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stress coping techniques?
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I'm concerned that I'm stressing when I plan morning (as in pre-work get up extra early) workouts. I'm sleeping like CRAP the night before one of these planned morning adventures. I'm waking up 'too early' - like if I'm planning on getting up at 5:45am, I wake up at 4:30-4:45am and never get back to sleep.
Last night was a touch worse... I met a friend at their gym this morning and I know I was stressing about making sure I remembered all my work clothes, vitamins, and I know I was stressing about what I was going to eat for breakfast - we didn't really have anything portable in the house...and I have too long of a drive to wait until I get to work, and it's not like there's food in the office anyway.

One other - I am new to morning stuff as of September. I thought the waking up too early was because of my board exams. But now I'm wondering...

So I wake up more than usual in the night and wake up too early, thinking about my morning workout, and don't get back to sleep. Makes for a long tiring day. I've tried positive self-talk during these times. It's too late to 'take anything' when I only have an hour left of sleep.

Any suggestions?
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Re: stress coping techniques? [determination] [ In reply to ]
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Do EVERYTHING the night before. Have your bag packed & ready to go. If you have food that needs to be in the fridge - write yourself a note with everything that needs to leave the house with you. Then you can go to bed knowing that all you have to do is get up, look at the list & get out the door.

It sounds kind of lame (and sometimes I feel lame when I do it), but if I'm trying to pack the family for a trip I find as soon as I start writing stuff down I relax. If I start fretting about it again, I will either add to the list or remind myself that it's all there for me to see.

Are you afraid you are going to sleep through a workout & that's why you wake up extra early? What's the worst that happens if you miss a workout?
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Re: stress coping techniques? [determination] [ In reply to ]
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I wake really early (before the alarm) for some "special" workouts or races. I think it's a common problem. I agree w/ laying everything out the night before. Also, if you can, wake at the same time every morning. I know when I've been getting up at 4:30 to workout, I usually end up waking up at that time on non workout days just cause my body clock is set to that time. Try to make a pattern of your sleeping habits.
And it does get better as it gets more routine. If you continue to go to the gym w/ your friend, you probably won't stress out as much as it becomes a normal thing to do. It's usually the first time to meet a group or do new routine that stresses me out, after that, it settles down.

Good luck.
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Re: stress coping techniques? [nad] [ In reply to ]
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I definitely do everything the night before. All my clothes laid out, food ready, etc. Everything. I know I can't do it that morning.
And it's not falling asleep that is the problem, just STAYING asleep.
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Re: stress coping techniques? [determination] [ In reply to ]
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meditation/mindfullness. There are free ones you can find on the internet...start with 5 minutes once a day (morning or night) and work up to 10-15 minutes. and then when you wake up it's a great way to fall back to sleep. If it happens to me I focus on breathing in and breathing out. If you are thinking about that it's hard to think about other things, but when they sneak in, literally think to yourself you are kicking them out of your mind. Sounds cheesy, but it works.

I also pack bags for workouts for an entire week, and put a note in the top of what I need to add in the morning (garmin, bike shoes, helmet...things I only have 1 of) and always have a bag in my car with backup in case I did forget something.

Once you do it enough it's a routine. But having everything ready the night before (including breakfast) it makes it easier
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Re: stress coping techniques? [determination] [ In reply to ]
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I sympathize - it's hard to function, let alone work out, when you don't sleep well. Are you working out every morning? I know I do better if I stick to the same schedule all the time, but getting up at 4:30 when I don't really need to is just painful sometimes. I think my natural sleep cycle would involve going to bed at 11:00 or 12:00 and sleeping until 7:00 or 8:00, but that doesn't work with my life.

After having my workouts derailed a couple of times because I forgot a key piece of equipment/clothing, I keep a spare of everything in a basket in my car. I also keep a change of clothes (including a bra and underwear), a pair of shoes, basic toiletries, supplements/meds, and some food and snacks in my office. We're lucky to have a locker room with showers/towels and a lounge with a nice-sized refrigerator and microwave, so I usually haul all of my food and replacement clothes in on Monday so I'm set for the week.

As someone else mentioned, making lists helps - I have a file saved with lists of what to pack for local races, ones that involve a hotel stay, hot races, cooler races, and everything else I could think of. I list everything including my bike ;-) I tape a note to my steering wheel if there's something I can't pack ahead - frozen water bottles, for example.

Good luck!
Diane
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Re: stress coping techniques? [mdiane630] [ In reply to ]
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Believe me, I never get up at 4 or 4:30 am on purpose...
I'm trying to wake up at 5:30 or 5:45am for morning workouts. Non-morning workout days my husband's alarm starts going off at 6:10am anyway. So it's not a HUGE change... if I'm doing the 5:45 thing. Less than an hour different on either account.
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Re: stress coping techniques? [determination] [ In reply to ]
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I've the same issue: Can't sleep when I make plans to train with someone early in the morning. I toss and turn worrying and sometimes dreaming I missed the workout and disappointed my training partner. I know I sound very silly.

The only thing that works for me is going to bed early, but that doesn't always work, because I still wake up in the middle of the night. I often think about just getting up and adding an extra workout, but than I know I'll be tired for the rest of the day.

