Thursday, June 15, 2017

Head to the Hills

We all have those day, weeks, sometimes even months that challenge us. It seems like everything is piling up and we wonder how many bad or unfortunate things can happen at one time. Last week I was having one of those weeks, and although I'm not one to dwell on bad things it's still important to recognize that I was in a major funk and rejoice in the fact I faced it head on and am now having a terrific week.

Dealing with stress is different for everyone and everyone shows stress in different ways. Honestly, when I'm stressed you would never know. I don't act flustered, I usually go about my day-to-day like everything is fine, but my body physically reacts. I'll get migraines or be extra exhausted and on two different occasions now I've actually contracted stomach ulcers. This is just as unhealthy, if not more unhealthy, than stressing openly.

So, I've learned ways to I cope and that help me to tackle any obstacle that come my way. Some examples are running, hot baths, speaking with one or two specific friends that can really pick apart a situation, reading something completely fiction and mindless, and so on.

The number one thing I've found that works every single time is to get outside into nature and hike or run/walk nature trails.

So, last week after a day of teleworking with a friend out in Virginia I went to Burke Lake Park, a wonderful 4.5 mile loop around a huge lake that I used to frequent all of the time in college. I put my iPod on shuffle and let whatever song with whatever tempo/lyrics and I just ran and ran and ran until my legs gave out and walked the rest.

I ended up doing two loops for a total of 9 miles. I thought not about the things that were stressing me out, but instead about all of the blessings I have in my life and I just looked at the beautiful trees, flowers, and water and realized that my problems are not that big, and the ones that seem to be are absolutely manageable.

I'd love to hear in the comments about how you tackle a stressful period and please enjoy pictures from my beautiful day in the woods.

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