On Monday two women told me my skin looked really great.
One was my older sister, who added: “maybe it’s because you’ve put on a little weight.”
Thanks…uh, I think.
Truth be told, yes I have softened since I saw her last October (she lives out of state). Because the last 16 weeks have been one ongoing mini-emergency after the other. Yup, times have been Tough, with a capital T. It’s been 16 weeks of disturbed sleep, sugary snacks, late-afternoon coffee, and take-out dinners. Usually, I make time to move my body (some call it exercising), sleep well, cook and eat nutritious meals for myself and family.
So what’s up?
As an “expert” in this field of fitness and wellbeing don’t I know better? Shouldn’t I do better? Don’t I have all the tools and answers to help (read: fix) myself and get back to normal?
Well, I hit a series of life’s unexpected speed bumps. Bumps beyond my control that have caused me to throw on the brakes and redirect my energy towards navigate what’s in my path, right now. Like many, it started with the holidays. My family and I went out of the country to celebrate and came home exhausted and got the 7-day flu. Then Joel, my partner of 14-years, crashed his dirt bike and broke his wrist and his leg. Amidst his six weeks of recovery, not only did I help care for him, but also did a fair amount of his chores. (Boy, do I appreciate him now that he is finally recovered!) I traveled out of state for a demanding week of work. We got a new 8 weeks old- puppy—I know, I know…. Then, my son needed knee surgery…And finally, I had dental surgery, ouch!– after all, we’ve exceeded our insurance deductible!
Oh, and just days prior to life blowing up, I launched my new book Getting Happy with your Body. Literally, I had my book launch party, just 5 days after Joel’s accident.
I’m certainly not alone. At some point, aren’t many people doing their very best to juggle what life has unexpectedly laid in their path while holding on to a shred of their healthier habits?
As I write in my book: our available time, energy and money all are factors that greatly influence our ability to take good care of ourselves. And that life, just like our body, has ebbs and flows. Uphill moments of struggle and smooth gliding plateaus.
The key: how we treat ourselves while we are experiencing rough times. That’s what counts.
Here are the three big tools I use to stay connected to my body during turbulent times:
- First, above all else, be kind to yourself. Recognize the situation is likely short-term. Do your best to not add to your stress by saying disheartening commentary like “I’m such a bad person for eating this_____.” Or “I can’t believe I didn’t work out today, again.” Avoid self-badgering.
- Secondly, look for short-term solutions to support yourself. I started a meal kit delivery service. I noticed, amidst my exhaustion, I was making quick, less nutritious dinners. And frankly, shopping, washing, and preparing veggies were daunting to me. Having a box of food, with a designated recipe for dinner, eased my stress.
- Lastly, stay tethered to your well-being with small, yet meaningful choices. I adopted more attainable, less time-consuming actions like slipping in short naps, taking my vitamins and drinking more water.
–which is likely the real reason my skin looks so good today!
Wishing you a happy body,