This is something I hear a lot. It’s probably something I SAY a lot, too. It’s clearly an expression of our frustration with the hand we’ve most recently been dealt. Bigger, better, more pressing things are on our plate. No time for “this!”
There’s lots of things I don’t have time for. Traffic. Lines. Waiting on hold. Verizon’s customer service (My own personal pet peeve. Hey, it’s my blog! I can say that!). But, these mundane examples aside, I feel like I hear it and say it often when it applies to health related topics – my health, to be more specific.
Sometimes it’s about finding time to workout. Or cook a healthy dinner. Or about getting sick. Or getting hurt. Definitely no time for any of this!
I often feel like this when it comes to being chronically ill. It’s exhausting some days. My body feels crappy, my joints hurt, my head feels like it’s in a fog machine. I really, really don’t have time for this.
But, when I back up a second… what do I have time for? Work. Cleaning my house. Commuting. Chores. Paying bills. Playing on facebook. Watching Netflix… None of that includes time for my body to heal.
When you break it down, when you’re sick/injured/feeling less than your normal self, it’s a clear message your body needs time to recoup. It is, in fact, exactly what you should have time for. It’s a time to put a lot of the other stuff aside and focus on getting well. It should be where you are funneling most of your energy, not diverting the depleted resources you have by pushing yourself to keep the same (or as close to it as possible), pace you have when you are well.
I wonder why we feel so much pressure to just keep pushing through and plodding along? Perhaps it’s the idea that so much work will pile up while we rest that we would just rather tackle it all while sick than deal with the mountain that has grown in the meantime. Maybe it’s that we don’t want to disappoint other people and we feel like we need to keep meeting their expectations. Maybe it’s the idea that we don’t meet our own expectations. Or we enjoy the challenge of pushing through, as if it’s a victory to get to the other side without appearing to miss a beat. Or we feel like others will perceive us as weak, lazy, replaceable. Or is it our fear of being weak, lazy, or replaceable and we are then motivated to keep going to outrun that idea. What it comes down to is that we make the “stuff we do” more important than it really is; we make the “stuff we do” more important than ourselves.
Our health is really all we have in this whole world. It’s a cliché phrase tossed around a lot, but seriously – if you were stripped of all material goods, what’s left? You, your body, your soul. Nothing more, nothing less. Exactly as you entered this world. All the rest of the “stuff” we busy ourselves with is just that – stuff. Work, career, money, material objects. None of it really means anything at all without your body.
It’s crazy how we’ve prioritized all these other things in our lives rather than put the focus the one thing that really runs the ship. So, I challenge you to change your thinking. You DO have time for this! If you’re battling something large it may be ALL you have time for. Give your body a chance to be a player. The team is only as strong as the weakest link. If all the stuff you juggle is your team, it’s not a good plan to have your body as the weakest link. Not getting too far without a good coach.
You must figure out how to make YOU important! You have to have time to fit into your own life, with your health being the foundation upon which everything else is built.
Lots of words get thrown around when you think of wellness…healthy, holistic, youthful, exercise, diet…etc. I often get hung up on the idea of wellness being physical…but it’s so much more than how you look!
It’s easy to catch yourself in a mirror and begin to pick yourself apart for physical appearances alone. Why is it that we don’t look in the mirror and say to ourselves that we are amazing? Why aren’t we concerned about our emotional health? Why is it alright for us to tear ourselves down? Imagine you have a daughter and she comes home from school and says to you that someone told her “those jeans make you look like a real fat ass!”. What would you say to her? Would you encourage her and tell her she’s beautiful and strong and not to worry about what other people think? Would you secretly think to yourself, “Well that kid is no prize, why are you worrying about what they think?”. So why are you the one looking in the mirror saying those things to yourself and how did you get into that habit anyway?
Wellness despite popular opinion does not just mean healthy and free of disease, it’s multi-dimensional! It refers to a well state being in all facets of your life, emotionally, physically, spiritually, occupationally socially, and intellectually! There’s no cookie cutter to being well because what works for one will certainly not work for all! What have you done for your overall wellness lately? Do you have any habits you want to kick? Do you find yourself wishing that your life felt more care free?
