Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Out of Balance

Last week I came down with a nasty cold. I had to call in sick for a day of work and take it easy for the rest of the week by going to bed early and avoiding exercise. It's only now, 9 days later that I'm feeling almost like my healthy self again. This is so out of the norm for me. I am not used to getting sick, and when I do catch a cold or the such, it usually only lasts a day or two.  I chalk up my good health to getting plenty of rest, exercising, eating well and just basically not focusing my energies on the possibility of sickness. I figure if I instill trust in my body, it will build off that positive energy to keep me going!

The above being noted, I knew the minute I began to feel ill that my body was signalling me that I'd let the pendulum swing too far. In the weeks (maybe even the last couple of months) I've let myself get so overwhelmed and stressed out that my body had to go to extremes to get me to take a breather.
I should have seen it coming. I feel like I've been careening along in life for the last while, trying to juggle SO many things - from a busy job that is requiring me to develop new skills regularly, to my night-time/weekend studies of holistic nutrition, to my 'other' food-related commitments (and there are a lot!), to my visiting with my family, to  friends and socializing, to Mr. Wonderful, and to my self, including my health and well-being. It's all been too much. I regularly feel like I've failed to accomplish all I 'should' have in a day, despite knowing full well that I am doing more in a day than most people would consider normal.  Summer has just added more pressure to my already over-zealous schedule of 'things to do' and I have found myself unable to say no to invitations that involve drinking, eating, sunshine and celebrating love/getting older.  After all, summer only comes to  PEI for 2 months a year.

And so I've spent the better part of the last few weeks trying to figure out how to fit it all in and still get some down time. I've not done particularly well. I've had down time but it's not been quality down time, because for the most part I've spent it worrying about what I have to do after I've stopped relaxing!  I worry about saying no to people and opportunities that I really want to be a part of right now, but am not sure I can handle. If I say no now, I have a feeling these opportunities won't crop up again. I want to be the  'yes' woman, but at what point can I say 'No, I'm sorry I can't do that right now, but please keep me in mind for next time'? 

Even in these past days when I was trying to recuperate from a sickness that I knew was related to overtaxing myself, I still expended energy feeling guilty that I had to cancel one of my scheduled rows, that I'd not had the energy to create a new Facebook, and that I wasn't able to concentrate enough to do my nutrition studies.

I know I need to make adjustments. This can't be a patch job. I have a tendency to regularly overwhelm myself and thankfully it doesn't usually result in a physical illness because I'm usually cognizant of my need to decompress and address things before they get so out of hand. Still, the more I delve into my nutrition studies, the more I realize how much havoc my emotions and stresses are having on my  internal systems of health. While I may be lucky to be generally healthy right now, it is highly likely that my mental and emotional turmoil is wreaking havoc on my systems, including my digestive, endocrine and immune systems. I may not see the cumulative effect of these internal, nuanced reactions  by the body right now, but I know that if I stay this course it will only lead to dis-health or dis-ease.  

So now I need to explore some psycho-spiritual and lifestyle changes that can help bring my mind and my emotions back into balance. I am thinking of getting a Tshirt that reads ' Gone Fishing' and wearing it on days that I want to just drop everything I've committed to and take a nice breather.
I am going to start practicing saying no. I'm going to try to learn to relax by observing others in their natural state (i.e. those to whom relaxation comes as naturally as breathing).  I want to explore meditation as well, but  right now that seems like an added time hog and something I would be trying to 'fit' into my day and I reckon that sort of defeats the purpose of meditation.

I need other ideas. I need suggestions from people who've been where I am, or can empathize with feeling overwhelmed, out-of-control and uncertain of where/how to reduce stresses and obligations in one's life. Help me get back in balance!