School started this past Monday. And sure enough, even though students would not arrive until this coming Tuesday, I went to bed Sunday night with that “Sunday night” feeling. I think all professions experience it. …pretty sure it’s not just a special feeling reserved for those in the educational world. But it certainly is amplified after summer and summer’s lack of structure.
Now don’t get me wrong. I enjoy my job. I love and appreciate my coworkers; they are fun and inspirational people to work with. I find great satisfaction in making a difference in the life of a student. I look forward to the challenge of turning “I hate writing” attitudes into “I never knew writing could be fun”, or at the very least “It’s not as bad as I thought” attitudes.
Plus, there is a certain excitement that goes along with the start of a new school year. Who doesn’t love buying school supplies? I spent hours happily wandering the aisles of The Learning Shop, Barnes and Noble, and the Office Depot loading up on markers, highlighters, pens, pencils, sticky notes, composition notebooks, chart paper, and the latest and greatest books for my classroom library.
In spite of this all, last night I could barely function. And when I say barely, I mean I was pretty darn close to not functioning at all. (Ahem…private mini breakdown.) Thankfully, yesterday was the last day of my work week. I’m really not even sure I could have made today happen.
So today, I am rebooting.
I woke up sans alarm, and started my day with a much needed yoga class (which BTW was a 7:30 class…pretty impressive given the lack of alarm), followed by a
walk stroll with Quinn (dog), and a delicious breakfast of chia oats.
All of which gave me time to think and reflect.
I believe there are four components to optimal health:
When these four components are balanced, I feel good, and handle stress in a healthy manner. (And yes, I know. Stress is a part of life.) But, when one component gets out of whack, the rest start to fall apart as well, leaving me feel like I’ve been hit by a bus. And in honor of school starting, I’m envisioning a yellow one. (Bus that is.)
Anyway, I believe that’s what happened to me this past week.
I’m not sure which component went south first, but I do know that I was not living in the moment. That’s never good. I was living three steps ahead, causing unnecessary stress. Quite honestly, I think I sucked in all four components; there wasn’t just one I can point my finger at.
As far as nutrition, I definitely had a couple of less than ideal meals. And I’m not saying that I didn’t enjoy eating a veggie burger and fries, but they were too many “out of the norm” meals, and when coupled with everything else, well…you get the picture.
My biggest nutrition faux pas however, was failing to eat when I was hungry. Summertime doesn’t require a morning snack. School days do. And I didn’t. Ditto for afternoon snacks.
And I most definitely didn’t drink enough.
And the exercise component? Well, I definitely didn’t show my intelligence here either. I was up before the crack of dawn to run on Monday. And Tuesday. And Wednesday. I took off Thursday by default, as I just couldn’t drag my weary butt out of bed.
There was no yoga. No weights. I am old. I need to cross train. I know that. But, I was fearful that if I didn’t get the exercise component out of the way before I left for school, I wouldn’t have had the energy or time when I got home. And running is the only exercise I can work into my “before school” routine.
Hmmm…what about a day off? That would have been smart given everything that was going on. But sadly, that happened too late. And not by choice. Leaving me feeling guilty for not working out.
Sleep? Well, my sleep was red wine induced (just for the record, I’m only good for one glass), so I fell asleep in short order, but typically awoke at about 3:00 AM thinking about every single current stressful situation in my life (injured child living 900 miles from home, jobless child living at home, husband working long hours, dog recovering from ACL surgery, EP’s and SLO’s…aka the alphabet soup of educators, inquiry projects, curriculum writing, technology and medical training, and oddly enough, even my inability to recall the names of former students…). Not good. Not good at all.
Going to church last Sunday was not enough to fill my spirituality component for the week. Nor should I ever expect it to be. Kinda needs to be a daily thing for me. My book of daily scripture readings went untouched. Prayers were fast and furious. Yoga, which has become a time to meditate and rejuvenate, never happened.
Yep. It was a disaster just waiting to happen. No wonder I felt physically and emotionally drained. From Wednesday on, I was living with a headache, neck pain, and a tightness in my upper back. I won’t even mention the fact that I felt close to tears. Couldn’t even blame hormones.
As I reflected upon all of this, I recalled the words in one of the best Ted Talks ever (presented during inservice this past week):
Well, for starters, I know I need to get back to being prepared. I need to stock my desk with healthy snacks. I need to have a water bottle and/or tumbler full of tea with me at all times. I need to prep food on Sunday nights so I am ready for the busyness of the week.
I need to listen to my body. Seems to be a recurring theme for me, doesn’t it. Some days “no workout” is the best choice. And sometimes workouts can be shortened. Or slightly modified. And there is nothing wrong with going for a walk. Did I mention I need to listen to my body?
I probably need to save the wine for the weekends. ‘nough said.
Getting a Bible app for my phone with daily messages would be a good plan, as my phone is always near. Pray. As trite as it sounds, I understand the benefits of the “let go, let God” mentality. Worry does me no good. If I can do something about it great. If not, well, no sense dwelling on it and letting it overtake my life.
So here I am, at noon on Friday, already feeling incredibly more positive than I was just 24 hours ago. Amazing what a little self love can do.
So how about you? Do you have any advice for healthy living? What do you do to keep yourself feeling your best?