Like everyone my life seems to come in phases, I’m either plodding along or everything is going like crazy at 124908 WTFs an hour. And with my next exam less than 24 hours away and crisis meetings at work it definitely feels like this hamster wheel isn’t slowing down any time soon. Side note, I’m not complaining about this I much prefer living fast, but what is important and what I want to talk to you about is mental clarity and how to keep it together when life is none stop and to help stop you turning into an absolute PSYCHO. I’ve always been one to ‘burn the candle at both ends’ even as a child, I was all about keeping up with the Jones’s and I wanted to do everything and do it well, original Everything girl.
When I was younger I’d really struggle with managing everything which lead to A LOT of panic attacks. These days I still over commit myself but have a system in place to help battle brain fog and keep focused. 9/10 times this works really well, but sometimes (like this week) enough was enough and I knew it was time to step back.
I knew I’d hit that wall when I just felt overwhelmed, tired, lethargic and exhausted. Let’s be honest there is nothing special about running yourself down like this, even though we ALL do it. I recently wrote about the importance of sleep and I stand by this, your body has limitations and you ned to listen to them.
You can’t bet your PT running time if you have zero energy, you can’t smash an exam if your brain can’t focus and you can’t stay awake until all hours of the night trying to get everything done if your body is ready to drop. (Okay I may be speaking from experience here)
Yes this is a fitness beauty blog, but when was the last time you were exhausted and looked fabulous? Doesn’t happen does it. It’s so important to take care of every part of ourselves, physically and mentally and sometimes I think we all forget there is a synergy there.
There’s a saying in the diving community, ‘Stop. Breath. Think’ if you don’t stop to breath you’ll most likely hyperventilate which will starve your brain of oxygen and you wont be able to accomplish anything.
Most of my mornings look like this:
- Get out of bed and put the kettle on for a peppermint tea.
- Drink tea and meditate.
- Go into the living room and open the curtains for a pilates workout or head to the gym.
- Whatever the workout stay HYDRATED
- Shower and cleanse face
- Podcast while getting ready.
However I’ve had a few days lately where I’ve just switched off the alarm pulled the blanket over my head and gone back to sleep. When I wake back up I still feel awful and now I’m late! So I end rushing around getting my stuff together not having any me time and not working out, which for me is super important. No surprise that this is setting the tone to my day in completely the wrong way. My brain ends up scattered, I know I have stuff to do and instead of being focused I jump from half finished task to half finished task and nothing is to my usual standard.
Having spent another day feeling like I haven’t stopped but achieving nothing, (I hate busy days over productive) I reached the conclusion I need some serious mental clarity.
More sleep. More reading. More resting. More sweating. More stretching.
Working out is so important to me, I really feel like I get that time for just me, it’s also one of the few times I can honestly just switch off. I focus on my form, on what I’m doing, on counting. It’s kind of like mediation for me.
Sometimes we all need to hit that off button. I’ve started to crave that time away from work, from French classes, from my studies, from my phone.
We all talk a lot about mental health and physical fitness but not about positive mental health. I realised this one night when I found a quite area of the gym where I could just do my mini stretch routine in peace. Sweating and working out isn’t just for losing weight, isn’t just about toning up. It’s about your mind as well, we know exercise is good for your mind and mental clarity. If you’re going to take care of your body why would you not take care of your mind. You are a package.
If you want to get quicker, lift heavier you’d train. If you want your mind to be sharper, if you want that edge (as my boyfriend refers to it as) then sometimes you’ve got to take time out for you. Strangely I think we live in a society where this is something to be ashamed off but there is nothing ‘weak’ about looking after you. In fact it’s actually a lot harder to find that time to recharge and to prioritise yourself, even if this involves an hour to get a facial. One of my favourite sayings right now is ‘you can’t look after your community if you don’t take care of your garden’ meaning you can’t be there for others unless you can take that time out to be there for yourself.
So this is where I’m at, I found a small corner in one of the most beautiful modern libraries I’ve seen and wanted to share this with everyone because I felt like it needed to be shared, if it only helps one person stop, breath, think.
And now I’m going home with a face mask!
How do you deal with the hamster wheel that is life?
Share your sanity tips below.