When life throws you curve balls … | Day 45 of 50

I woke up feeling so energized today until I got the call.

First let me remind you that 2020 so far has given us what felt like the start of World War III, horrific fires in Australia, basketball legend Kobe Bryant’s tragic death, a global pandemic, Black Lives Matter riots and protests. No matter how much we made plans for this new year to be better, life threw the whole world a huge curve ball.

Those curveballs are always coming–eventually, you learn to hit some of them. We must learn to thrive in adversity. You can’t control the curve balls life throws you, so you have to learn how to control yourself and change quickly to make sure the curve ball doesn’t knock you out.

“Life will knock you down more times than you can imagine. Don’t knock yourself down.” – Parenthood

Life has a funny way of creating its own tests. It throws curve balls that make you do and think and feel things that are in direct conflict with what you had planned and don’t allow you to operate as you normally would. Tough times are inevitable and never last; however, tough people do last. Having the courage to seek help with your batting skills (so to speak) is not always an easy choice.  We may all know people who could use help at their life “batting” skills but ignore issues until it’s too late.

 

 

Which brings me to that phone call. Without going into details, the call I received was from a hospital. It concerned someone I have loved and known for a long time. The hospital told me this person seemed to be suffering from a severe mental illness. While the hospital did not give me a definitive diagnosis, this loved one has struggled for almost two decades with excessive cannabis and alcohol abuse. If these bad habits are carried on for too long they can lead to or even worsen mental health problems like the doctors were describing. I feel guilty for denying the signs of my loved one’s mental deterioration over the years. Looking back, I can see how their bad choices have led up to this ultimate total breakdown. I wish I had not swept these warning signs under the rug.

Some warning signs of mental illness:

  • Confused thinking or reduced ability to concentrate
  • Extreme mood changes of highs and lows
  • Withdrawal from friends and activities
  • Significant low energy or sleeping problems
  • Detachment from reality (delusions), paranoia or hallucinations
  • Inability to cope with daily problems or stress
  • Problems with alcohol or drug use
  • Major changes in eating habits
  • Sex drive changes
  • Excessive anger, hostility or violence
  • Suicidal thinking and talking

My motto as well as promise to my clients has always been “change more than just your body.” Changing our physical self on the outside is incomplete and often even impossible without changing our inner self. If we only work on our outward appearance and fail to confront our depression, anxiety, trauma or other issues of mental health, they will come back to hinder us and ultimately undo any progress.

Just look at our current political climate. For too long instead of addressing deficiencies in public mental health, economic disparities and racial inequalities, society has left the consequences of these neglected issues in the hands of police who were never trained to handle any of that. Now we see the widespread symptoms of that mistake.

 

 

Our lifestyle influences our mental health. That’s why I incorporated mental exercises and meditations into my 30-Day Wellness Guide. In light of today’s earth-shattering personal news, I made sure to fit a long meditation into my schedule so I could reflect on what I learned today. I needed to make peace with it before I decide whether and how to address the situation.

And to support those good mental habits, I maintained my physical and dietary schedule habits per usual.

Today’s food & workout recap:

  • Breakfast: Protein Shake, fiber boost (190 cals)
  • Exercise: cardio (45 mins. walking incline, 20 mins weight training upper body)
  • Lunch: Protein shake with kale, berries, 1 oz. ginger, 1/4 coconut flakes (663 cals)
  • Lunch: Protein Shake, 2 protein bars (540 cals)
  • Dinner: 2 chicken drumsticks, 2 eggs, 2 eggs whites, 1 medium grapefruit, 4 Tbsp guacamole salsa (476 cals)

Total food calories for today: 1,868 = (201g, 38% Carbohydrates / 77g, 34% Fat / 143g, 27% Protein)

Curveballs can either cause us to strike out or make us a better player when we have to step up to bat. Let’s make sure we are mentally fit to handle these curveballs in life, because they’re inevitable!

 

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