Monday, January 8, 2018

Back to myself!

Whoa, I was in a funk last week! I guess the single digit temps & lack of sunlight on top of the letdown of something you've planned and looked forward to for 6 months finally being over really did a number on my mood. Add in some extra work stress and it was a recipe for a major bout of the blues.

On Saturday I was feeling happy and making plans again. Some extra sunshine and some talk about upcoming trips and spring activities for the kids, or just time, good sleep, good food, and some much-needed mindfulness and journaling may have helped.

I had a really good weekend. Friday we did pizza and family movie (Cars 3...not terrible). Saturday I was up bright and early to see patients in clinic (we have to do a few Saturday clinics per year). All my patients showed and I saw them, wrote my notes, and spent a couple hours revamping my grant ideas. I then crossed some tasks of my list: went to Indian store & put away Christmas decorations, laundry, and made a half batch of toffee chocolate chip cookies (G, the boys, and MIL were at the science museum all this time). When everyone got home we watched another movie together (its the thing to do when its freezing outside, I guess) and G and I braved the cold for a date night dinner & had yummy Korean food, including a truly sizzling hot pot that warmed us from the inside out (cocktails helped, too).

Sunday I went to barre and grocery shopping, and baked the chocolate chip banana bread my MIL loves (I don't eat bananas, but apparently its good). We prepped food & made lunches for the week and then G and I went on a day date! (taking good advantage of having MIL around!). We were going to watch Lady Bird but by the time we stood in the loooong (outside!) line, the movie had already started and the only seats were right up front and...no. So we stood in the long outside line AGAIN to get refunds and went to the bar across the street for cocktails and snacks before we headed back home to usual Sunday evening chores, dinner, and kids bedtime.

I'm really feeling encouraged about my back. Though the MRI did confirm herniation and some impingement (which explains my symptoms perfectly), I'm not having that much back pain and rarely do I have the radicular pain down my left leg. I have moved on from pain relief to strengthening the muscles around my back in PT FINALLY (I spent September-December in the same cycle of every single thing we tried making the pain worse and spending the entire session undoing that). I was also given the green light to try various exercise regimens again and see how I feel, with the plan to immediately stop and avoid anything that caused the leg pain. 

I have decided to focus more on habits and baby steps this quarter than on any big overarching goals. I plan to spend this cold cold winter in "Hygge" mode. I know its the trendy thing, but it struck a chord for a reason, its a really nice way to rethink winter. For me that means: movies/board games/books with the kids, baking and soups, cozy socks and sweaters, and keeping the Christmas lights up outside to brighten our homecoming until the evenings get lighter. I also want to make sure I get outside every single day in the sunshine. I get so blah when I stay home or stuck in my dim office so I'm making an effort to avoid that.

The habits I'm working are all related to physical and mental health. Specific habits I am tracking: meditation (I splurged on a Headspace subscription and I'm reworking through the intro), drinking enough water, doing my PT exercises every other day, working out 4 X a week, no after dinner snacking, and gratitude (writing "3 good things" in my journal at the end of each day).

I also deleted FB and IG from my phone, whoo hoo!

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