Mindful Monday – Healthy Living: Stress & Your Heart

Welcome to Mindful Monday – Healthy Living! Each week I try to examine new or sometimes old things about myself on my journey to becoming healthier. I have found that being mindful encompasses the act of being watchful, aware, wary, heedful, alert, careful, or attentive, in whatever area in my life I feel it applies to, as I attempt to live in the present. Come and join me on my journey. You never know what you will learn about yourself.

…to all of you who have left comments and cheered me on and are interested in accompanying me on this journey to healthy living! Together, we can offer support and ideas to make this road to “healthy,” a fun journey! Don’t forget to do a pingback in your post so I can find you! ❤

I hope you will visit the blogs of all who joined me for the journey last week:

Judy, from Edwina’s Episodes

Hebatullah, from Heba vs. Reason

Erika Kind

Bee, from Just Fooling Around with Bee

Vasantha, from My Sweet Nothings

Olga, from Just Olga (Check out the great inside workout video she shared:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4IH12Piuf4

Bee, from a Spirit of Healing

Amy, from Reade & Write

Van, from Van by the River

Carolyn, from Miscellaneous & Recommendations


Judith Barrow Blog

Melissa, from Aran Island Girl (Melissa asked about eggs being omitted from the Mediterranean Diet – here is more info on that: http://www.uhs.wisc.edu/health-topics/healthy-lifestyle/documents/Mediterranean.pdf)

Melissa Barker-Simpson

Brew & Spew

My Journey with Hijab

From World’s Kitchen

A Momma’s View

Michelle, from Book Chat

Seasoned Sistah2

Helen, from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time

I feel so energized and inspired when I read all of your comments and suggestions each week. If you don’t feel like you are getting healthier you should, at least, feel inspired by our wonderful community! Together it seems like we encourage each other to attain our goals.

February is American HEART month!

Image credit:
Eastern Arizona Courier.com

Since the month of February is dedicated to heart health, I thought we should talk about stress and stress management. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests women are more susceptible to stress than men. I feel like that has a lot to do with our lifestyles and the demands women feel in the world today. Even though I am now retired, I too, feel stress. Most of my stress is self-made, though… SOUND familiar?

Women are trying to juggle the wearing of many hats in their lives today compared to women in the 1960’s. The worst part is they feel inferior if they cannot accomplish all the tasks on any given day in a spectacular manner! Social media has fueled this controversy as women hurry to post images and posts about their successes online reminding other women that they too should be as perfect as them. Talk about stress! Phew!

Take a look at what stress does to your ❤ and body:

Image Credit: heartmath.com

All of this stress contributes to a rise in heart disease in women. Add in weight gain, lack of exercise, and the lack of trained professionals who can recognize a heart attack in women (vs. men – there are HUGE differences) and we are left with managing our own heart health.

Image credit: Shine265 Marshfield Clinic.org

Technically, being responsible for your heart health is not a bad thing. I figure we are responsible for our bodies so we need to take some steps to ensure we are doing all that we can. Remember, these are only my views and opinions. I am NOT a physician and urge all of you to talk to your doctors about your own heart health journeys. YOUR life might depend on it!!

Here are some HEART DISEASE facts to think about:

Image credit: Scripps.org

Stress is a scary thing. This past week, I pushed myself hard – too hard. I have set some lofty goals about getting my book finished and published by my birthday in April. I may have bit off more than I can chew. This is my first book and I don’t really have a clue about self-publishing. Wait… I do have help. I am not alone. I have a mentor that is available to help me whenever I ask.

Actually, I have tons of mentors who will help me… if I ask! That being said, I worked diligently all week pounding away at the keyboard, anyway.

Here’s what I found out about myself:

  1. I visualize my characters and the situations in my mind as I write. I experience it like I am living the actual scenes. I believe I am a visual and intuitive writer. Cool, huh? Well, yes and no. I also write while I am sleeping which interrupts my sleep. That means that I wear myself out quickly. My thinking becomes slow and I have to take a step back. In other words, I stress myself out too much if all I do is write for 6+ hours a day/night.
  2. I have to take breaks from my intense writing. Because of the 16 inches of snow we received this week, my exercise pattern was disrupted. I should have turned to a YouTube video for exercise. I did not do that.
  3. I hate breaking promises to people. If I say I am going to review a book on a certain day, I do that. My Type A personality kicks in and I strive for perfection. Even though it causes me stress.


