Thursday, July 29, 2021: Okay, I got a little excited yesterday. The Green Day concert is not today, it is next Thursday. Still time for you to buy tickets. I’m not going but a lot of people I know are.
Yesterday I did a great job managing my anxiety. I woke up in the morning and was surprised the weather forecast had changed from rain all day to “the best day of the summer!” Clear blue skies and temps in the 70’s. I don’t know what that is in Celsius but it means you are styling in shorts and a t-shirt! I set two rather lofty goals for myself and said, no matter what happens I am going to accomplish them. That may have been a mistake if I failed but I was feeling rather determined. The first was a walk to Walmart. I didn’t really need anything. It is a two mile round trip which is a reasonable walk for me. I chose to walk rather than ride my bike because I wanted it to take longer. I was actually holding myself back from leaving my apartment which was unusual since I’ve had to force myself to go outside and would only do it for necessary reasons lately. I found I had to keep slowing down my walking pace and reminding myself I am not in a hurry. Also I was still ruminating about everything that was going on in my head from my previously intense anxiety. I would find myself thinking about people I was pissed at and stop it and say, don’t let these people live rent free in my head. Instead I was able to think about people who have been good to me.
When I got home from Walmart I was feeling pretty confident about my next goal which was to go on my semi regular 25 mile bicycle ride. Again, I had to restrain myself and remembered I had only eaten an apple. I cooked and ate a bowl of lentils which takes about an hour and had a great orange. Yum! Despite my anxiety I had still been able to complete maybe three bicycle rides but they never reduced it. I found myself pedaling as if I was being chased by the devil. This time I told myself to keep a leisurely pace. I was able to do it for the most part. I kept myself in the correct gear to pedal just enough to feel like I was at a cruising speed. It was much more relaxing than usual and added an extra half hour to my excursion. Again, part of my goal was to stay outside as long as possible. Mission accomplished! When I arrived home every muscle in my body was sore but it felt really good and it was my first Advil free day for quite a while.
I knew exercise, fresh air and being out in nature (Three quarters of my ride is very close to the ocean) were good for anxiety but my previous three trips made me feel worse because they had little effect and I was starting to get afraid it would last forever. Twinges of low anxiety kept creeping in during my ride making think it would get worse when I got back home. I actually felt great for the rest of the day and today is starting out even better!
I accidentally discovered I did two more things to help anxiety. Sunlight helps your body create vitamin D which was the first I heard as anxiety relief. The second was the fish oil gels capsules I bought at Walmart intending to get Omega 3 fats into my body. Previously I had been eating chia seeds but I kept forgetting to buy them after running out. I didn’t realize Omega 3 fats help with depression and anxiety until I Googled the recommended daily dose. I feel like I did a great job. I set reasonable goals and accomplished them and had two serendipitous discoveries. Incredible! I feel like a new man.