September 23rd was the last day of the challenge. I am so glad to be done! This was definitely a challenge seeing as how most of the stuff I’d never do or have time for.. and that I failed a good portion of them. Ha.

Anyways.. as a reminder the 20 challenge were:

  1. Spend 20 minutes outside
  2. Color a page in a coloring book
  3. Write down five things you’re grateful for
  4. Get Hydrated
  5. Play loud music and dance
  6. No social media day
  7. Take a long bubble bath
  8. Ten minutes of meditation
  9. Do your favorite cardio exercise for 20 minutes
  10. Go to bed early
  11. Start a good vitamin regimen
  12. Snuggle an animal
  13. Meditate
  14. Look up Hygge and learn more about it
  15. Try a relaxing essential oil blend
  16. Make a stress ball
  17. Pick a time of day that will be just for you
  18. Do something you are good at
  19. Make a list of your anxieties
  20.  Comment on each anxiety with something you can do to calm it

Here is a link to our original post for the Anxiety Challenge.

And one to my half way point.

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20180904_181010Day one: Spend twenty minutes outside – So this one was pretty easy for me to do, but it was awful.

My oldest son plays soccer; he has practice some Tuesdays and every Thursday from 6:15pm until 7pm, and games Saturdays and Sundays. So we are outside tons. If its not for soccer, its for swimming or playing on the swing set, riding bikes, hiking, etc.

This particular practice (September 4th) was awful do to the weather being wretched, there was a heat advisory… I was more stressed this day due to it being so hot because my one year old does not do well in the heat… poor baby gets all flushed.

Day two: Color a page in a coloring book – We incorporated this task into “art” for my 20180905_105811son’s homeschooling.

I’ve always loved to color, I don’t do it much anymore… I used to be able to fill thick coloring books in a matter of days. When I visited my husband in Arizona, before I moved out there too, I filled about five coloring books in the week I was there; in all fairness I didn’t really didn’t have anything else to do while he was in class.

If it was just my oldest and I, this probably wouldn’t have been a big deal. But because my on-year-old kept getting into everything, climbing on my sons work desk, and etc. etc. it made it a bit difficult to enjoy the time.

Day three: Write down five things you’re grateful for –

  1. The roof over my head: I know its pretty cliché, but its true and its something most people take for granted.. one of those you don’t know what you ’til its gone things I suppose.
  2. My husbands job and all that entails: He works, a lot, but without Brian working we wouldn’t be able to afford out cars, our food, we wouldn’t have great insurance or be able to travel like we do.
  3. My family: Another cliché, yep. But I love my parents, my children, my siblings. Without them I wouldn’t be here, I’d have no friends. They mean everything to me.
  4. My education/skills/knowledge: This. I’m so glad that we live in a time where women can go to school and develop skills outside of the home. I’m also glad for my skills that I have developed by staying home. Without those skills.. I’d be like a bump on a log.
  5. Technology – all kinds!: If we didn’t have computers/internet it would be hard to connect with my friends and family states away… if it wasn’t for advances in medical technology my dad could have died when he had his heart attacks and my son wouldn’t have gotten the help he needed when he was diagnosed with JIA.

Day four: Get hydrated – Water is important, I know this. Doesn’t mean I like it… I actually do not like the taste of water at all, but I try to choke some down occasionally. This day, I failed. I drank zero cups of water and by 8pm I said F*ck it then made myself a mixed drink (which is a big deal because I don’t usually drink alcohol). It was a rough day.

Day five: Play loud music & dance – It was a soccer game day, we were not home from 11:30am to 3ish pm. I played some music while I cleaned up the breakfast dishes. I was also able to listen to music and dance a bit in the car while driving to and from said soccer game.

Oh, I also listened to music and cleaned the kitchen.

I have Amazon Prime and pay for the Music Unlimited, if you’ve read my article Songs for the Bad Days then you know my playlist could be all over the place.

I know for a fact that there was a little bit of DevilDriver in there, Good Charlotte, Hanson, Ozzy, Lamb of God, and the Back Street Boys.

