to be honest with yourself about your thoughts and behaviors and how they are impacting you and those around you.  You have to acknowledge the not so great parts of yourself and commit to being different and actually work on it.

Also, by sharing my thoughts in this post, I am in no way saying that I never get stressed anymore.  Even when we commit to a different way of being, there will be good days and bad days.  And let’s face it – stress is part of being human.  My thoughts are more so around how to manage it in a productive and healthy way.

5 ways to de-stress

With all that being said, here are 5 tried and true ways to de-stress…

1. Don’t go at it alone.  When I committed to dealing with stress differently, I enlisted Vishnu’s help.  I picked him because he’s always honest with me, I trust him, and he’s my husband (duh!) and the person who has to deal with me day in and day out!

Over the past few weeks, he’s been able to give me real-time feedback on what he’s noticed and how it’s affected him (good and bad…but mostly good!).  This in turn motivates me to continue on.

2. Meditate for a few minutes every day.  I’ve talked about this on the blog before, but this is the first time I’ve actually stuck with a mini practice.  And the reason I’ve stuck with it is because it works!

I listen to BK Shivani’s guided meditations on YouTube (this morning mediation is my favorite) because they’re short (just being honest!) and really impactful.  When I sit down and meditate/focus first thing in the morning, I sense a difference in the way I view my day and the things happening around me.  I’m not as frazzled and all over the place.  It’s hard to explain, but all I can say is that it’s made a huge difference for me.

3. Listen to your self-talk very carefully.  Over the years, I’ve learned that when my self-talk turns negative, my stress goes up.  And inevitably it shows up in the way I behave/react which then starts a vicious cycle.

When negative self-talk has been a part of your life for a long time, it’s hard (near impossible) to stop cold turkey.  The key for me has been to nip it in the bud before it takes over and permeates every possible thought.  I know from experience that NOTHING good comes from putting yourself down, and that knowledge is enough to make me change the way I think. Now instead of being mean to myself, I try (still working on this) to take a different approach and talk to myself the way I would to my sister or a good friend.

Being kinder and more forgiving to myself has definitely helped keep the stress at bay.  Who knew!

4. Slow down! I am notorious for doing everything quickly.  And sometimes that’s ok because the situation warrants it, but most of the time, rushing does no good.  Personally, the faster I go the more mistakes I make and the more stress I cause.

My day to day responsibilities and work don’t require speed…quite the opposite in fact, so this has been a bit easier for me to do.  When I feel myself speeding up, I take a deep breath and slow my roll!

5. Pause.  Kind of in line with slowing down, when I feel the stress building up, I take a quick pause.  And when I pause, I breathe and ask myself, “What is the best thing you can do right now?”  The answer is never to stress out.  So I try not to!

Pausing has also helped to keep what’s important front and center.  Most of the things that stress me out will be erased from my memory in five years time (if not less), so why am I letting them consume me right now.

Like I said, you can’t stop stress from trying to creep into your life.  But you can find better ways of dealing with it, and that’s exactly what I’ve set out to do!  It’s not easy, but it’s 110% worth it.  Not only is my husband more appreciative but so is my skin (I’ll leave that for another blog post though!).

What’s one of your tried and true ways to de-stress?

A Slight Deviation

Our original weekend agenda included going to see Trainwreck on Friday and spending a few hours at the beach on Saturday. 

Well, let’s just say there was a slight deviation in plans…

Vishnu was totally game for going to the movie theater, but after hearing about the Lafayette shooting, I just wasn’t up for it.  I told him I’d rather stay at home and watch a movie.  But we didn’t end up doing that either.  After a quick dinner at home, we met up with some of Vishnu’s co-interns at a local bar.

Angry Orchard

It was fun listening to all the crazy stories and hearing everyone’s experiences so far.  I do sometimes feel like the odd man out, but Vishnu does a good job of checking in every now and then.  And it helps that I find medicine an interesting topic overall and have a lot of the lingo down!

We slept in a little on Saturday but had every intention of heading to the beach as soon as possible.  The weather, however, had different plans.  It rained all morning/afternoon, so the beach was a no go. 

