Well, the topic of this post is more like a goal I have set for myself today. I realize that there is a pattern in my life of stressful times interrupting my healty routines and throwing me off for weeks on end, and I am determined to reverse it.
When I start to experience increased stress and burden in my everyday life, for whatever reason ( i.e. work, relationships, illness, etc) the first thing that seems to get threatened is my self care and health. The tendency is for me to give up exercise and healthy eating during high stress times even though they usually DECREASE my stress in very tangible ways. I think there is a dysfunctional formula running through my mind when I’m stressed out that equates exercise and healthy eating with requiring too much Effort…with a capital E. I then feel the need to drop them for a while in order to reduce my stress, which is generally the combination of too many things requiring too much effort in a short period of time! It makes sense to drop some things when you’re stressed in order to relax a bit and start feeling better, but it doesn’t make sense to drop the things that keep you healthy and better able to handle challenges. Haha. Just another insidious version of self sabotage.
This week I am still trying very hard to recover from the exhausting and emotionally trying two-week period I just experienced, and it’s so much harder because I dropped the ball with exercise and healthy eating and now have to pick it up again after losing momentum. I had to reckon with myself today and acknowledge that I have to build that momentum again slowly because I feel physically and mentally drained right now and don’t feel able to jump right back in. I have therefore had to simplify my health goals this week to light exercise as much as I can fit in before Sunday and simply reducing my calories wherever possible to prevent any weight gain.
On the plus side, I seem to be getting better at taking care of myself and being gentle with myself when it’s needed in order to get stronger and eventually back into routine! But, as I have explained, I think there is a lot of merit to me finding better ways of coping with stress in the long run!
I am going to take the next couple of months to pay close attention to my stress patterns and my health choices and hope to achieve a better sense of balance. I don’t like this whole losing momentum business. It is very frustrating and feels wasteful, if you know what I mean.
More on this as I grow in it!