Stress challenge day 7: Me time

How easy it is to slip into old habits!

I decided to take a few days off the blogging while I went away for the weekend just over a week ago. Then last week was so full each night with training sessions or being crook, that I decided that rather than force myself into blogging each night I would cut myself some slack and take a few nights off. I blinked, then suddenly a week had passed.

I took to my blog again tonight to write about the latest stress challenge, and re-evaluated my health and my ability to manage my stress last week. I was quite disappointed by what I saw. In a nut shell:

  • My heart burn is raging at the moment. I’m going back to the doctor to find out what’s going on and see if there are more tests I can get done, as it’s at the point where I am trying to shove anything down my throat in an effort to cool it down. It needs to be addressed.
  • Because of the raging heart burn I’ve been sleeping with my head a bit higher to try and avoid any stomach acid running into my throat. The effect of that is that my neck has had more pressure on it than normal, and started to ache and cause headaches. I went and saw the chiro today so hopefully that will settle down again, but I’m booked in with him for a weekly visit for the next month at least
  • I haven’t been taking regular breaks at work, and I haven’t been going for a walk at lunch. I’ve been working non-stop, eating late or missing my lunch altogether. Not on.
  • I had a great workout this past Saturday, but because my legs were so sore I’ve missed a few days of running (I didn’t even walk). I’m missing the stress outlet.
  • I’ve been letting myself get aggravated by things at work and not making time for my own work instead of others, and this is starting to put some real pressure on me again. I feel like I’m making the right calls in what to do in terms of priority, I just don’t feel I have the time to address the things that have to wait as a result (so there’s a lot of poor communication going on).

So keeping all of that in mind…

Stress level (rating of 1-10; 10 being worst)? 7
Notes: Pretty much all of the above. Concern for my health, not making time to take a break and not exercising.

This day’s chapter is all about making some “me” time, which is not the same as going shopping, or spending money on the latest and greatest thing. It’s about spending time free from obligation or deadlines, and no woulds shoulds and musts. It’s all about getting the mental break that we must take from time-to-time to allow ourselves to recover.

The challenge even goes so far as to suggest you spend a day where you switch off the phone, answer to no one, and take a break from life’s expectations. That would certainly be tough in this day and age!

The book also reinforces to schedule in another date in the future, which needs to be treated as if it was any other important, unmissable appointment.

Given that our calendar is usually so, so full I was thrilled to see that this weekend it was nearly empty. A bbq with friends (which I’m excited about as I haven’t seen them all for a while), and on Sunday?

Some me time.

I’m already dreaming of a nice early morning bike ride, a coffee by the beach, maybe a visit to the markets and hopefully some time reading. Playing with my dog, taking her for a walk, sitting on the floor and throwing the ball for her.

It’s tough because my other half, Mario, and I spend a lot of time together and I love that. I think it’s fair that if I want to do some of those activities with him that’s fine, because he truly relaxes me and puts me at ease. He’s also incredibly understanding, so as soon as I mention that I want some me time he will organise for himself to be busy so that I can potter around and do whatever I want. I’m very lucky to have him.

I’m also very lucky to have this blog. I don’t write this for other people, I write this for me. And writing about this journey about tackling my stress is making me aware of my progress (or lack thereof), and makes me accountable. It would have been very easy to keep slipping down the slippery slope of stress had I not come back to write this post today. I’m so very glad that I have this emotional outlet.

So time to take a deep breath, and let the walks, runs and good habits resume.