One of Vishnu’s friends was planning a trip to Topgolf, so we decided to do that instead. 

After a delicious early dinner…

Veggie Burger_Topgolf Tampa

The Topgolf menu was impressive!  I decided to go with their veggie burger and a side of sweet potato fries.

…we played two games of golf. 

Topgolf Tampa

Check out the MIS Facebook page to see a video of just how good I am! Smile

Topgolf is what you get when you combine a regular driving range and the game of darts.  I am by no means good at golfing, but I had an absolute blast.  The dim lighting and fun music gave the whole experience a very hip club-like vibe!

By the time we got home and went to sleep, it was past 2 am.  Who are we?!

Sunday started off with the usual – cleaning and Trader Joe’s.  But it ended with an at home wine and cheese dinner date, Katie’s black bean brownies, and multiple episodes of Friends.  So pretty much perfection!

wine and cheese

And with that, Monday is here.  Make it a great one!

Thanks for reading!

Have you ever been to Topgolf? 

5 Delicious Meals Lately

I absolutely love sharing recipes and meal ideas on the blog.  But if I were to be honest, recipe posts aren’t necessarily my favorite to write.  They just take so much time between the photographing, the exact measurements, all the detail, etc.  But I do it fairly often because some meals are too good not to share!

While I won’t be outlining exact recipes in today’s post, I thought I’d do a roundup of some delicious meals we’ve had lately.  And I promise I’ll share as much detail as possible!

Avocado toast with feta

Avocado toast with feta

I cut a huge piece of sourdough bread in half, toasted it, and topped it with avocado mash and a little bit of feta.  The avocado mash included 1/2 a small avocado, a little lime juice, and S&P.  So much yum!

Zucchini meatballs, roasted Brussels sprouts, and sourdough toast

Zuchinni meatballs

I made this the other night, and it was D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!

I made the “meatballs” using this Skinnytaste recipe.  My only changes were to add an extra clove of garlic and two small jalapenos.  A definite must make!  The roasted Brussels sprouts were quartered, coated in a little olive oil, S&P, and a drizzle of maple syrup, and roasted for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees.  The toast is self-explanatory.

Eggy Banana Bread Oatmeal

Banana Bread Oatmeal

I blogged about this last week and had to mention it again because it’s that good!  Comfort in a bowl I tell you.

Veggie and refried black bean enchiladas

image

This was totally a semi-homemade meal.  My friend Trader Joe’s helped me out a ton!

The enchiladas were pretty typical – tortillas, refried beans, sautéed veggies of choice, and enchilada sauce.  The “cream” sauce was what took the dish from good to great.  It beats a thick layer of real cheese or sour cream any day!

“Creamy” tomato soup with chickpea croutons

image

This soup recipe comes from my Oh She Glows cookbook (one of my favorites btw!).  You can find the recipe here, but I still highly recommend buying this cookbook.  Yes, it’s a vegan cookbook, BUT all of the recipes are hearty, filling, and so flavorful.  Well worth the investment!

Well, that’s all I have for today!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend full of delicious food and lots of laughs. Smile

Tell me about your favorite meal lately!  I could honestly talk about food all day long.

Three Things Thursday (19)

I can’t wait for the weekend.  I usually don’t like to think that way because it goes against being mindful and living in the present.  BUT this is Vishnu’s first full weekend off in what feels like a very long time, so I can’t wait!

We’re going to take advantage of the Fandango BOGO deal and go see Trainwreck on Friday.  I’ve heard good things!  And Saturday is a designated beach day.  We bought new beach chairs at Target a few weeks ago, and I can’t wait to put them to good use!

Anyway, let’s move on to this week’s Three Things Thursday post.  This week, I’m sharing three things I’m loving lately.

3 Things Thursday

Let’s get to it!

(1) Wet Brush-Pro

Wet brush-pro

My mom gifted me this hairbrush when I went home.  And then she ordered two more for herself!  I love it because no matter how tangled my hair may be, this brush doesn’t snag or pull at all.  The bristles are flexible and leave your hair feeling super soft.

