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I've been struggling to be okay lately. I've been under a lot of stress and struggling with anxiety and depression, but I've been trying to learn about myself and what makes me happy and makes me feel worthwhile. I'm going to try and keep it simple, and remind myself that the goal isn't weight loss, it's just trying to feel okay. I want this challenge to be very, very easy to stick with, so all the active pieces combined are going to take 1 hour or less per day. Excluding sleeping, because that would be crazy. Main Quest: Reduce anxiety and depression. Learn what causes these. Acknowledge that some things in my life are stressful and that's okay. Goal 1: 30 minutes quality alone time daily. Should be something that I want to do that I really find satisfying, and is in no way social. So reading, meditating, painting, or playing guitar would count. Browsing the forums would not, and generally netflix/youtube/reddit/imgur would not; I already do 30 minutes per day of this and it doesn't make me any happier. Reason: I'm an introvert. I like doing things by myself and rarely make time to just be by myself, especially with a partner who likes to spend almost all their free time with me. I'm much happier when I make time for productive alone time. Goal 2: Any physical activity daily. I would like to keep working on my C25K training, but I'm not going to be hard on myself if it doesn't happen. I just need to do something, whether it's a brisk walk or a short dance session or a few minutes hula hooping. Reason: Exercise is a mood booster. And if I have exercised today, at least I have done something worthwhile. Goal 3: Take your darn vitamins. Have them every day with dinner. Keep a stash in your purse so you have them when you go out to eat. Set an alarm reminder in case you forget. Reason: Severe vitamin D deficiency. It can exacerbate depression and worsen my immune system. Goal 4: No alcohol, low caffeine. Tell your friends and family and partner you're abstaining for the month and ask them to help you stay on track. Reason: Alcohol exacerbates my depression. Caffeine exacerbates my anxiety. It was a huge eye-opener when I started tracking my mood and realized 75% of my panic attacks happened within 2 hours of heavy caffeine consumption. Goal 5: Sleep 8 hours a night. I should be in bed, lights out by 10 on weeknights. Since I'm often out late on Friday, I should avoid scheduling things for Saturday mornings. I need to try and force myself to go back to bed when I wake up after 6 hours on weekend days. Reason: I get sad when I get sleepy. I also find it difficult to accomplish the simplest things when I'm tired. Other stuff that I have no choice but to do: -Taxes (come on Grizzy, you can do it, you only have to bring two forms to an office and then just wait while a guy does some stuff on a computer...) -Moving (I'm buying a house. Assuming nothing goes wrong, which I always assume things WILL go wrong which causes me to be anxious, we're closing on the 15th and ending our lease on the 30th. So I have to do all the packing and activating utilities and fixing a bunch of stuff and aaaahhhahahahhhhh *cries*.) -Put in consistent effort at work (I got moved off of a project I disliked for under-performing. My boss made it seem like not a big deal, but I feel like my ass is on the line and I have to prove myself on my next project.) Here's to keeping my head above water this month! I would drink to that, but you know, goal 4...
