I walked home from work every day. The top of my left foot remains bruised and hasn’t felt strong enough to run on since I first injured it in the beginning of April, so I’ve been relying on walking for low-impact cardio. I have been sure to take it easy and have slowed my pace because I want to be as careful as can be to heal and get back to running regularly again soon. I find that the 30 minute walk home also presents a time when I can decompress from the work day and transition into recharge mode. Plus, I’m now at 23 hash marks on the tally of days I’ve walked home from the office in 2017, which is mighty cool.
I stretched it out when I felt sore. Because of physical inventory this month, I’m on my feet more than I normally am on a weekday. On top of catching myself physically holding stress in my neck and shoulders lately, I’m also, you know, aging, which may be why I’ve been feeling tight and sore and OLD in my body for the past few days. I have been taking 3-5 minutes to slowly stretch the sore spots every couple of hours, and practicing gentle yoga 15-30 minutes every other day or so to find what feels good to my tired body.
I took time for some R & R during my long weekend. Here’s one thing I’ve learned about myself over the past couple of years: if I want to make relaxation a priority during seasons of busy schedules or stress in my life, the best way is to trick myself into it. I set goals to complete sessions of rest or activities that encourage relaxation.
On Thursday evening I made a list of ‘3-Day Weekend Goals’ next to my ‘3-Day Weekend To Do List.’ Throughout the three days away from the office, in-between my chores and internet tasks, I checked off each R & R goal with a smile: finish watching The West Wing [we had 2 episodes left of Nick’s first complete watch-through!] and catch up on Girls, add color to this spring coloring page, listen to podcasts, send snail mail, and Facetime with my parents. It was a happy weekend with a decent balance of work and rest!
I drank a lot of tea. Thanks to a fun Healthy Living Blogs review opportunity, we’ve been taste testing up a storm over here and I’m not sad about it. I’ve also been doing bunches of reading on the various health benefits that have been found in tea, which has strengthened my habit of evening tea before bed and early morning tea as I get my day rolling.
I took time to get ready. Each weekend I choose a handful of tasks to set myself up for success in the week ahead. I fully expect this week to be filled with long office hours, meaning late dinners and rushed through home to dos, with a side of waking up at midnight with a list of musts streaming through my head like a never ending Netflix binge.
This is why I took ten minutes this afternoon to scribble a meal plan for the week on the fridge and packed a bag of quick semi-healthy choices I can easily eat at my desk as I work. I also set out my clothes for working out in the warehouse and getting dusty all week, and packed a couple of extra shirts along with my favorite Burt’s Bee’s facial wipes for when I’m feeling extra grimy when returning to my desk for an evening of paperwork and discrepancy research.
I wrote a new daily morning pep talk with an inventory focus. At the start of the year I wrote a pep talk to read each morning with the intention of setting my mind in the right direction from the start of each day. It didn’t take long to find I had memorized the words and could recite them without looking at the paper for guidance. It also didn’t take long for me to think of specific parts of the pep talk when I came across unpleasant or challenging situations throughout my days.
I’ve got a new two minute long list of mantras and reminders as armor against feeling overwhelmed or insecure. I’m eager to put my declarations to use starting Monday morning. The main themes are simple: you don’t need to have a bad day just because you have a busy day and you can only do what you can do, so take things one step at a time. May the jelly beans I’m stress eating daily magically give me the power to live these truths.
The theme of last week’s healthy decision making was “Give yourself a freakin’ break!”
I’ve noticed that cutting myself some slack is a habit full of benefit, and I’m trying to walk the walk over here. The very basic idea is that I stop beating myself up when I make a mistake or don’t complete something perfectly. I stop replaying scenarios in my brain, thinking over how things could have gone differently. I don’t get upset when things don’t go as I expect them or plan them to go. I don’t hold on to dozens of unnecessary tasks and half finished projects that I don’t have any interest in. I’m working to strengthen that muscle that simply accepts and moves forward.
The slack cutting ranges, as most themes in life, from grand to miniscule.
I allowed extra lounging and stretching on the most overwhelming workdays, giving my brain a rest and my body a little extra ‘find what feels good’ movement.
When my computer was running through many hours of updates, I avoided being frustrated by my looming to do list and took advantage of unexpected time to stretch my creative muscles with craft and coloring time.
I stayed out late celebrating the new adventures of a now-former co-worker on his last day and reset my alarm allowing for extra rest the morning after.
I gave up early when I felt strong pain during my 5th run of the training cycle, knowing not to push it if I want to run strong later in the year. Instead of being upset that my #THSGetsFaster plan is temporarily sidelined, I’m eager to find other fitness activities to enjoy.
I apologized, corrected, and moved forward from discovered transposed digits in a work task.
I gave myself permission to remove podcasts which bore me mid-way through before finishing the episode.
I decided to write and publish what you are currently reading, even though this is not what I had initially envisioned for this post.
This is a ridiculously elementary concept, but I guess overall, it’s a lot of allowing myself to be who I am, like what I like, do what I do – and being okay with all of that.
Here’s to acceptance, in the little things and the big, too. And to moving forward, one step at a time.