I have a confession to make: In the past 2.5 weeks I’ve only deliberately worked out twice. This includes a half marathon and one amazing gym/lifting session.
Here’s the thing... I don’t feel guilty about it! For the 3-4 weeks prior to taking some time off I felt tired and sluggish and wasn’t enjoying or looking forward to working out. Not to mention a hip thing I’ve got going on that was causing some injuries.
Here’s another thing... I feel great! I feel comfortable in my body. I’m eating intuitively. I’m not starving all the time. I’m not solely focused on fueling my body for performance. I’m sleeping better. I’m logging more hours of sleep. I have more time with friends, family, and my husband. I’m not as cranky. I’m more productive.
Okay, maybe that was a few more things. But, my point is, sometimes you need to listen to your body and take time off of intense exercise and heal your body. Along with that comes healing your soul. Which brings me to my next point.
I went home to see friends and family as well as go to a conference with family last week/weekend. I spent about 4 days in Pennsylvania and came home feeling like I’d been there a week. Yes, I had to do some work while I was there, but I took a break from life. I didn’t focus on what I was doing each minute of the day. I had plans, yes, but I took my time doing things and went about each moment of my day at ease. I spent the day with my aunt and cousin at an amazing conference. I spent an evening relaxing with a cup of tea while studying and enjoying calmness with family. I got to see 2 friends who are dear to me that I haven’t seen in 10-12 years; we picked up right where we left off as if nothing had changed. I went out with close friends for a night of charity, goofiness, singing, drinks, and staying out way past our bed times. I saw cousins that I haven’t seen in 5-6 years who are doing so well and met their new family. I had dinner, drinks, laughs, and connections with my uncle. I began my drive home when I felt ready and enjoyed the music playing on the radio and the conversations I had safely via the Bluetooth feature in my car. I stopped and wandered a store to stretch my legs and “shop”. I received wonderful, loving messages from my amazing husband.
I was present and in the moment. I didn’t focus on what I “should” be doing. I enjoyed what I was doing, when I was doing it. I didn’t worry about who else I could be with. I enjoyed the people I was with or the activity that I was doing. I fully focused on myself and those around me.
As I drove home I reflected on all of the goodness in my life; I felt so warm and happy. I feel happier, more rested, less stressed, and ready to take on the world. My heart is full.
It’s important to take care of yourself, but that doesn’t always mean that you need to work, work, work it out at the gym or pounding pavement. Sometimes taking care of yourself means taking a break from all of that and nourishing your soul. Life is about balance.