All. Over. The. Place.

And I’m not sorry. =]

It made the cleaning (and whatever) go by faster. Variety can be a good thing.

Day six: No social media day – Fail. I failed this before we even started this challenge.

I get paid monthly to post daily on my personal Twitter about certain books. I can’t miss a day and if I do, it’s a real big pain for me to go back and find what I’m supposed to do.

Day seven: Take a long bubble bath – I failed this one for a few reasons..

  1. My jacuzzi tub leaks into my basement, probably due to dry rot on the tubing… not something I want to deal with.
  2. It’s that time of the month, I don’t want to sit in that and I didn’t feel like carrying all my stuff (soap, towel, clothes, etc.) up stairs to the boys’ bathroom.
  3. I tried to take a relaxing shower, or actually a shower longer than five minutes, after my one-year-old went to sleep.. he woke up within a few minutes of me being in the shower. My husband slept through it, so the baby ended up sitting on the shower floor and played with his rubber duckies while I washed my hair.

Day eight: Ten minutes of meditation – Fail! Look at that, three fails in a row.

I’ve never done meditation before, I wasn’t entirely sure where to start. I’m not really one to sit still for a while, my therapist suggests something more active than yoga so… But! I got my kitchen counters clean, so that has to count for something.

Day nine: Do your favorite cardio exercise for 20 minutes – I love to jump rope actually and to hike, unfortunately that isn’t what I did this day.

Nope, actually I went to the grocery store and chased my one-year-old around there and then at home while I tried to clean the bathrooms. I’m counting that as cardio though.

Day ten: Go to bed early – My sleep schedule is all over the place, like most parents I’m sure; some nights I’m in bed by 11pm, sometimes 10pm, other times 2am. So what does early really mean? Especially with three kids, hmm…

I actually got all three boys to bed by 9:30pm, watched a bit of football with Brian then I went to bed around 10:30ish. I think that’s pretty good. It’s the staying asleep part that is most troublesome.

Day eleven: Start a good vitamin regimen – Not ever going to happen. I didn’t even do good with pre-natal vitamins while I was pregnant, either time; I took Flintstone vitamins. I have a pretty good, diverse diet.. its unnecessary for me to start vitamins (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it).

Day twelve: Snuggle an animal – Ha, right okay. This was a super fun day. Not.

I gave my dog a bath, he stunk so bad it was time. Well, he gets super wild after a bath, its something that he’s always done since he was a puppy; running around up and down the stairs. I didn’t think anything of it. Yeah.. his crazy antics scared my cat so my cat clawed everyone, ran outside, and refused to come in for about four days (she’s always been and indoor/outdoor cat).

I was pretty upset after that and scratched up. Didn’t really want to be in the same room as my animals. My one-year-old cuddled with me on the couch though while we watched a movie, where he eventually fell asleep.
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Day thirteen: Meditate – Again.

I painted and did some crafts with my 4-year-old. And my cat laid next to me outside while I read and watched the boys play. Counting this as meditation since its something I somewhat enjoy and it can be peaceful.

Day fourteen: Look up Hygge – I googled this and did some quiz with Brian. Apparently I’m not a calm person.

Any-who, I found out that it’s pronounced Hou-gah or Hue-Guh depending on who you ask.. I was pronouncing it Hi-gE. It roughly means “creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life, with good people.”

The websites I used are: visitdenmark.co.uk and thedanishantidote.com

I love the good things.. it’s not the good things that cause problems, usually. But I see where they’re going with this. Might be worth a try in the near future.

Day fifteen: Try an essential oil blend – We’ve been using essential oils in a diffuser for years.  My sister got me a set I think about the time my oldest was born. I’m not sure if I notice a difference in the way I feel when using them, but it makes my house smell nice.

The one that we used on this particular night was a “mood enhancer” blend I picked up and maybe some other random scents, I’m not sure honestly because Brian has been filling up the diffuser.. I do know, though, that it smelled like Christmas. It had hints of mint, cinnamon, and clove. Very nice.

