Danger: Stress Levels

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It is almost noon on Monday and I feel that time is feverishly ticking away at an accelerated rate.  I have not even scratched the surface on my to do list that I set out for today and feel even greater anxiety when I remember that I haven’t even made it into the shower yet.  The interesting thing is what I am stressed about is self-imposed as I consistently have unrealistic set of expectations as to what one average human being should or could accomplish in a given day. I really need to get a handle on this one fast for this is one stressor I truly can control but it seems like the only way to overcome it would be a personality change, which I am working on 🙂

On the flip side, I have made some huge gains on dealing with stress outside of my control.  Last week I interviewed a new Respite worker, for our current one is busy with school right now and is only available once a week for the next bit, and this candidate proved very promising.  She met Reilly on Wednesday and I invited her to come back on Friday for her first shift.  We then worked out a schedule for the next few weeks; which involved her coming over almost daily during the week from 3-6 pm.  I thought I hit the respite lottery and mentally started planning what I was going to do with this new found time and energy.

Only to find out this morning by the Agency, my new Respite Worker doesn’t want to continue because of the lifting demands.   Surprisingly I am taking this better than I would have in the past.  I am not sure if my new successful coping strategy is related to simply having lowered expectations to begin with or I am simply grateful that the Respite worker had the maturity to sever a relationship with the girls rather than after a bond was created. I believe the answer lies on both sides of the coin.

 

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More Evidence to Exercise!

Anyone who runs regularly can attest to the mental benefits in addition to the obvious physical ones.  I honestly believe that running played a crucial role in keeping me sane during the first few years of managing the challenges associated with Rett Syndrome. Up until recently though scientists couldn’t exactly explain how this mental health relationship actually works within our bodies.

The good news is they are getting closer to understanding how exercise at a cellular level can improve our mental health.  In early October 2013 research was published indicating they have identified a protein called FNDC5 that gets produced in muscle cells during exercise and then gets released into the bloodstream.  This protein or related byproduct can then  cross the blood brain barrier and thus affect the inner workings of the brain, and thus our mental health.  In their mice studies, they found that exercise also increases the production of FNDC5 in the hippocampus, a brain region responsible for learning and memory. This has important implications in being able to mitigate the development of certain diseases like Alzheimers or Parkinsons.

Although the research community still has more work to do on the scientific front, there is more than ample evidence out there already establish a strong relationship between exercise and physical and mental benefits.  Prior to this article I didn’t need any more convincing to get active again but reading it only reaffirms the priority it should take in all of our lives.

Source:  Science. Protein Pathway Links Exercise to Brain Health. October 18th, 2013 Vol 342