My favorite time to workout is at lunch. :)
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Re: stress coping techniques? [mdiane630] [ In reply to ]
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I'll try the list technique. I'm already doing the lay everything out the night before technique.
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Re: stress coping techniques? [determination] [ In reply to ]
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If you're worried about sleeping in and missing the workout, how about setting a backup alarm (or two)? When I have a race, I'll set my alarm clock, my phone, and even my kitchen timer.
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Re: stress coping techniques? [determination] [ In reply to ]
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I've read that your body goes in blocks of time as part of it's rhythm. Sleep cycles for some people are 60 minutes - 90 minutes. I find that when I wake up multiple times during the night it is around 90 minutes apart. If I wake up before my alarm is due I start worrying about whether falling back to sleep is worth it. Should I just get up and make coffee? Is another hour of sleep going to help or make it worse to get out of bed? Blah blah blah.

I'd advise just getting up. Laying in bed worrying is only making it worse. Give in, get up, and have some coffee.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Jen - @ultragrrl

"In order to keep a true perspective on one's importance, everyone should have a dog that worships him and a cat that will ignore him." - Dereke Bruce
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Re: stress coping techniques? [mdiane630] [ In reply to ]
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I can honestly say it's not worrying about sleeping through an alarm. I've never slept through an alarm... the 'early workout' alarm is one I used for an entire year to wake up for work 4x per week... it's rock solid.
I hate to have multiple alarms just for me - it would be awfully annoying for my husband.
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Re: stress coping techniques? [determination] [ In reply to ]
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That's what motivates me to get up with the first alarm - I'd rather be groggy and tired than have to listen to how I messed up his entire day because my alarms kept going off ;-) But having the backups helps me to sleep - I guess it's from living for the last 20+ years in a neighborhood where our power goes out randomly and regularly.

The sleep cycle info is probably a good explanation, though. It might be something where normally you could go back to sleep, but if you know you have to get up in a short time, your mind goes into gear and it's hard to shut it down. Isn't there a watch that somehow wakes you up at the "best" time in your sleep phase cycle, closest to when you actually want to get up?

determination wrote:
I hate to have multiple alarms just for me - it would be awfully annoying for my husband.
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Re: stress coping techniques? [mdiane630] [ In reply to ]
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Yeah, power outages are a bummer. The alarm I use is just my timex ironman watch. Works like a charm.

I mess up his day anyway, apparently. He says he doesn't sleep after I get up. Ah well. It happened again this morning. I have a standing date with a friend for us to run Monday mornings. So it's not like it's a new routine. Sigh. OH well.
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Re: stress coping techniques? [determination] [ In reply to ]
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One thing I learned (the hard way) is to make yourself a morning person before you make plans to workout in the am. I used to have the same anxiety about not being able to fall asleep if I had a workout early in the am. Mostly because I knew I didn't like getting up and wasn't rational in thinking I'd do the workout later so I'd go back to sleep. Then I'd be mad at myself all day and feel like I'd failed at something before I got out of bed. It was a downward spiral that led to me being anxious about being anxious. Meditation before/as I was going to bed helped me fall asleep and I just didn't plan any am workouts until I was a month into being a morning person (a lot of coffee helped that)!
Last edited by: SpicedRum: Feb 3, 14 20:24
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Re: stress coping techniques? [GhiaGirl] [ In reply to ]
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meditation/mindfullness

This is a great idea. I'm surprised that more people don't utilize this to reduce their anxiety and the stress in their lives. It costs nothing, you don't have to have your insurance company approve it, you don't need a doc's prescription, it's drug free and you can do it anywhere or anytime. Like most things, the more you do it, the better at it you get. I try to get in two meditation sessions a day. Over the years I've had a noticable improvement in my ability to manage my thoughts and emotions. Give it a shot. you have nothing to lose but your stress.

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Re: stress coping techniques? [squid] [ In reply to ]
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I read something one time that said something like- those wgimsaybthey don't have time to meditate need to meditate the most.

Meditating help ps with a lot of things. It helps with self control. Teaching yourself to not think about anything, returning your thoughts to specific things teaches you to do things you might not want to in other parts if life.

I think you can even meditate riding the trainer. Just start spinning and play a guided meditation for 5-10 minutes.
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Re: stress coping techniques? [GhiaGirl] [ In reply to ]
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It helps with self control. Teaching yourself to not think about anything

true. Over time you you come to realize that you have control over your thoughts and emotions rather than your thoughts and emotions having control over you. It's very freeing. It doesn't happen all at once and it doesn't happen completely in every situation but there sure is a noticable improvement if you make the effort. It's like you become an objective observer of your experience. "oh, here come those angry thoughts about Fred again." or "oh it's those thoughts of someone being disappointed in me, again"

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Re: stress coping techniques? [determination] [ In reply to ]
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This could be written about me!!! I now know I am not alone. :) I only do stuff with hubby now because of it. The breaking point for me was making plans to ride with a friend, meeting at 5am. At 4:30 I was STILL AWAKE (yep, the whole night) and had to text and cancel ride. That was when I realised it just wasn't for me. Are there any websites anyone can point me towards to learn more about "mindfulness"?
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Re: stress coping techniques? [Mr + Mrs C.C.] [ In reply to ]
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Just goggle "mindfulness meditation". There's plenty of info. Good luck!
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