Are You Taking Care Of You?
Staying well through the tough times...
Life has it's peaks and valleys and then there are those in between times - I liken them to a freefall, a time where you know whats coming, it's inevitable - it's that space in time before you hit the ground. It's at this time, if we aren't paying attention, that we can slip through the cracks and let ourselves go.
As a fitness professional, part of my job is to maintain a certain level of fitness and to lead by example as best I know how. I pride myself on my consistent practice and in keeping myself fit and healthy year after year. But, I am human after all and, just like everyone else, I have a life outside of my work.
So far it has been a rough year and, as I write this, my family and I will be losing someone very dear to us. This process has turned us all upside down. Sadly, some of you may be all too familiar with this experience in your own life. Based on my own observations I can honestly say that it's right here, in this ugliness, that it becomes absolutely necessary to dig deep and find out what we are made of.
There is no handbook that I am aware of and every individual handles their personal situation differently. I thought that I'd share here on my blog some advice on how to perhaps better manage the arduous days ahead. My hope is that perhaps it will be of benefit and encouragement in some way to someone in a similar circumstance.
#1 Make yourself a priority. You can't even begin to look after anyone else if you, yourself, are ignoring your own health and well being. Take time-outs. Really just allow yourself to carve out a bit of me time, whatever that means to you. It's a vital part of life when all is going well and even more so during a difficult time.
#2 This is not the time (for me, at least) to set ambitious fitness/strength goals, pr's or challenges. Having said that, it's also not a good time to be completely inactive. My only goals week to week at this point, are to get a 30-45 minute practice in twice a week and to soak in a hot tub for 30 minutes at least twice a week as well. Not lofty, but I can do this. That's the point. Finding time away from the chaos and allowing myself to recharge has helped me tremendously. However, I do have to constantly remind myself to do this.
#3 Once you've set a minimum that is almost too easy, stick to it. This will allow you to add more activity in if you are up to it and, if not, That's okay too. If I have more time, I'll add a yoga class, walk the beach trail or test my lifts on a day 3 practice.
#4 Drinking any more than what is your fair share does not help any situation and could make matters much worse. Period.
#5 Accept help when it is offered. Don't be a martyr, allow people to be blessed by doing what they can to help you. Let them be a friend to you. Also, get really good at delegating as needed. This is a must.
#6 Be flexible and kind to yourself, and, be flexible and kind to everyone you come into contact with, especially those in the trenches with you. You never know what is going on in other peoples lives. We've all got problems.
#7 Don't disappear. If you find yourself unable to cope, please tell someone and get the help you need to create a sense of normalcy and balance in your life. If you haven't seen a friend around, why not give them a call or shoot them a text. Let them know you are thinking of them. Getting a sweet text or note has truly boosted my morale on numerous occasions.
#8 Finally, be sensible with nutritional needs. If I can't prepare my own meals and I'm out with others, I'll try to choose food that satiates me and will keep me going. Also, I'll do my best not to go down the comfort food vortex which has a tendency to make me crash and burn.
Most importantly, accepting the things that I cannot change has made every day that much more bearable and positive.