Hi friends. Long time, no see—no, I did not go MIA or abandon my blog. Life just sorta happened hard core the past two weeks, ya know?
I went from teaching for Rocket City Yoga Week Wednesday night of the week before last to hitting the road for Louisiana Thursday at 4 a.m. I made it back home Sunday, and then went into bridesmaid mode for my best friend’s wedding a large part of last week. All of this while working full time and taking two summer classes. I am just now catching my breath!
Amidst all of this chaos (all good chaos—just all at once), I could feel my body getting angry with me for not making it a priority. My energy went on vacation, my digestive system decided to stage an attack against my poor diet, my tolerance and patience joined the witness protection program, my sleep cycle threw raging parties every night, and stress paid me an extended visit.
Busy times are some of my favorite because they don’t give me time to over analyze every second of my life; however, the assertion I want to pose today is that if we do not properly maintain our physical, emotional, spiritual beings—how could we possibly expect to juggle all of the other things going on in our lives? Today I’m talking a little bit about what I am doing to recover from the last crazy two weeks and how I’m giving my being star treatment this week.
Generally speaking, I consume a pretty balanced diet. I am not a picky eater, and I enjoy eating healthily; however, in this society, making smart dining choices takes time, thought, and effort. It is not befuddling to me why this nation struggles with dietary induced diseases—we make it so hard for ourselves to eat nutritiously. I am just as guilty as the next person for opting for what is close and easy when I am stressed and in a hurry.
The problem for me is that my body is insanely sensitive to the food I consume. If I don’t consume steady protein amounts throughout the day, my blood sugar drops rapidly. If I eat too much sugar, I get horrible headaches. I could seriously continue on for a full post. My sure sign of a dietary imbalance is queasiness. Nothing comes of it—I just exist in silent misery. Since Saturday I been queasy.
What I am doing about it
I am making sure I eat three small balanced meals a day with two to three nutritious snacks in between. The best way for me to keep track is using an app on my phone—I use S Health, but there are tons of free options to choose. I am avoiding overly processed food and I am also keeping track of my water intake. This week my meals will be pretty similar each day to give my body some recovery time from my hapless past two weeks of inhaling whatever was nearest when I was hungry.
Here’s a basic run down of what my diet consists of this week:
-Breakfast: one cup of coffee, oatmeal, a banana
-Snack: a Lara Bar (4/$5 or 10/$10 at Publix right now)
-Lunch: a kale/spinach/chard salad with fruit (or if in a hurry, an Amy’s brand frozen meal)
-Snack: a serving of hummus and a serving of pita chips
-Dinner: roasted veggies (almost any vegetable tastes awesome when splashed with olive oil and a dash of Cajun seasoning and then oven roasted to crispy perfection; I don’t do mushy cooked veggies) or a homemade multi-grain pasta and legume salad.
I am not one of those college kids who pulls all nighters. I will do better on a test that I am ill-prepared for if I spend less time cramming and more time sleeping than I will if I don’t sleep and cram material the whole night. I become a horrible dysfunctional goblin when I skimp on sleep.
When I am stressed, it takes me forever to fall asleep even if I am dead tired, and then I am the world’s lightest sleeper. My sleep has been horrible the past week, and my energy is still not fully replenished from it.
What I’m doing about it
Unless my house is burning down, I will put myself to bed no less than six hours before my alarm goes off. I do best on 8 or 9 hours of sleep, but who am I kidding? A week straight of 6 to 7 hours of sleep will get me back on track at least.
When I am struggling with sleep during a stressful week, supplements I sometimes take an hour before bedtime include valerian root or melatonin. These are both natural sleep supplements that I have had success with in the past; however, I do not take them regularly. It is my personal opinion that it is smart to only use sleep aids, natural or otherwise when truly necessary.
One of my favorite compliments that I occasionally receive is that people perceive me as incredibly grounded or calm. I love it because on the inside I always feel like I am drowning in my responsibilities and sort of spastic during busy times, so I know I am doing a good job at staying calm and cool if people don’t pick up on my inner frantic self (keep in mind that my poker face is horrible).
Regardless of whether or not I am maintaining composure when I am stressed, if I don’t give myself time to be with myself, I begin to feel almost a sort of stir crazy just within myself. I know, total yogi talking right now. But what I mean is that I know that it is important for me as a person to connect with myself on a regular basis. This is why yoga is so prominent in my lifestyle—it’s how I find myself and ditch stress. It is not the sole means of stress relief in existence; however, it is tried and true for me.
What I am doing about it
Sunday morning I woke up groggy and in a haze from the eventful wedding day before, and I showed up at a yoga workshop with Sadie Nardini. It was rough, and it was not my greatest practice of all time. However immediately upon leaving the workshop, I felt refreshed and ready to take life head on once more. This week (and this post) are partly inspired by Sadie asking us to name qualities that we want out of the ideal significant other. After naming traits such as kindness, loyalty, forgiveness, sense of humor, she asked us if we exhibit these traits in our relationship with ourselves.
Whoah. Powerful, huh?
Monday night after a stressful work day and a long tutoring session (I am not loving C++), I made myself show up to a yoga class, and for an hour and a half I was silent and one with myself. It’s the remedy to a lot of my suffering, as much as I sometimes despise being alone with…me. The yoga mat is where I confront my fears, insecurities, and flaws though.
I know that if I don’t take care of myself, I can’t expect to give other things that I care about my all. What are some ways you recuperate after an intense few weeks?