Daily Structure: Trying Something New


Over the past few months I have struggled with both anxiety and dieting. It’s a compounding issue where issues with one have a tendency to affect the other.

Being on Keto seems to have a profound positive impact on my anxiety. I feel more energetic and positive about things when I am eating a ketogenic diet, and getting off the diet seems to immediately have a negative impact on my overall view on life.

Most of my challenges seem to stem from surges in stress and anxiety either due to factors outside of my control within my personal life, or factors outside of my control at work. Whenever something derails my daily life, I find myself unable to maintain my diet. Even if I can stave off the binge eating, it will eventually happen as I try to cope with the sudden increase in stress.

Today I ultimately felt like a mental health day was something I desperately needed. While things are getting better, I am still dealing with a lot of unresolved issues both in my personal life and at work which has led me back down into the binge eating rabbit hole. Even this morning I found myself at the gas station picking up a breakfast burrito, complete with plenty of carbs.

I’ve spent a decent amount of time simply reviewing how the past few weeks have gone, where it was that my dieting went off the rails, and the different factors which seemingly have a negative influence over my eating and coping habits and am finding the biggest culprit to be how such events impact the structure of my day.

Establishing a New Daily Schedule

Close friends of mine know I have a Google calendar set up that shows my general work hours, the time I spend in commute, and my sleep hours. I keep that open so those who want to schedule something to do will have a decent idea of when I am normally available. While it’s not always the most accurate, it is a pretty decent depiction of when I am available to do things.

I decided to update my calendar a little bit to give me some gentle reminders about sleep. Sleep has been one of the challenges I have had lately as it’s difficult for me to remember to take sleep medicine or start heading myself towards bed.

On Sunday through Thursday my phone will give me a simple reminder an hour before I need to be in bed to take my medicine and prepare for sleep. At this point I will take some melatonin to help push me in that direction and ensure that I have brushed my teeth. By having a simple routine and a reminder, I can add some structure to the very end of the day.

Monday through Friday I will also have a note card written up that gives me a reminder of all of the things I need to do first thing in the morning. Some of it will also have to do with the preparation the night before. For example, if I want to save some time in the morning, I can schedule my coffee machine to begin brewing shortly before I am scheduled to wake up.

Each morning I need to ensure I have had my coffee, have done my morning stretches, and have cleaned up my room enough to feel comfortable with it. Cleaning generally involves cleaning up the bed area and taking care of any clothes that might be on the floor. If I am feeling particularly energetic, I may also opt to sweep the floor in the morning so my room feels extra clean when I get home.

By doing this, I am giving myself these daily cues to keep things together. By making sure I have these reminders, I can help keep myself on track even when there are stressors impacting my life. It can hopefully help me reduce my anxiety as I continue to navigate some of the challenges life has put in front of me lately.

Returning to Keto

Tonight is my final night of being able to eat carb-loaded food. However, I am going to take it easy tonight and have a normal dinner. My main objective is to start a fasting period tonight, and to continue into a two-day fast for Tuesday and Wednesday. When I get home on Wednesday, I will allow myself to break the fast with a Keto-friendly snack followed by a Keto-friendly meal shortly after.

My aim is to return to a healthy eating schedule in addition to a healthy diet. Returning to a ketogenic diet means needing to ensure that I am getting all of the necessary supplements, so that too will be included in my daily reminders and morning routine.

Dealing With The Lows

Without fail there will be a time where I don’t feel like keeping with this schedule. It will generally be when things are getting stressful either at work or with factors in my personal life. When these times happen, I just need to ensure that I keep the notifications going and put in the effort to keep things moving.

When I am struggling with things, rather than dwelling on them, I am going to turn to my blog and my personal journal to get my thoughts out there. Writing about things that are bothering me does have a tendency to make me feel better, so I need to be leveraging that over the next few months to make some meaningful progress in both my physical and my mental health.

Dealing with the lows is probably the biggest challenge right now. Once I get the ball rolling on dieting and exercise I seem to do well until stress and anxiety derail the entire thing. Back in the days before the pandemic, I actually have a lot of success with the dieting aspect. However, my strategy for dealing with the anxiety was generally leaning on alcohol to get me through the night. I am obviously not going to return to doing that.

Rather than finding a replacement substance, I need to find a healthier way to deal with stress and anxiety. While I could find something to do, stress also tends to wear me out and stop me from having the energy to actually get things done. I need to find a way to keep myself going on difficult days that doesn’t require me to abuse caffeine.

Closing Thoughts

A lot of what I am trying to do in my personal life now is stuff that has positively impacted me in my professional life. By giving myself structure in my personal life, I am hoping I can replicate that success. Ever since my wake-up call towards the beginning of 2022, I have come a long way in my career.

Most of that success comes from my planning and documentation of projects. I am hoping to take some of the lessons I learned from that and apply them in my personal life to get things back on track there as well. While it remains to be seen whether or not this has a lasting impact, I am hopeful I can make meaningful change on both my physical and my mental health.

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