So this is one of those days that I’m calling my “Just Breathe” days.
You know—one of those days when you realize that you probably won’t get as much done as you hoped to, and when you have to set the to-do list aside and take it one step at a time instead of tackling it like the force of nature you see yourself as. And most importantly, I’m going to accept it and not beat myself up. Over the past couple of years, the histamine intolerance has brought this need home with a vengeance.
Yesterday, I sat outside for about half an hour because it wasn’t raining, and it was warm—about 62°—and I needed a break from being indoors. Unfortunately, it’s also spring, even though it doesn’t feel like it, and the pollen is out in droves. Tree sperm is everywhere. Plants Gone Wild and all that sort of thing. And yeah, it got me.
My reactivity has been extremely high lately, and the pollen was enough to push me over the edge. On top of that, my hip went out and my chiropractor appointment isn’t until this afternoon.
So basically, the night became a wrestling match between me, my aching hip, and the nasty histamine dump* that happened around 2 AM, even though I took Benadryl before bed.
I won’t bore you with the details, except to say that the end result was: very little sleep, and I ache. (Note: I’m also achy because I’ve started to up my exercise game a bit, which is good for me, but my muscles are asking me, what the hell have you done to us, woman?). All in all, the night was a cocktail leading to a morning hangover from the mix of tiredness and aching muscles.
And this is where the “Just Breathe” day comes in.
Instead of fighting it, I am accepting where I’m at, and going from there instead of pretending like I can power on as usual. I’m taking things slow, accepting that I’ll get there when I get there, and not trying to push myself beyond my limits. I did my morning meditation, I answered a couple business emails, I decided to write this blog. I’ll get to my writing here in a bit, but I’m not going to drive myself harder than I can manage.
I’m well known for being a “get it done no matter what” woman. And as much as I have reveled in that persona over the years, I’ve had to let it go.
Oh, trust me, I still do my best to get my work done on time or ahead of time. But on days where I’m feeling shaky or tired? I no longer ignore my body’s signals.
While I can’t just take a lot of days off, I can slow my pace a bit on the rough days. Yes, bills have to be paid, so books have to be written in order for people to buy them. But I’m listening to my body’s signals now. I finally, reluctantly, gave up the title of Superwoman. It’s an illusion, anyway. Nobody can do it all, all the time, every day of their life.
Now, the next thing I’m going to say makes me feel kind of stupid, because it’s a simple concept that is kind of hard to overlook—unless you try. And I’ve tried to overlook it for years. I think a lot of people do, though, so I guess it’s a human trait.
Recently, in the business course I’m taking, we were asked to focus on our goals — to identify our top goals. And then to identify the most important out of all of those.
Well, my career has always been my most important goal. But this time, another one of my top goals was to rebuild my health so that the histamine intolerance doesn’t hit me quite so hard, because according to my doctor, it’s not going away anytime soon.
As I was mulling over my goals, looking to identify the top one, I automatically started to write down my goals for making my career grow. But then something clicked. I realized that every goal I have rests on the shoulders of how healthy I am.
The stronger my health, the better off I’ll be and the easier the rest of my goals will be to achieve. So for the first time in my life I reorganized my goals to put my health first.
It was hard, because it feels selfish, and it feels like I’m taking my attention away from my work. But…I have to admit, when I made that decision, my body perked up and I swear it thanked me. By putting my health first I am actually putting myself first for the first time in my life.
So now, I breaking the habit of going to bed late—I’m trying to get off the computer earlier. And on days like today, when I’m tired and feeling at low ebb, I am letting myself take it one step at a time until I feel ready to work. I do my morning meditation, Even if I don’t feel like it I drink my morning protein-shake with all my vitamins in it. I get some exercise in even if it’s slow and easy.
So yeah, it’s a just breathe day. And that’s all right.
So tell me your thoughts — and remember, we’re focusing on the positive here, not on our limitations but on what we can do to help cushion the impact of those limitations. What are ways you can make your life a little easier, build up your health? What can you do for yourself on days like today? Even when you still have to work, or take care of obligations, what are ways that you have found to ease the stress on your body and mind?