Day sixteen: Make a stress ball – I’m not very crafty and I have enough stress balls, thank you. They don’t work for me anyways.

I’m more of a throwing or stabbing things kind of person. Usually tenderizing steaks, or similar, is great.

Day seventeen: Pick a time of day that will be just for you – So, I can’t do this one either, shocker. I have so much going on that when I get a moment to myself, its maybe a few minutes but usually there is someone around calling for me or what not. Even writing this, there is cleaning (or something) that I should be doing instead.

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On this night however, I was up sick a good portion of the night. I’m calling that “personal time” since everyone else was asleep for most of it.. except my one-year-old, who still does not sleep through the night. Ugh.

*In case you cannot read it, in the photo is a sign I picked up while in the U.P. It says Let Me Drop Everything And Work On Your Problem. Every mom needs one.*

Day eighteen: Do something you’re good at – Honestly, the only thing that popped in my head was “Annoying Brian.” Pretty sad.

This one was probably the most heartbreaking for me; I have no idea what I’m good at. At all.

I like to cook and bake, but I’m not good at it in my opinion. I can’t draw anymore, not sure if I ever could. Make up is out, as is fashion. I haven’t written poetry or short stories in I don’t know how long.

Maybe I will make it a point to find something I’m good at before the end of the year.

Day nineteen: Make a list of your anxieties – This is also a hard one. I don’t know all of them. Some happen out of the blue, some are pretty complex. But here are a few of the easier ones:

  • My house; its always dirty and cluttered
  • My kids and husband; they can be frustrating and they can never seem to do anything for themselves… mom is always needed for something
  • the situation with my step-son; it’s been hell from the get go
  • moronic drivers; that just speaks for itself
  • Money issues; I’m very good at spending money.. just not very good at paying bills
  • Cooking skills; I can cook and I can cook well, but sometimes, especially when my kids don’t eat, I feel like I can’t

Day twenty: Comment on each anxiety with something you can do to calm it – most of the answers I came up with are jokes because I’m not sure with some of these and others I know what I should do, but maybe I can’t….

  • I know I should clean the house, and maybe take it one room at a time.. but burning it to the ground sounds so much easier (again just jokes)
  • I know I could talk to them about boundaries and doing things for themselves, but I also thought about leaving for a few hours and letting them deal.
  • The thing with my step-son is more difficult. Maybe I shouldn’t expect so much from him? Maybe we could save everyone the stress and just have him during the summers? But then that opens up a bunch more anxieties.
  • Idiotic drivers are everywhere, I could either deal with it or just stop going places. And I go to a bunch of places…
  • I know I should stop spending so much money and traveling and whatever, but.. yeah. I also thought about faking my own death and moving to a new country (jokes people!).
  • I cook well. I do. Not sure why I have anxiety over it. Maybe I just get bored with certain recipes.

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I was not too fond of this challenge… I probably won’t do something like this again, and if I do, I hope its better for me.

I feel like my anxiety/stress level is the same, if not slightly worse from this experience. Mainly for trying to find time to do these “challenges” and for making me realize I suck at everything.

I’m sure the lack of sleep isn’t helping anything, either.

Like I said at the half way point, I have high expectations for myself and I’m pretty sure my therapist had some too, since I told her about this. Now I get to report back to her and let her know how this went. Not too bad, but not great. We will try something else.

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Please remember I love my family. I would never actually ditch them or burn my house down. They mean the world to me. No matter how much they grate on my nerves, they also make me smile and bring me joy.

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Just going to take one day at a time and hopefully find something that works for me and my family.

I’m hoping to start exercising/working out consistently on Wednesdays. I’d like to practice with cakes again.. maybe start back up with painting and drawing. I’d also like to make more friends, meet new people… get out and try new things again. Maybe kick-boxing or Tai-Chi.

Oh, the possibilities.

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Did you try the 20 Day Anxiety Challenge as well?

What were your thoughts on the activity? Will you keep up any of the things you’ve tried?

 

 

-C