This is sort of a lengthy one. Once I start writing, it’s difficult for me to stop. My apologies!
Last week was the first of 6 long weeks of night shift. It’s hard transitioning between work shifts. It messes with my mind, my body, and my mood. What’s unfortunate is that just as the weather begins to cooperate–sun has come out of hiding, temperature is on the rise, my legs and arms are finally able to be exposed beyond my sweat pants and zip ups-GLORIOUS world, fresh Mother Nature—-I go back to the graveyard shift. This means sleeping during the day or just feeling downright exhausted and wanting to lounge around the house all day. Now, on the days that I work (especially 2 or 3 in a row) I can kind of accept the fact that I have to sleep-I literally need to, I have no choice. Despite the weather I have to force myself to sleep, to just pretend it’s night time. If I don’t listen to my body in that way I will be miserable at work, unable to focus and perform my duties as a nurse. However, my days off are meant to be enjoyed. Even if I’ve worked the night before and I haven’t slept in 25 hours, I want to be out in the sun, sharing my time with nature. If I don’t have to be back at work that evening, you bet I’ll be out enjoying my summer. Sometimes I just don’t know what to do with my time. There’s so much I could be doing that I often feel overwhelmed. I want to do so many things but I don’t know where to start. It is so hard for me to stay mindful, to just look at the day ahead of me and stay in the present moment. I am often times more concerned about tomorrow or next week (the future). Lately I’ve been taking baby steps toward mindfulness. I am trying to stay in the moment, especially during meal time. I usually watch TV or YouTube videos while I eat breakfast and lunch-I use social media and television as distractions. Instead of using these outlets I am trying to spend more time eating meals outside if it’s nice (without my phone), or I will eat meals at the kitchen table, not on the couch or at the computer. That’s what the kitchen table is meant for, right?
I decided I need to read the newspaper more. I swear I have no idea what’s going on in the world half the time. I try to stay far away from the news and headlines, disgusted by the outside world and the atrocities that roam the earth. This has become problematic though, because, while I am hiding from the filth and horrors I am also shutting out the light that still exists in the world. Even with everything negative going on in the world around us, there will always be something positive, something light, a breath of fresh air. There is so much good in the world but we often times don’t see it because we are so exposed to all the horrible things that happen daily, hourly, by the minute. I am an uninformed American and that is a problem. I recognize and am aware of that fact and I am ready and willing to change that. So, hello News Herald and television channels 3-8 (I have been watching the news in the morning so I’ve made a little progress. Baby steps!)
Another way I’ve been trying my hand at mindfulness is by doing yoga. I’ve talked about yoga in a previous post and about how I enjoy doing it at home, alone and free of cost. I was doing this for a little while, maybe a couple of times a week, but then I stopped…unable to make it a habit, a part of my routine. My poor yoga mat began collecting dust as it sat, unrolled and exposed in a dark room…waiting and ready to be practiced on. So I decided enough was enough and I caved-I bought a new student 30 day pass at a local yoga studio. I have been there once before for a free class and I loved the atmosphere. It cost me only $30.00 so I didn’t feel guilty about buying the pass. I haven’t done any formal classes in a while so my body isn’t quite in yoga shape, at least where I would like it to be. I lack the flexibility I once had and my bones and joints feel tight and dry. Paying for formal classes will motivate me to include yoga more in my weekly routine. I’d like to attend a class 2-3 times a week on my days off and in my free time, practice in my home as well. Believe me, if I pay for classes, I will go as much as I can and get my money’s worth. Yoga is something that I have found is very beneficial to me. It might not seem like it, but I am truly passionate about the practice. I lack a lot of knowledge about the practice itself, which is something I need to work towards. Research Maria, it’s not that hard. However, what I do know is that, like nature, yoga is a healing force in my life. No matter how I feel before the class, I always walk out feeling positive, lighter, at ease. I believe that it is so necessary for me to continue practicing yoga. Today I went to a Vinyasa class (light heat). I loved the flow and by the end of it I was sweating (a rare occurrence). I tried very hard to stay mindful during that hour, and while it was difficult, I managed to stay in the moment fairly well. I loved the class and will most definitely attend that one again. I’ve already registered for a Gentle yoga class on Thursday morning. I actually prefer a more gentle yoga practice, a slower flow Vinyasa. Some people prefer power yoga and like the intensity and speed of a power yoga class. I feel like a yoga class that intense and sped up would have a whole different vibe to it. I’ve never taken a power yoga class, or one that is practiced in an 85 degree room. I don’t see how that kind of class would be zen at all, and I’m guessing it’s not meant to be. For me, yoga is not meant to be a form of exercise. I get that for some, it is, and that is great! Personally though, an hour of yoga is like a vacation for me. I escape from the realities and stress of life and for one hour, I feel calm. My mind settles. I love settling into deep stretches and just staying there for a few moments. My aim is to find peace and serenity while working out the kinks in my body and gaining flexibility. I love the more advanced poses as well so I am going to start practicing those. Yoga is such a mind-body connection. It really is an unbelievable experience, if practiced in the right mindset and environment. The studio by my house is small, with only one large room for classes. It is very homey and warm, with dim lighting and simple interior designs. The aroma of incense floods the room, a smell that I am very attracted to. I love it. More on my practice later.
Not much else has been going on lately. Like I said, I feel exhausted more than half the time. I am thirsty for sleep all the time but too stubborn to listen to my body most of the time. I’ll try harder, I need to promise myself that.
Anyway, this is a sorry excuse for a WIAW post. I mean, where’s the food?
Truth is, my meals haven’t been very interesting. A lot of the same things on a daily basis-salads, veggies, fruit, yogurt, protein smoothies, quest bars, oatmeal, and plenty more. I’m still working on increasing my intake, but again, little old me is quite the stubborn one. It takes work to see and feel results, so I need to kick my butt in gear.
I’ll just share a breakfast that I had last week. I love breakfast apparently. I just thought this was the cutest stack of pancakes so I have to include it in my post.
-1 serving Kodiak Cakes Power Cakes
-1 egg white
Simply mix dry ingredients with egg white, water, and splash of cashew milk until clumps are gone. Cook on stove and load on the toppings! This time I used strawberries, and greek yogurt mixed with pb2. Cinnamon and Walden Farms Pancake syrup finished it off.
Kodiak pancakes are great. The mix itself is packed with protein. I found the mix at Target.
Another meal I’d like to share with you all is my lunch from yesterday. Larger than normal because I ate a light dinner before going into work. When I work at night I tend to eat a larger lunch and a smaller dinner. This picture doesn’t do the meal justice. Most of my meals are high volume as well-so this looks like a lot of food. High volume for me usually means a mountain of vegetables, paired with a lean protein source, and some form of carbohydrate.
This plate is simply:
-3 egg white omelet
–Bilinsk’s Kale&Balsamic chicken sausage, cut up and sauteed. Their products are seriously so good. They sell many different flavors of chicken sausage and chicken meatballs. I buy them from Heinen’s.
-Shredded zucchini and brussels sprouts, pan fried. If you’ve never done this, try it…and then thank me 😉
I didn’t use any seasonings when I cooked all of this but the flavors were outstanding. No seasonings needed. However, ketchup,
was is always a must.
I also had a nectarine on the side and I may have snagged a chunk off of the pretzel baguette I bought from Whole Foods. Anything that resembles a pretzel, especially a soft pretzel=my weakness.
I worked out and got all my stuff done in the morning so I could nap the rest of the afternoon away before leaving for work.
All is well, all will be well.
Have a great week!
AND AS ALWAYS, head on over to Jenn’s blog for more (and probably more interesting) WIAW fun!!