A Good Day

A Good Day

I’m back in the same coffee shop from my previous post. It is silent and tranquil. The owner of the coffee shop knows me by name, and she says it so sweetly. The music playing has a lo-fi vibe, which is perfect for writing in my opinion. My tea is refreshing with subtle hints of cactus blossom. My body aches less, and my mind feels a bit more clear.

It’s suppose to be quite warm today, around the mid 90’s. I use to dream of days like today, now I can happily say that I get to live in these moments daily. My tan is beginning to appear darker with each day, and my skin remains clear due to the vitamin D.

It’s been a while since I have had one of these days. That kind of day where you feel like nothing can disturb your peace of mind. I am going to pursue the kind of day where I can lay in bed tonight and blissfully say that it was a good day.

It’s such a mystery how the mind and body dance with grace to fabricate positive outcomes when there’s an entirely conflicting and dark side as it’s shadow.

I’ve been searching for myself for a while now, and I’m determined to find her within the glow of the sun and the twilight of the moon. Each day and night is an opportunity for growth.

Today is a good day.

-The Positive Peanut

A Bad Day

A Bad Day

“My anxiety is a child who plays tag with my intestines, braids fishtails with my pulse. While she naps unseen under caramel moons, I wake to find her blameless”

-Sade Andria Zabala

Don’t let the title get you twisted. Let me explain further.

You know those days where you constantly feel like your head is stuffed full, and it’s almost as if it could implode any moment? Yeah, I’ve been having that feeling a lot lately.

You feel grumpy, fatigued, and almost sickly. Your energy is low and all you want to do is either bust out all of your priorities, or hibernate under a weighted anti-anxiety blanket for the rest of the year. There isn’t really an in-between feeling.

Then, it feels like there are so many tasks at hand that must be completed soon. So, you’re sitting in a coffee shop, head on the verge of explosion, chest feeling compressed, muscles tight, all while realizing that you have so much shit to do.

Suddenly, a child starts screaming. The room becomes filled with people who are speaking way too loud. The person next to you is coughing every 30 seconds, and isn’t covering their mouth. So. Much. Noise.

You begin to wonder if something is wrong with you. You are so sensitive to these noises and things happening around you. You let it get under your skin and bother you until you finally decide to get up and leave out of discomfort.

This is my anxiety on a bad day. Every thing happening around me that is disturbing my peace becomes unbearable and vexatious. I’m aware that I bring it upon myself, but it’s such a complex concept to get myself to understand and control.

I practice my breathing, reading, writing, and other activities that help ease my mind. However, I feel as if those hobbies only leave me content for a limited amount of time. My mind is always in conflict with time. My mind is overwhelmed. My mind is tired.

These bad days are far and few apart, but addressing them and accepting them when they occur is all part of the plan that is my life. I push myself through these bad days, no matter how much I wish to give up. If I can manage these emotions, headaches, stress, anxiety….So can you. You just need to take it slow.

I’m speaking to myself and others when I say this…You can do it.

-The Positive Peanut

Gut Health; Your Second Brain

Gut Health; Your Second Brain

As I grow older, the more I notice the correlation between my physical state and my mental state. I believe it is something that most people do not think about at all, which is totally understandable since their passions and awareness does not lay within the health and wellness category. However, the interest in gut health has grown rapidly over the years, as people are starting to realize that their gut has a direct effect on ones mental health. Anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and more can be linked to gastrointestinal disorders.

Do you find yourself becoming irritable, anxious, or groggy at times? You may want to be paying attention to your tummy! It tells you more than you know about your well-being. I could digress on the technical terms and how the brain is connected to the gut, but I will keep it short and sweet; basically, the gut and brain are connected through the central and enteric nervous systems, which work together to create a cognitive and emotional function that links with peripheral intestine functions. Your body has millions of neurons lining the gut wall, which are essentially telling your brain what your gut is feeling subconsciously.

Many of us are familiar with serotonin, or the “happy” neurotransmitter. Serotonin helps you feel good mentally, but it also has a huge role in your gastrointestinal motility. More than 90% of serotonin in the body is actually found in the gut. Happy tummy = happy thoughts.

I have struggled with gut health and gastrointestinal issues for years, and yeah it’s kind of embarrassing and uncomfortable to address, but in the end, it is your body that you need to take care of. I had no idea that it was immensely effecting my mental health every day. I would become so insecure and upset when my tummy would become irritable or bloated, but can you blame me? It is so uncomfortable! Obviously it is going to alter my mood if I am having insane cramps and my jeans feel like they’re two sizes too small. I know I’m not the only one who has felt that way, especially being a woman and having to deal with monthly gifts (lol).

Despite my challenges with my gut health, I have improved it over the years through proper nutrition, exercise, and consistent de-stressing exercises. I highly suggest doing your own research from credible sources as well, or even reaching out to a holistic doctor to see what options you can explore to improve your gut health.

Tips for Better Gut Health

1.) Find a good probiotic that also has essential prebiotics to help balance your gut flora.

2.) Consume fermented foods such as kimchi, kefir, or yogurt.

3.) Exercise often! Even going for a 15 minute walk after meals can help with digestion more than you’ll realize!

4.) Drink water like crazy baby. Aim for half your body weight in ounces per day.

5.) De-stress! Stretch, do yoga, get a sports massage, or get outdoors.

6.) Massage your tummy for a few minutes every night.

I hope this post gave you a little more information about gut health and how important it is! 🙂 What do you do to keep your gastrointestinal health in check? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts!

-The Positive Peanut

Anxiety, my Dear Friend.

Anxiety, my Dear Friend.

Hello, anxiety. It’s nice of you to show up at the most inconvenient time, again. You make my chest swell, my head pound, and my whole body feel uncomfortable. I know you don’t mean to make me feel that way, but you always leave me feeling defeated. I’m not quite sure how you became such a big part of my life, but all I know is that I don’t want you around anymore. I never wanted you around. You’re good at making other’s feel lonely, worthless, and miserable…including me. You make the smallest issues seem so large, and the largest issues seem so unimportant. It’s confusing. You’re confusing.

Loud noises are unbearable, big crowds are frightening, and silence is beautiful. Why do you make me feel this way? Why are you part of me? I don’t understand. I guess I’ll just take my medication at the same time every day so you don’t ruin my mood. 

I have lived with you for a while now, and I’m starting to get used to how you become triggered. I know that I can’t sleep in past 7am, be unprepared for work, or leave the volume level on an odd number without you coming out to play. Well, truth is, I’ve accepted you. I don’t understand you, but I am learning to live with how you work. I guess I would consider that self love.

For those of you who don’t struggle with anxiety, this is what is feels like. Every day is a challenge. Please just love the ones around you who are emotionally aware enough to share their mental health status with you. Patience is key, and asking them questions about it is okay, as long as you respect their feelings and are calm when approaching the subject. Please be gentle. That is all we want.

I’m not trying to throw myself a pity party either. I’m just trying to help others understand that they are not alone in this. Understanding that this is worth accepting, because if you don’t, you will spiral down, down, down, until you feel so empty inside that you will shut everyone out, including your happiness. This is the game of life, and accepting your flaws is how you are gonna win. Use your flaws to help others, to motivate, inspire, whatever you feel you can do so that other people can feel worthy of living another day. That is what I’m trying to do. What are you struggling with right now? How can you try to improve the situation? 

Feel free to leave your thoughts, opinions, and experiences in the comments, or email me. Breathe, relax, and take care of yourselves this weekend.