It’s amazing how resilient the human body can be, as we go about our daily business our bodies are sorting and storing memories, fighting germs and regenerating cells. Meanwhile we keep marching on the treadmill of life as time just passes us by. I find myself constantly planning for the future; what to eat this week, when to see friends and family, upcoming work deadlines and saving for house/car/holiday/stuff. My brain is so full of the future I struggle to recall what I did this morning!
Some may say this is life and it’s best to suck it up and get on with it. That’s fine to a certain degree, I mean let’s face it if we didn’t plan for the future at all we could very easily find ourselves in difficulty. However there comes a point when we need a stopping cue. Stopping cues are something I learned about in a TED talk in relation to social media. It explained how without a natural stopping cue such as the end of a chapter in a book or an ad break in TV programme we can find ourselves mindless scrolling through pages of social media that has no end. If we’re honest that’s a bottomless pit we have all found ourselves in!!! We need a moment that makes us consider our options and what we want to do next.
So what about life? what are our stopping cues? I guess the sun sets and seasons change but this doesn’t always cause us to pause. With shift work and overtime, 24 hour bars and restaurants, movies and box sets at our fingertips, it’s all to easy to stay on the treadmill, in fact even our Gyms are open 24hrs if you want to make that analogy more literal!!……. just keep going, just keep going.
You have to ask yourself what toll this takes on our body, not just physically but mentally. Personally I find myself getting tired, no matter how much sleep I get. I recently came down with cold, in the middle of August, so I knew something was up. My concentration lapses and my temper can fray, the longer I trudge away on the treadmill the weaker I become.
The great thing is that this is all reversible and the more regularly we tend to this fatigue the less time it takes to recover. So this week I have booked myself a rebalance week. Time out of the office where I can tend to myself. The “staycation” is not a new concept but I’m not filling my time with day trips or house renovations. I am allowing myself space to iron out the kinks that have formed over the last 6 months or so, slow the treadmill down a few notches and catch my breath.
There are 4 main ways I will be doing this:
Often when life gets manic my meal plans and balanced diet are the first things to go. I reach for quick and easy meals which don’t fuel me efficiently and, if I’m honest, don’t taste that great. I aim to bring the joy back to cooking, try some new recipes, lower the meat content and increase my fruit and veg intake, simple stuff but we all need reminding occasionally.
When you are feeling run down it’s hard to motivate yourself to exercise and before you know it days are spent at a desk and evenings sat in front of Netflix. I was shocked by a recent BBC news report which found 41% of adults in England (aged 40-60yrs) do not manage a 10 minute walk per month!! Despite my recent sedentary lifestyle I am being kind to myself (guilt and punishment have never produced the best results in me). I aim to practice yoga and take the dog for a nice long walk each day and as the endorphins reintroduce themselves to my system my fitness regime will kick back in.
Let’s face it there’s a ton of stuff we’d rather be doing than work; writing blogs, taking photos, drinking tea etc. etc. So I will be carving out some time to reconnect with what makes me smile, looking through the lens and finding inspiration. There are numerous studies linking creativity to improved mental health so don’t be shy – go write, paint, sing, dance or invent your way to happiness.
Human beings are not lone creatures, we are designed to connect with each other. You may spend your work life “connecting” but how much of it do you enjoy? I will be catching up with friends and family whether face to face, phone or Skype, it’s time to listen and reconnect in a more meaningful way.
So it seems I will be pretty busy after all, but it will all be at my own pace. Schedules and appointments are not the way to rebalance! I’ll be taking a leisurely stroll through the week, acknowledging my progress and any hurdles with gentle kindness.
I’m lucky enough to have a week to do this, which I understand is a complete luxury. As I said before the more we make rebalance part of our routine the less time it takes. So think about scheduling yourself some time and prioritise what you could address to feel more balanced. It’s as easy as A,B,C……..
Allow yourself time and space
Care for yourself
I’d love to hear how you rebalance, please share in the comments below and follow my week on Instagram #7dayrebalance