How Mrs. Oklahoma International coped while away from her routine
I recently wrote a blog post about finding ways to release stress and anxiety the week leading up to the pageant. And I felt like I was ready to go into pageant week in a great mindset. However, my biggest healthy coping mechanisms involve getting enough sleep, regular exercise and downtime to myself to recover. Hello pageant week to smack me in the face! I asked Mrs. Oklahoma International, who is now one of my dear friends, to step in and do a guest blog to talk about what she did to stay mentally healthy during the long week.
Here’s what she had to say:
Hi! I’m Rebekah Wheeler, a wife, a mom of 2 little boys, a full-time oil and gas professional, the founder of the You Are Enough Movement and Mrs. Oklahoma International 2019! I’m honored to jump in and share a with you guys about how I mentally prepared myself for Mrs. International week. Here are 5 ways I coped with stress and anxiety while I was away from my normal routine:
1. Prior to leaving for the pageant, spend time visualizing each step of the competition week. My anxiety is at an all-time high when I walk into situations where I don’t feel prepared. I planned out my wardrobe down to the shoes, undergarments and jewelry. I left nothing to chance, because it was just one less thing to stress over or think about.
2. Spend time doing things you love! For my fitness preparation for this pageant, I didn’t do anything physically that I didn’t love. I love doing body weight exercises and walking, so I did lots of that! I love doing my cardio in the mornings, while I listen to podcasts to start my day off feeling my best. It just makes me happy, so I did that. One of the hardest things about the pageant week was not having time in the mornings for this part of my routine. I still made time for my podcasts most mornings, but losing my time to get my blood flowing and heart pumping was really hard for me. 3. Find moments of Zen. This is my best-kept secret, and I almost am nervous to share it, but I will. I would sneak away to hide in the bathroom during breaks. We had roommates during the week and spent every waking moment with the other delegates. Alone time was seriously not a thing. So, I’d grab my headphones and my phone and sneak off to the bathroom and jam out to my ‘theme song,’ catch a quick meditation on my app, or catch up with my texts to my hubby. It was the perfect way to recharge my battery as an extrovert who is always ‘on.’
4. Bring snacks with you everywhere! During pageant week, you just never know if the food provided will fit your dietary restrictions if you are vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, etc. or if you are a picky eater! Just plan ahead and throw some healthy snacks that you know will give you tons of energy and keep you going into your bag each morning!! When my blood-sugar drops, I feel my anxiety skyrocket, and I was not about that during this week.
5. Be present. This was not my first ‘big’ pageant, so something I really wanted to do differently this time around was to truly be in the moment every step of the way. I never for one minute got caught up in any drama or gossip. If there was stuff happening around me, I had no idea. I was just having the most fun of my life! I made so many great new friends and strengthened my friendships with the friends I had already made prior to arriving in Charleston. I remember every moment because I was mentally there and not distracted by thinking about the next thing or the drama or the other girls. It was just the most freeing and empowering part of the whole week!
I don’t know yet if I’ll ever get back on a stage as a contestant, but what I do know is pageantry has made me a better woman, wife, mom and volunteer, and it’s given me friendships and relationships that are unlike any I have ever had. I’m so thankful for International Pageants and the opportunities I’ve had so far as Mrs. Oklahoma International. I’m excited to see what the next 8 months have in store for me!!