I’ve never put too much thought into my hairbrush, but this one definitely makes me realize what I was missing out on!

(2) Popsugar Active app

Popsugar Active app

I recently downloaded this app and finally got around to using it the other morning.  I’ve been a Popsugar workout fan for a while now and love that this app makes available even more amazing routines.  And they’re categorized by type (strength training, running, yoga, and cardio), which makes it even easier to find exactly what you’re looking for.  I did a full body strength workout and it. was. tough.  Love having this app as yet another option for a great workout!  I highly recommend you check it out!

(3) TSA Precheck

Vishnu and I finally got around to signing up for TSA precheck.  Our interview/appointment is in a week or so.  I can’t wait to bypass the regular security line for the next next five years.  I didn’t really think it was worth it when Vishnu first mentioned signing up, but after my last few trips, I’m 100% on board!

Well, that’s all I have this week!

If you’re a blogger, write a post and link back to one or all of the hostesses: Raj from Pink Chai Living, Nisha from Love Laugh Mirch, or Salma from The Write Balance. Then share a link to your post (not your blog’s home page).

Did you already or do you plan to sign up for TSA Precheck?  I think if you travel semi-frequently, it’s totally worth it.

Marriage – An Equal Partnership?

As I was washing the dishes recently, my mind wandered a bit and I started to think about marriage and the different roles each person plays.  When I shared my thoughts with Vishnu, he suggested blogging about it to see what other people think/have experienced.  Any marriage/relationship related topic is a fun one for me, so I thought why not.

So truth be told, for the first 28 years of my life, I imagined a truly equal marriage where all responsibilities are split evenly. 

Not sure where this idea came from because my parents’ marriage wasn’t and still isn’t necessarily equal.  My mom manages the finances, does all the cooking and most of the cleaning, and takes on a lot more mental stress overall.  My dad, on the other hand, does the yard work, grocery shops, and keeps an eye on the cars.  This is a very general list of what they each contribute to their marriage, and I know I’ve left off a million other things, but you get the picture.  My mom is also more OCD and type-A, while my dad is one of the most laid back people you will ever meet.  And that could very well have something to do with the roles they took on in their marriage. 

Even still (and maybe because of), I looked forward to the day where my husband and I were equal partners.

And then I got married!

Like I said, I never thought about mine and Vishnu’s roles in our marriage until recently, but now that I have, I realize they’re far from equal at this moment in time. 

image

This picture has nothing to do with this post really.  It’s just the only one I have with us facing off!

Generally speaking, I manage our finances, do all the cooking and most of the cleaning, grocery shop, and handle all the day to day nuances.  Vishnu maintains our car, manages all of our big purchases, and helps with the day to day stuff when his schedule permits. 

Taking a step back, I realize our division of responsibilities also has a lot to do with our personalities and preferences (I tend to have the “boss mentality”).  I’m a lot like my mom, and Vishnu’s personality is similar to my dad’s.  You don’t say!

Also, where we are in this moment in time plays a huge factor.  The path to becoming a doctor is no joke.  Med school was filled with studying and stress.  And now residency is filled with crazy hours and stress.  I understand this and try to take on more as a result.  Do I always think it’s fair?  No.  But I can deal with it because he helps out when he can and/or when I can’t – laundry, dishes, errands, etc.  And I know there’s a part of me that truly enjoys playing this role right now.

I’m sure a ton of other things impact the part we each play in our marriage – cultural backgrounds, the way we were raised, societal norms and expectations, gender roles, etc.  And just to throw us for a loop, I’m sure a lot of this will change when we have kids.  Fun times ahead!

But as I’ve come to learn, all of the above is part of an ever evolving journey where the heavy lifting isn’t necessarily divided evenly between two people.  At the end of the day, it’s not about that at all.  Rather, it’s about communicating, understanding and supporting one another, and playing to your strengths.  That’s what a good partnership is all about! 

Kind of a random post, I know!  But I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic. 

And as always, thanks for reading!