This past Tuesday I came home from work feeling defeated. I searched for distraction. I took a warm shower and let the water soothe me. I put on a sparkly headband and brushed my hair in hopes that feeling a little more put together would snap me out of it. I looked at the dishwasher, it was full. I’ve never put away dishes so carefully. I needed to be in control of something. I could feel myself choking up, cue the water works. Halfway through my meticulous kitchen organization, I sat down on the couch, curled up in a ball and let the tears flood my eyes. Luckily, my boyfriend called me a couple seconds into my meltdown telling me he needed to go to Costco. Out of character, I asked him if I could go. I usually find relief in putting on my cozies and plopping down on the couch after a long day of work. I knew I didn’t want to be alone. His excitement for our whole sale trip together was just what I needed.
It all started with an email. My domain and hosting provider, GoDaddy, sent me an email asking me to renew my Starter Managed WordPress. I called Customer Support inquiring if I needed to continue paying for my Starter WordPress package. I had previously upgraded to a Hosting Package with more storage space, etc. a few months ago. Customer Support informed me that I did not need to renew, however, the upgraded package had never been transferred fully onto my domain. They said they would be able to easily transfer it over. I felt relief and a sense of pride knowing I took the right step in calling. That is, until the actual transfer went through.
At first, all my WordPress plug-ins were deleted, my post pictures weren’t loading, and the earliest blog post being shown was from January 10th (you all remember those yummy, healthy whoopie pies, right?). The plug-ins were an easy fix for the techie. However, when the upgrade went through, all my posts from mid-January until Sunday’s Ballet Booty and Thigh Barre Workout were still not showing both on the site and in my WordPress dashboard. He tried to pull in the data from Monday a few different times. Still nothing. He tried again and then the post from January 25th showed up, “Do Diets Work?” I could hear the confidence in his voice start to subside and I began to panic. He ended up escalating the issue to the developers on the tech team.
Thursday I checked my blog and the issue had been resolved! Thank you so much GoDaddy team for not giving up and fixing the issue!
If you’re a blogger, or own/participate any content-driven business, you know how important each article is. I plan my posts ahead of time (usually). However, the post itself is written in a moment of time where my juices are flowing. The words typed on one day may not be the same as the next. So, recreating the content again would never truly replace the original posts. Hours are spent promoting each post, making sure my message actually gets in front of all of you, readers. The comments and engagement on each post are priceless to me. These are little gems that have allowed me to make connections with readers and validation of lives I’ve touched through Life in Spandex. This was especially true for my posts from February for the week-long Love Your Body Challenge where I urged women to find love for the skin they’re in. If you work with brands, you also know how important your ongoing relationships are. Losing a sponsored post could disrupt this relationship.
So why am I writing all of this? Well, I’m trying to turn a negative into a positive! When the issues was still not fixed on Wednesday, I wasn’t going to let the fiasco ruin another perfectly good day. I want to share some tips that helped me turn my day around without causing more havoc.
1. Take a deep breath, at least five to be exact.
When it feels like you’re going to implode, sometimes you forget to breathe. Holding your breath, however, will increase the stress in your body and act as a catalyst for feelings of panic. Take a moment to concentrate on breathing. Find a quiet place, if you can, and sit down. Sit up tall with you back as flat as possible, shoulders away from your ears. Breathe in for 4 counts, expanding your belly, and breathe out for 8 counts pulling your belly button back in to your spine. Doubling the amount of time you take to exhale is a mediation technique used for decreasing stress and anxiety. Repeat five times or until you start to feel your body and mind relax.
2. Take a walk outside.
Light exercise helps relieve stress and releases endorphins which help us feel happier. It also helps ease tension in your body that you may be holding onto. Being outside helps us put things into perspective. Breathe in the fresh air and notice the sights and sounds around you.
3. Find gratitude.
Write down all of the things you’re grateful for. You can start small. I like to give thanks for the food I ate that day, the supportive family and friends I have, my favorite pair of workout pants, the roof over my head, and my health.
4. Look around.
Feelings of anxiety and stress have been cultivated over centuries to keep us alive. This is what kept us alert when we sensed predators or other danger around us. In our modern world, however, these survival cues can be triggered by smaller, non-threatening occurrences. When you concentrate on your surroundings, you give your body visual cues that there isn’t actually a life-threat.
5. Call your mom.
It doesn’t have to be your mama. But confiding in someone close to you, who you trust, can help you put things into perspective and get new insight into the problem and how to solve it. It can feel very isolating to go through tragedy, no matter how big or small. Knowing you aren’t alone and can rely on others to help pick you up when you’re down is comforting. By the way, thank you to everyone who reached out to me on social media, via text/call, or in person to give me support :). I am so grateful! Not sure who to talk to? Online counseling is an option too.
6. Do NOT shop.
One of the easiest ways to ease anxiety is through retail therapy. Who doesn’t feel better when they buy a new Athleta outfit or Brooks Running shoes? However, during these impulsive moments, you may end up buying more than you can actually afford or wish to spend. If you really need to get it out of your system, go online, put whatever you want in your shopping cart, and then walk away from the computer.
7. Try not to eat emotionally.
I have two very extreme responses to stress when it comes to food. I either completely lose my appetite or I only want to eat comfort food in the form of fats, sugars, and refined carbohydrates. Neither response is ideal. Instead, I try to stick to my normal eating habits. If I lack an appetite, I may eat a little less, but I try to make sure I’m at least eating around the same times so I don’t end up binging later on or disrupting my metabolism (though the latter definitely won’t happen just because of a couple of days). I also like to incorporate healthy foods that help ease anxiety and depression like salmon, walnuts, melon, spinach, berries, asparagus, avocados, cashews, herbal tea, garlic, oats, and, my favorite of the bunch, dark chocolate (but be mindful of sticking to your portions).
I hope these tips can help bring clarity and serenity to your life during times of stress! Let me know your favorite way to cure a bad day or if you have any other stress-relief tips in the comment box below!
Health and happiness,