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Rise and Shine

Sunday, November 01, 2020

Hopefully, I did some problem solving yesterday as I was on a hike. It was a lovely day in Western Michigan. Sunny, a mild breeze, 50 degrees and the fall colors are spectacular. now. The trail was nearly empty and I had the woods to myself. . My mood was good.

So while walking, I was looking back on the past four weeks of my own lack of success in our current fall challenge. emoticon I am trying to gain some insight into why I have hardly stayed even with team goals. While my weight is steady, it has barely dropped. I was so ready when the challenge started. Enthusiastic even;

Instead, I would define my effort so far as lackluster. Hmmm. Exercise time has been good. Enough to burn calories to be sure.

The culprits- mindset, attitude, anxiety and mindless snacking.

So where is this coming from? Typically I go through my days reasonably upbeat. Two years ago my Oncologist told me I am in remission and recently he told me I am now' low risk' for relapse with my lymphoma. . Every day is a good day. Every day I feel grateful. Even with the SP challenges, I tend to do fairly well. Not every one, but most.

So.... it was thinking about our own challenge goal this week that has helped me with some insight.

One of our goals this week is to 'Rise and Shine' each morning. Begin the day with some positive thoughts and behaviors. I admit I awaken , drink coffee and begin 'doomscrolling.' on my laptop. i read about the pandemic, all the negativity surrounding this election, what ever bad news in on CNN's or NPR's website. I take it all in and dwell on it. I know this is getting into my head. The news seems particularly negative these days, and we have not control over the outside events. I even begin to imagine and dwell on the long gray and very cold COVID winter we are facing. In Michigan we go weeks with no sunshine.

But one thing we can do is 'rise and shine.' Short circuit the constant negative input. Make room for the positives. I like to think the more healthy and positive choices will prevail. Sadly I had even substituted my morning devotionals for the 'doom scrolling ' time. . Seems like a good way to start is to bring the devotionals back and check in with the news later, if at all.

Rise and Shine. It is simple, basic , and I like it . The good news is I still have 4 weeks into the fall challenge. There is reason for hope and believing still in a good outcome

As Bob Dylan said in a song...."the only thing I know how to do is keep on keeping on." Today is a good day to start again.

Sorry this is a longer blog. If you are still reading, thank you.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Bill great news about your health. I agree doomscrolling is a terrible habit, something I slipped into for awhile. It just sucks you into a negative space.

    I wish you many happy mornings! emoticon
    255 days ago
    LOVE This!
    You know I read a few years back that the first 90 minutes of the day should be as consistent as possible and positive. I get up early every morning, before the rest of the family and before the noise of the day starts. I listen to the birds and the sunrise. I read scripture and my devotionals. I inhale a couple cups of rich Italian coffee. I listen to my cats purr. I get in 30 minutes moderate exercise. If find that if my day doesn't start like this ... it seems off-kilter, somehow.

    261 days ago
    I hope it goes well with the devotionals. Soooo much better to start the day with something uplifting rather than downdragging!
    264 days ago
    Hey Bill, I can relate to this doomscrolling! I have been doing that right after I do sparking... i watch the covid numbers for my area too... I do have the added stress of hubby going thru chemo and a job change... ya not a good fall at all... I am going to stop d-scrolling and quit watching the numbers..
    Thank you for spelling it out for me!
    265 days ago
  • DRDIVA28
    What you're saying rings true for me. The time I invest first thing in the morning to quiet myself, to give thanks for life, health, and love, to remember that there are no ordinary days, pays dividends the whole day through. It makes a difference in how I end the day too, regardless of what happened in between.
    I know this and yet, too often, I give in to the temptation to get a jumpstart on the day and sacrifice quiet time for some scrap of "productivity". The result is often a frazzled day, a beaten down psyche and ironically, a less productive day overall.
    Thank you for sharing, thank you for the reminder.
    265 days ago
    I read all of your blog Bill. I felt the same, I'd listen to the news and think where is the chocolate. My hubby loves watching the news but now I take myself for a walk or walk on the treadmill and watch something on the ipad. You can do this Bill, you're a fighter. Wishing you all the best with the rest of the challenge. emoticon
    266 days ago
    I like the rise and shine LTGL challenge also. Watching the news at anytime during the day seems to make me depressed any more. Ever since we took our absentee ballots to the board of elections in our county, I have stopped watching the news. Let's kick butt the rest of the challenge Bill. We can do it.
    266 days ago
    It's very good to read that you are "low risk" now. I wish you all the best going forward.

    I find myself doom-scrolling, also, and my husband doesn't mind if the TV stays on the news channels all day. I already have depression and anxiety and all the doom and gloom just makes it worse. When I read something enjoyable or do a chair exercise to music, then I feel better and more at peace.

    Starting the day with a devotional is a great idea. I used to do that years ago and could greatly benefit from starting my day that way.

    Thanks for sharing. It always help to read another's insights.
    266 days ago
    I enjoyed your blog Bill. I too live in West Michigan and have been dreading the long Michigan winter and you are right we get so little sun during these long months.

