The Mind Body Connection
It has been several months since I have written, mostly because I have been too busy. Bring on May, and once again, I find myself sidelined with an injury. As I lay awake in the middle of the night trying to get comfortable, my mind started thinking and working and suddenly I found myself wide awake. Not good. I have several large projects and events that will be coming together in the next 2 months, a big vacation to prepare for, and the usual spring cleanup in the home and garden following a very long winter.
What is it about this time of year? Last year I was also injured the entire month of May-one injury after another; the year before that I ended up with shingles in June, and I cannot even remember 2011, but I am sure it was equally insane. My body is telling me to slow down and rest-something I am not good at.
Revisiting my goals, it is now clear I need to add a “Rest” goal. Since moving out of the classroom in 2008 into year round positions, I have not taken more than a few days vacation at once. And even my vacations have included 12-18 hour days of golfing, swimming, kayaking, running and other non-restful activities. I have also been available by email and text to co-workers “in case of emergency” and have received texts on the golf course, at the airport, and by the pool. I have cut stay-cations short, checking work email and stopping by the office to make sure events were ready to go. And each year, between April and June I find myself injured, sick and/or exhausted and wonder why?
It’s important to learn how to recognize when your stress levels are out of control. The most dangerous thing about stress is how easily it can creep up on you. You get used to it. It starts to feel familiar, even normal. You don’t notice how much it’s affecting you, even as it takes a heavy toll.
(I took the quiz and scored high-no surprise there!)
I cannot say no. I accept all challenges, both physical and mental, and don’t have the sense to know when to say no. I do have the sense to know that this is a recipe for more injury and health related issues if I do not take more than a day off. This morning is a wake up call. Yes, spending 24 weeks out of 36 training for 4 half marathons may have been a bit much…but maybe if I had been more self aware of my stress level at work and home, I would not have chosen to stress my body as well.
My new goal? Making rest and relaxation as important as working out. Rest means rest-both mind and body.