My rules for wellness are pretty general because you will have to tweak certain things to fit your scenario…start following these and guarantee you will feel a shift in your life!
That title about sums it up. Yep, it’s been a bad week. I mean a knock-down, take the wind out of my sails, kind of week. I really have no words to describe the trauma of the past seven days. Life changing events that you wish you never lived through, and you hope you never have to again. Plus, I had the flu.
I’m not going to dive into the terribleness that was this week. Reliving it is defeating. Talking about it isn’t ‘therapy,’ and hanging onto the vivid memories of it just makes me feel bad. While I know it’s in our human nature to oddly want to know the depressing details about the lives of others, I’m going to take the higher road and explore this week from a helicopter perspective.
When it rains, it pours. Sure does. Life sometimes just seems to slam you from all directions, all at once. One blow after another. “C’mon!! Pick on someone else for a while!” are the words screaming in my head. I also then go through periods of stomping my feet, like a child having a tantrum. “Why? Why me! Why! I don’t deserve this!” Then comes the sad, “feeling sorry for myself” stage. And, WHY so often does the sky come falling down just as soon as you begin a “new”, positive routine or habit?? Happens all the time! I feel like the Universe is mocking me at times!
You know. You’ve been there. Where the constant string of crap just never seems to end. Where you hesitate to pick up the phone, check your email, or look outside because surely the next crazy thing is waiting to pop out from around the next corner and trip you up. Where you’d much rather just build a blanket fort and crawl inside.
What’s amazing to me is that the healthy routine I’ve worked so hard to build often seems to go down the tubes during these times. It’s amazing to me because, why does something I value, do every day, and feel so invested in, just slip away in any moment of chaos or crisis. That, in and of itself, seems deflating. Because once the clouds clear, there I am, starting “all over” again.
Well, “all over” is quite dramatic. It’s really just restarting the same good habits and routine I had prior to the s*&t show that seemed to recently overcome my life. But, why does it seem to take some much effort? And, why do I so easily let my normal routine fall apart? How does negativity so easily breed more negativity? It takes so much power to build yourself up, and one little tiny pin prick to have it all crash down sometimes.
I suppose that’s the journey of life we are all on. Ups and down, rollercoaster. My good habits aren’t far away. They are just at arm’s reach right now. But, as the clouds clear, it is up to me to pull those habits in closer and to get back to business.
We call that relapse. It’s actually even part of the curriculum I teach in my community college personal trainer course. What we teach is so true – relapse isn’t a “bad” word. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It just means you’re off course for the moment. As a Trainer, I wouldn’t think to judge a client that relapses. It’s actually pretty common. So, while it’s no one’s job to judge another, in the same respect, I have to stop beating myself up for relapsing as well.
No one is perfect. In this type of job (well, I guess in a lot of professions), we try hard to be positive role models, live clean lives, and appear to have it all figured out. We don’t. We are people, too. Relapse happens. But, it’s hard to live in that bubble of having it all figured out because it’s not reality. I think it’s more genuine and real to be honest with people, show your true self, and let people see transparently that life is not perfect. No one has it all figured out, we all fall off the wagon, take breaks… relapse.
The secret to relapse is ending it. The sooner the better. Stay in touch with yourself. Check in with how you are feeling, and acknowledge that today may not be the day you’re pulling up your bootstraps, but that you’re going to have to do it soon. Very soon. As in tomorrow. Even if tomorrow doesn’t pan out to be a complete relapse reversal, it’s a start of getting back to your true self. Congratulate yourself on everything you’re doing RIGHT, even if seems silly (btw: it’s not silly at all, and even if it was, being silly is fun and we all need a bit more fun in our lives :).
Let’s be honest, that positive routine you had before the s$%t show struck is the “real” you. It’s okay to lose touch now and again. Just check in with yourself, have the hard conversations, and I’m betting you’ll be back on track pretty soon. It’s when we let the s$%t show spiral, that we – as in our health – also spirals. Then it’s a hell of a mess to clean up.
So, I had the conversation with myself today. Tomorrow is the beginning of a new week. The bad week is behind me. Back to the normal me. Life goes on. I, once again, remember why I chose the healthy track. It’s a daily reminder, but personally, I hate cleaning up s%^t, so the sooner I’m back on track, the better!