Birthdays, Wellness, and Routines

Happy March, everyone!

I don’t know about you, but February was an odd month.  At first it seemed to be cruising by, then it was like someone hit the pause button.  I felt like I had a lot of time to finish things up, but I was also running out of time.   Have you ever had a month like that?

Well, here we are, March 2021.  This post is about to get real….

March is one of my favorite months.  The days are getting longer, and the temperature is getting a little warmer.  The “Spring Cleaning List” is slowing being put together in my head.  I start thinking about what we will plant in our garden and planters this year.  I want to fill my house with daffodils and tulips, and it’s my birthday month.

Usually, I look forward to my birthday.  However, now that I’m in my 40’s, that isn’t the case.  It’s not because of my age.  It’s because I’m getting closer to the same age my dad had his first heart attack and it scares me.  He had his first heart attack the day I graduated from high school.  At the lock-in that night, I called to check in and that’s when my mom told me he was in the hospital.  He was alright but had a blockage by his heart that they fixed with a stint. Over the years, he had 9 heart attacks, 11 stints, and a pacemaker/defib.  I really don’t want to follow that path.

As my son approaches his senior year of high school this coming fall, it hit me that I need to make some serious changes for my health, or I will end up just like my dad.  I’ve been very lucky.  Even with being very overweight, I’m not diabetic, my blood pressure is only slightly elevated, my cholesterol has been fine, my blood work comes back normal, and I’ve never been a smoker.  I’m only on one medication to keep my blood pressure nice and low to avoid kidney issues like my parents.

I’ve lost a little weight here and there. It usually comes back when stress levels rise because my crutch is food. It always has been.  Happy, sad, depressed, excited, scared, stressed out….it all leads to food for me.  2013 and 2014 were exceedingly difficult years and I packed on a ton of weight.  In 2013, my dad passed away, my grandma passed away and my mom ended up in ICU fighting for her life in a coma for 6 months.  2014 was filled with a ton of ups and downs with my mom’s recovery, strokes, and heart problems.  All of it was impacting my marriage as well.  It was rough.  Really, rough.  Thankfully I have my faith in God, my husband, son and a fantastic therapist as my core support system.

Where am I going with all of this?
With spring right around the corner, and reality smacking me on the head, it’s time to stop making excuses and get my act together.  My health might be ok right now, but I need to do better.  This month I’ll be sharing posts about the changes I’m making, the struggles I’m facing, my To-Do lists, getting organized, and getting active again.  I know it’s not going to be easy.  With all the extra weight I’m carrying, it’s difficult to do a lot of physical activity.  I will get there though. I’m going to take small steps, so I have a better chance to stick with the changes I’m making.  I hope it will inspire others to do the same as well as keeping me accountable.  
(I am not a doctor, dietician, or trainer.  Before you make any major changes in diet or fitness, please consult with your doctor)

Over the last several months I’ve been focusing on slowing down and working on my evening and bedtime routine to improve my quality of sleep.  I tried different routines and times to do things and I have found the right combination for me. My phone goes into “Wind Down Mode” at 7:30pm and then “Do Not Disturb” at 8:30pm.  I have it set to only a few select numbers that can call through in case of an emergency with my mom.  I’m rarely on a computer in the evenings with a few exceptions for the teen small group I lead on Thursdays or an occasional event. Those few small changes have worked wonders for my sleep. My husband and I go to bed around 10pm and we wake up around 6am.   

I take several supplements to help with my anxiety and sleep. Passionflower, Valerian Root, Melatonin, Magnesium, and 5-HTP, along with Claritin for my allergies.  The combination has worked wonders for me.  I also have a cup of Twinnings Nightly Calm Tea about a half hour before bed.  Thankfully, my routine, supplements, crocheting, painting, my two pups, and my therapist have been a huge help in keeping my depression and anxiety under control. It’s not easy, but worth the hard work. 

  1. Do you have an evening/bedtime routine?
  2. Do you think routines are good to have?

In my next post, I’ll be sharing what I’m doing different in my morning routine to start my day off great and be in a better mood!
Love to you all,
– Sota

If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety or depression, please don’t be afraid to talk to someone and get help.
Suicide Helpline 800-273-8255
SAMHSA’s National Helpline 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

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