Easter break(down)

Easter break – a nice long weekend; an opportunity to enjoy some much needed family time. Except, it didn’t quite work out that way. The family was there and the time was there for us to enjoy, however, for me, it was a weekend of a constantly racing mind; a head filled with endless ‘stuff’ – stuff that was competing with one another as to what was the most important, what needed to be worried about more or even stuff that didn’t even need thinking about at that time but which wouldn’t get out of my thoughts and was causing me an immeasurable amount of stress.

The overfilled head of stuff, combined with the negative thinking that came with it, combined to bringing on not just a ‘bad day’ but a ‘bad weekend’. Everything I did, went wrong… or so it felt. I spent a huge amount of time crying. When I wasn’t crying I was on the verge of going again and feeling incredibly sensitive. Then there was the guilt, the self-doubt, the anger – I’m sure I’ve managed nearly every emotion at the weekend.

Being persuaded to take a trip out with the small people on Sunday (without my phone!) put the first real smile of the weekend on my face.

As I squeezed myself into the little hideaway house in the park with my youngest child, to eat our lunch, I wondered if it was possible to stay there forever. Turns out, it wasn’t.

Although, to be fair, it was much warmer back at home. I’d enjoyed ‘living in the moment’ for a short period, with my favourite people and I discovered it had been possible to quieten down some of the noise for a brief time. However, it wasn’t long before the thoughts started up again. The worry, the self-doubt, the stress. It all came flooding back.

As I thought ahead to today, I knew I needed to make a decision – something that hadn’t also been my forte this weekend – about going to the gym in the morning. In all honestly, I knew it would be easy enough to get out of it. Fortunately (or unfortunately – depending on what part of my mind is thinking it!) for me, my daughter’s excitement about going to the centre’s crèche tipped the balance in the gym’s favour!

Before we left, I made sure I had everything I’d need. Charged earphones to shut out the world, my workout written out in my journal and water to stay hydrated. The gym was busy and the squat racks I usually make a beeline for were in use. However, I’d got this far so I wasn’t going to let that stop me. I put the earphones in and I completely immersed myself in my music and having everything planned out I was able to give all my attention to getting my technique right and full control of lifting the weights.

For the entire hour I just focused on the exercises. I didn’t think or worry about anything else and as I put down the kettlebell on my final set, I realised my mind felt clear for the first time all weekend.

Yet it was much more than that, I felt good. I was relaxed and I felt ready to go on with my day. It’s continued as my day’s gone on too; things that would’ve upset, worried or stressed me, which have happened subsequently today, haven’t caused me the same amount of concern as they would’ve over the weekend.

I’m not for one second suggesting that everything is better, it’s not. I realise I have quite a few things to work on personally. But, for now, I’m going into this week in a better place than I was and I’m counting down the days until my week off with my family, where I’m determined to create new memories and to make the most of our time together. In addition, today’s session has reinforced the importance for me of using exercise to reduce the noises in my head and the stress in my life and it has further cemented my desire to work towards helping others, in a similar position to myself, to support them in maintaining good physical and mental health and wellbeing. 💜

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