â€œDonâ€™t get your hopes up yet.â€ That was how Erik started this morning. He was holding a brown folder. An official looking brown folder. Didnâ€™t he know that being told not to get your hopes up did just the opposite? Itâ€™s just like someone telling you, â€œDonâ€™t think about elephants.â€ Whatâ€™s the only thing youâ€™re thinking about right now? Elephants. The folder contained a mission. A real mission. Not training. â€œItâ€™s not your official deployment. Not yet. We still have several more months of training before youâ€™re ready for that. Itâ€™s a short-term scouting mission. Weâ€™re sending you to a potential deployment location to get the lay of the land. Itâ€™s just reconnaissance. Your main job is to lay low, and gather as much info as you can in the next week.â€ He handed me the folder and I was so eager to open it and study every detail, that I almost missed him continuing as he sat down across from me, â€œYouâ€™re transitioning into a new phase here, HN. Youâ€™re going to be losing the structure youâ€™ve come accustomed to on base. Youâ€™ll have to have your own self-discipline. Youâ€™ll have to start spending time centering yourself for missions, to keep on task. Iâ€™m giving you only two assignments for this training period, as youâ€™re going to have to start training your weak areas on your own. Once youâ€™re deployed, thatâ€™s not the end. Itâ€™s just the beginning. Youâ€™ll have to keep improving whenever you find a weak spot. Take a look at your mission folder. Thereâ€™s a digisheet in the back that has your extra training assignments. Youâ€™ll start working on them after breakfast.â€ He abruptly got up and and left me to my cheese and strawberries. Or at least I thought he did. He paused behind my chair for a short moment. â€œYouâ€™re doing well, HN. Donâ€™t sell yourself short. You can do this, you have to know that. Because it only gets harder from here.â€ Habit goal: Self-Discipline Establish an energizing morning routine 1. Get out of bed without snoozing 2. Do gorilla workout Why it's a challenge: have I mentioned how much I hate mornings? Why I want to do it anyway: I hate mornings. This should change. Also, junk gets in the way for workouts if I don't get them in at the start of the day. I want to work my way towards a serious workout in the morning. My daily 16 was a start, but I'm getting bored of those exercises, and I didn't like a lot of them anyway. So I end up skippig it often. I enjoy the gorilla workouts a lot, and they are quick. And leave me much sorer than my daily 16 ever did. Once again, two points per day. Starting at 84 points: 70-84 = a 60-70= b 50-60= c <50= f Using lift app to keep track, so I can easially look at my stats and not miss something. + 2 CON, + 3 STR Endurance goal: Training assignment number 1: Improve that 3 mile time. Still 5k. This time on a sliding scale. Sub 30 = a Sub 32 = b Sub 34 = c Anything else = f +3 STA Skill goal: Training assignment number 2: Learn to dance Solo swing dance Why it's a challenge: I have terrible, terrible proprioception and coordination. Not to mention swing is generally a two-person gig. Why I want to do it anyway: I love love love swing music. When I hear it I feel like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rj125Azt5hA I can't contain myself. There is no hope of me sitting still. Why solo swing you say? Well cuz I don't have a fella. I go to a lot of parties where there is swing dancing, and there are lots of couples, and anyone who's not, doesn't know how to swing and thus won't dance with me to those songs (it's seems that only couples ever bother to learn to dance?). My brother and I used to swing dance something fierce. We are sort of estranged at the moment, and not having that built-in dancing buddy makes me miss him a lot at these dances. Just doing triple step by myself back and forth looks dumb and is boring. Therefore, I want to learn a routine (or repertoire of moves to mix and match) of intentionally solo swing dancing to jive to when these songs come up. Ideally I'd like to learn six new moves, one for each week. 6 = a 5 = b 4 = c <4 = f +2 DEX, +3 CHA Life goal: Centering myself to keep on task Learn to enjoy alone time. Accumulate 1 hour per week of quality alone time. Why it's a challenge; I am an extremely extroverted person. I hate being alone. being alone for too long makes me exhausted and depressed (characteristic of extroverts). This has freaked me out so much that I really avoid being alone at ALL. I tend to associate inrospection with introversion, and therefore with anger and depression (becuase when I am angry or depressed i don't want to interact with anyone.) Why I want to do it anyway: some alone time is necessary, to think and collect my thoughts, center myself, and come up with new ideas. Introspection is important, to develop who I am as a person and process new life experiences. It's gotten to a point that if I want to go do something (a hike, or bouldering, or seeing a movie) and no one is available that night, I won't even go. Guess what? I'm still alone that night. I'm just alone and bored. I want to start doing these things alone and enjoying being alone, not viewing it as that sludgey in-between time I have to slosh through between human interactions. So I'm going to accumulate one hour per week in quality alone time (ie watching tv, cleaning the house, working alone doesn't count. I'd be too distracted to pay attention to being alone) Six hours throughout challenge = a 5 hours = b 4 hours = c <4 = f + 3 WIS I'm also going to be doing two side challenges, one for the Parkour Posse PVP [improving my pull ups] and the other is a water fast with Croman Red in march [stay tuned for interesting RP writing centered around this.]. So starting stats: Weight: 171 Height: 5'11" <glad this has been basically the same. Chest: 39 Waist: 33 Hips: 40 Max pull ups: 2 Alright, let's do this thing.