Giving myself permission to slow down
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
I have always been a busy person. Early childhood training included getting household chores done and taking care of my younger siblings and pets before being able to have fun. These lessons were carried into adulthood, helping me to manage my role as a single mother of two young children with separate schedules and a house and yard to care for.
Now, the kids are grown, but I seem to be busier than ever. I have a job that often requires long hours and weekend work, and I help with my husband’s business afterward my regular job. I also take care of our house, laundry, and errands. My youngest keeps pointing out that I am not 30 any more (heck, I'm not 50 any more either). Oh, and let’s add COVID!
To help manage stress, I exercise regularly. However, for the past few months my stress levels have been REALLY high. I began to gain inches around my belly, and I found myself pushing harder and longer during my workouts. I reached a point where I was perpetually tired and achy with no change in the stress-related belly gain.
A few days ago while driving to the park to work out, a radio talk show host mentioned the same symptoms, and his doctor told him that he was working out too hard. Was that my problem?
As I started my workout, I had no energy and my body felt heavy. I sighed, got back in my car, and called my chiropractor. The adjustment proved that my body was all out of whack, and a massage was scheduled for the next day. Working out the muscle knots caused me to ache tremendously, which had never happened after previous massages.
That evening I sat and thought about my routine lately, and (of course) I researched my next steps. The general consensus was to stop. Scale back on exercise. Learn to relax and let go.
These go against my nature – I just do not sit still. I have a reputation at work for getting things done, often in a surprisingly short amount of time. However, it is killing me. Activities that used to bring joy no longer do, and sleep can sometimes be hard to come by.
So, I am taking a week off from exercise to give me a change to heal, practicing mindfulness and relaxation, and trying really hard to let go. I have purchased books, bubble bath, and facial masks, and a mani/pedi is scheduled. Let the healing begin!