Now, here is what I should have done last week to stop the stressors I let rule me:

I should HAVE: done some yoga or meditation!

Try: 30 Days of Yoga Start here!

I should HAVE: bundled up and gone outside and played in the snow!

I should HAVE: taken a nap!

Bottom line, I needed to give myself a break. I had to realize the world is not going to end if I don’t finish that review this week… (actually, I didn’t finish the review and we are are all still here). If my book takes longer to write and publish, so be it. I must stop putting undue stress in my life when there is no reason for it.

How did I overcome my self-induced stress attack? I took two days off from writing, blogging, and social media. I kept everything at a minimum. We left the house and I got some fresh air. I went shopping and I took a walk. I started to crochet a mini blanket for my grand daughter’s Guinea pigs, something I had promised her I would do.

I took a fabulous free writing course from AutumnWriting.com. The change of scenery made me feel energized and ready to write again!

How did I do on my healthy goals last week?

Because I made poor choices, my weight loss stalled – again. The weight I lost the week before came right back. When this happens, it is a signal that your body has found a set point and you are on a plateau.


A plateau happens when you have lost weight and your metabolism declines. Now you are burning fewer calories than you did when you were heavier. This slower metabolism s l o w s down your weight loss efforts, even if you are eating the same amount of calories you ate that helped you lose the weight in the first place. The equation is simple:

A plateau happens when the calories you are burning equal the same amount of the calories you eat. There is only one remedy: decrease your caloric intake or increase your physical activity! The Mayo Clinic has a great article on plateaus here.

My goal for this week:

I am going to decrease my food intake this week. I need to really watch my intake of sweets. Yes, I know. Cold weather makes me hungry. That is a fact. I am sure this is a survival instinct from ancient man that still rears its ugly head, especially if you are a woman. We had a blizzard, I made a cake! Now there is nothing wrong with this if I can get out and walk or exercise it off. You all know the rest of this story!

(I hope the Broncos WON!)

So, I need to really watch what I am eating this week. For Superbowl Sunday, we skipped all the rest of the chips, dips, etc. I made a small batch of brownies. That was it. I can have two brownies 2 inches by 2 inches this week. That is it!

My mantra for the week is: I must be good to my heart, by being good to me. ❤

My plan is to step away from the computer and to take some additional time walking this week. The snow is melting and the temperatures are going to be in the high 50’s all week.

I am going to continue taking some time out for crafts. Working with my hands keeps my brain in a focused and relaxing place.

I am going to restructure my thoughts so I do NOT catastrophize. I will step back and ask myself why I am pushing myself so hard. There is no race to the finish line.

HungryGirl ROCKS: Here’re some great links for you to read:

18 Calorie Burning Tricks for Exercise Haters

Healthy Recipes With Large Portion Sizes

5 Ingredient Meals for 350 Calories or Less

Slow Cooker Veggie Soup 0 SmartPoints

Healthy Pasta SWAP recipes

How about you? What are your healthy living goals for the week?

Have a wonderful week! If you would like to join me in your own healthy living journey, please do. Use whatever program works for you. You do not even have to follow a program if you don’t want to. The whole idea is to start thinking about ways that you can become healthier and fit. This includes going gluten-free, fat-free, lactose-free, starting an exercise program, or even a new way of eating such as becoming a vegetarian. If it has to do with becoming healthy, write about it!

Link to my post with a ping back each week in a separate post on your own blog. I will add your blog to a list of healthy living supporters that others can visit to gain motivation on each of my Mindful Monday Healthy Living posts. Together we can become healthier!


Remember, this is not a challenge.  Each of us has different goals that we wish to attain. This is an offering of support and a place where my online community can come to participate in attaining a healthy lifestyle.  If you would like to join in with your own Mindful Monday – Healthy Living goals you can do so in the comments, or on a separate post of your own making.  If you want to link back to my post, please feel free to do so, however, it is not necessary.  My main aim here is to give and get support to become more mindful of my journey to healthy living.

Thanks for being part of my fabulous journey to a healthy lifestyle. Don’t forget to share your journey. ❤ No matter what your goals are in becoming more healthy, together we can do it!



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