Or longer. Who knows.
My body is tired. Mostly, I think it’s mentally tired, but that usually leads to being physically tired and emotionally drained which just makes me more mentally tired because I shouldn’t be so damn tired because really, I don’t do THAT MUCH physically. Or do I? Who knows. I suppose some days I do, and some days I don’t.
Something I’ve come to learn is that my mental health almost certainly controls my physical health, and when my mental health is suffering, my physical health suffers. This doesn’t have an awful lot to do with exercise since I’m not someone who rigidly controls my movement or has any rules around how much I should be doing on any given day, but it’s well documented that exercise is a stressor on the body and if I’m already mentally stressed, my body is stressed and it doesn’t need an additional stressor added to it’s allostatic load.
You can click that link to read more about allostatic load, but basically it’s the sum of stress on the body from all different sources.
Everyone’s allostatic load tolerance is different and frankly, mine is low.
Insomnia and Illness
If you’ve been reading for a while, then you know that insomnia is something I deal with on occasion. Last year, it lasted for a grueling 6 months before I got it sorted out. This year it lasted a month in February and maybe a week in May. In may my insomnia ended because I became pretty ill, likely due to a weakened immune system, which forced me to spend 3 days in bed, sleeping all day and night and eating basically only plain carbs.
At the beginning of August, it came back. I didn’t know why.
it ended when we went to New Brunswick and came back the second we were home. It recently ended when I came down with a sinus flu, again likely due to a weakened immune system from the stress of not sleeping.
During my bouts of insomnia, I majorly stressed out about getting enough sleep to be able to show up to my other job (it’s a bit physically taxing, and when there’s no sleep, it feels like torture) and when I didn’t get enough sleep, I felt intense guilt for not showing up and for not making the money we had budgeted for.
I felt frustrated for not being able to do things I normally do, like lots of walking, some barre3, hiking, etc. and guilt for not being able to do all the fun things with my husband.
One night, the first night I got sick, I was laying down with my husband and we talked about me quitting my other job and taking time for me to do nothing and to stop feeling guilty about it. So I did that. I quit. I didn’t feel guilty about it and I started doing pretty much nothing. And I slept at night. And I napped. And I laid around, and I let myself heal.
We’re trying to have babies. A lot of people are hush hush when they’re trying to have kids because so much can go wrong and it can be such a stressful process. I don’t want that. I’m not afraid of things going wrong, and I don’t want it to be stressful, so it just isn’t. Our babies will come when they come, if they come. But I’m doing everything I can to not add to my allostatic load, so that means not doing things and not feeling bad about it. I’ve had a miscarriage. This also isn’t something people talk about but I don’t fear being vulnerable. I was very stressed out, I was under my body’s happy weight range, and I lost our baby. It was devastating and hard and painful and miserable. And I learned from it. And I share it because it’s real life and real life is hard, but it’s less hard when we share it.
A lot of fertility advice out there is to exercise, eat just right, keep your weight in a certain range, etc. That sounds stressful to me and being stressed is not good for me, my health or my fertility. So eff that. My inner wisdom is telling me to slow down. To just let everything be and to stop with the expectations of doing everything right and being all the things. I trust my inner wisdom more than the internet.
Resting feels really, really good.
When you let yourself rest without any mental anguish, it feels really good and I’m in to doing things that feel really good. A lot of the time working out feels really good, but lately it hasn’t.
So what am I doing?
A lot of nothing. I work from home, so a lot of that involves sitting on my laptop and I have zero issue with that. Not moving feels so good right now.
Basic adult things like keeping the house clean, the cat alive, food on the table, laundry done, etc. Having a clean house and all of the laundry done makes me feel very calm, so it’s something I keep on top of.
Reading. A lot. I never used to have patience for reading because I’m a bit of a fidget and staying still to read was difficult. I’m learning that I was a fidget because my mind was restless. Since my mind hasn’t felt so restless lately as I’m fully allowing myself to slow down, reading is really enjoyable.
Sleeping. As much as I can. I’m putting myself to bed at 9pm every night and getting up at 7ish. It’s a long time in bed. Currently it’s feeling really good and needed, mostly because I’m still sick and my body needs rest.
Restorative yoga. Not power yoga. Not yoga flow. Restorative. That means things like postures that involve pillows and various other things for support so that you aren’t putting any physical effort in to a pose. It stretches you out without any physical exertion on your part and it’s soothing to the soul. Even better when done in a dimly lit room with relaxing music and candles. Seriously.
Walking. When I have to get somewhere like the grocery store or pharmacy or Starbucks for a PSL becuz I’m basic.
Eating whatever I want, which I always do, but I also always exercised regularly, so I wasn’t sure if I only allowed myself the pleasure of eating whatever I wanted because I was also an active person. I wasn’t sure if I associated not exercising and instead resting with being lazy and should eat less. Apparently that was still sort of there, in the back of my mind, but it isn’t anymore and eating is easy and not stressful. Exactly what it should be. Right now it’s a lot of muffins and cheesy bread and fudge pops because they feel really good on my throat. And cheese. So much cheese. Always cheese. And M&Ms. I love those things.
Connecting. With my inner self, with God, with the bigger picture. It sounds woo woo, maybe it is. Maybe spirituality isn’t for you in this season of life. Right now it feels very right, so I’m leaning in to it. I’m also very much leaning in to the feminine side of myself. I’m learning that I’ve been very controlled by the masculine side (since we all have both) and it’s feeling very freeing to tap in to the feminine.
So that’s where I’m at. If any of that resonates with you, maybe you also need more rest and less pressure in your life. Maybe you’re not ready for it. It has to feel right for you.
Ps; the comment section of the blog doesn’t work. It almost never has. My site thinks everyone is a robot, but I’d love to hear your thoughts! So emails are always welcome.
Disclaimer: I am not a therapist or medical professional. This is not meant to diagnose, treat or cure any illnesses and should not be seen as a substitute for professional help. I share my experiences here in hopes of helping others, but I absolutely encourage you to seek professional help for your struggles.