    Prayers for your cancer treatments. Hope it remains in remission. Good luck to finding new interests. I am also looking forward to growth during the Rise and Shine challenge as I'm not a morning person.
    266 days ago
    About the news. Everything we watch or read is about ratings or marketing. I regard it as a product that it trying to be sold. Yes , news is important but how often is it accurate. I watch the Today show every morning and have noticed that they say the word covid frequently and will insert it when it is not necessary or even relevant to their piece sometimes. They are catering to the peoples interest and our ears perk up at the word covid. Also- when there is no "new" news in any form of media they will rerun or re-iterate what has already been brought to light. For example- the media was told to quit showing the attack on the twin towers because little children thought that this was going on all day long over and over. I am not trying to diminish the seriousness of that horrific event in any way and hope I am not offending anyone, but they replay and reiterate current events daily to keep the peoples attention. Yes these are serious, scary times and our current state of events does increase anxiety but maybe a person should limit their exposure to it in the media.

    Now about the long grey winters- I know alot of people that struggle through depression and lack of motivation in the cold months. I lived in Nebraska for 40 years and I know what it's like. If you have time on your hands- and the long winter is something you dread- it would be a great time to persue a new interest. You don't even have to leave the house. Depression will cause us to put things off. I guarantee if you pursue an old or even a new interest- even if its just a new tv series or video game, time will go faster. It it is a new hobby or new routine that causes you to be more productive and give you a sense of accomplishment, it will boost your mood. My advice would be to get out there and walk every day that you can weather permitting. Fresh air and exercise are good endorphin boosters.
    266 days ago
    The good news? There still 4 weeks left and with your "rise and shine" perspective I am quite sure you will improve.

    "Doomscrolling" quite an appropriate term. True we have no control over outside events.
    Since returning to Spark, I have become better at compartmentalizing. I took my ballot to our registrar's office. No way I can affect anything else.

    Since mid March I have been tracking the covid numbers in my area and the places friends and family live. I have a detailed spreadsheet. The reality is NOT good. No amount of denial will make it better
    Still we must concentrate on what we can control. Take precautions, stay away from the "mask resistent" & follow a healthy plan to reduce the chances of becoming one of those dismal statistics ourselves.

    I have a poster from the 90s "If the apocalypse comes, beep me" (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
    If something really bad happens pretty sure someone will text me. I don't need to anticipate it.

    Hang in there & good luck in the rest of the challenge.

    266 days ago
    266 days ago
  • BJAEGER307
    We definitely had a kinda nice day yesterday. At least it wasn't so bad for the Trick or Treaters. Today (Sunday) is definitely another story. I live on the other side of the state and it's windy and darn cold here. WE actually had snow flurries throughout the day so far. Nothing on the ground, but I'm sure it's going to be an early winter.

    I understand your "lackluster". Way too much negativity out there. I use to watch the news with hubby, but I don't anymore, I just ask him. We just mainly pay attention to the weather. Reading all that negativity does affect you and your subconscious. I know we can't stick our heads in the sand but I limit my time with this kind of information. I also try and find at least one good thing and sprinkle in humor everywhere I can. A good belly laugh can do you wonders.

    Wishing you all the best and time to turn things around for yourself. You deserve it. Take care.

    Good news from your doctor and that should bring you some joy.
    266 days ago
    Been there done that re: doom scrolling. A great spiritual teacher really helped re-center me a few weeks ago. So....I have learned a lot re: what the mindless snacking and even what impact every meal has on insulin and ability to lose weight. Seriously .....invest a few minutes in Intermittent fasting for beginner videos by Dr Eric Berg if you're going to do some internet scrolling. They are short 4-12 min videos. Most 6 minute range. I can thank him for my weight loss and a serious change of habits for the good.
    266 days ago
    Bill, strangely enough, I have had a great deal of anxiety this past month, myself.
    Not me at all and I wondered where that was coming from.
    My city is having some pretty disturbing times and I know this has caused my emotions to start flipping.
    I too, find myself watching the news, Fox and ABC for me, to the point of no return and I have made the conscious effort to go back to my normal routine. Gardening, working, reading scripture, eliminating hurry and remembering that God is in control. Surrounding myself with nature, a comfortable home, family and friends, as best I can and the most exciting thing, I am adopting a little kitten named Samson!
    I am cutting back on my caffeine, as that had been creeping up and yes, I had a couple weeks of too much sugar.
    We have figured this out Bill and I may not have the added stress and emotions of being a cancer survivor, but I am with you on making November a time to get back to a more normal self.
    Keep going, breath, stay calm and look at the world through an artist's eye. See how the light hits the beautiful Camelia even after the rain has beaten it down. November is my favorite month. We are off to a great start. emoticon
    266 days ago
    Great blog and insight. I also find myself with an ever present sense of tension and doom. On one hand, it's good to stay informed, but on the other -- there's a feeling of hopelessness and dread. You make a good point about starting the day on a positive note. Thanks for writing, and best wishes for success in the coming weeks of the challenge! emoticon
    267 days ago
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