On speeding up, slowing down, and what the flu has to do with it

Isn't it funny how, when life's moving full-speed ahead and we're struggling to keep up, our bodies will force us to slow down?

This past month, I've been struggling to balance work, school, preparation for the launch of my health coaching business, and spending time with family and friends. Add to that mix: attempting to cook healthy meals from scratch nearly every night and maintaining my near-daily regimen of yoga and/or running.

I hope this doesn't sound like a complaint, because the fact is...I love it all. I love working at lululemon, surrounded by amazing co-workers and a vibrant company culture. I eagerly soak up the knowledge of food and nutrition in my IIN studies. I am ecstatic about my budding health coaching career, and am over-the-moon excited to launch my practice. Spending time with Jason (and Basil) is, without fail, the highlight of my day. And, of course, preparing nutritious homemade meals and moving my body fuels my energy for all of the above.

I recognize how lucky I am to be overwhelmed by these many passions. (In fact, sometimes I've overwhelmed by that fact alone.)

And yet, the body knows when it needs a break.

I woke up yesterday with a fever, muscle aches, chills, and a sore throat. Forgive me the overused hyperbole, but my first coherent thought was I feel like I've been hit by a truck, closely followed by that other cliché, I CANNOT afford to get sick right now.

Have you ever noticed how it's always those times that we "can't afford" to get sick that we do? This is not just some unfortunate coincidence. When we're stressed, our bodies respond, first by polite request. Perhaps some mild fatigue, a headache, or other not-too-serious symptoms, many of which we either ignore or suppress with a pill, at which point our bodies become more insistent. It's then that we're forced to rest, by, for example, waking up with the flu as I did yesterday.

I used to feel terribly guilty about taking a sick day, always wondering if I should chug some Dayquil and "power through." I now wonder: What could possibly be shameful about recognizing my body's need for rest?

In that spirit, I'm honoring my need for rest today. You'll find me on the couch, huddled beneath a pile of blankets, a dachshund on my lap, a Nook in one hand and mug of tea in the other. 

Thank goodness for the body's wisdom. 


lynette said...

Feel better soon!

Nan said...

Well said. Soak up all the relaxation and self-care that you can-- that is exactly what the doctor should prescribe! I so enjoy reading your blog. Take care!

Ashley said...

So true! I'm battling a pretty nasty cold right now. And for some reason, I'm feeling guilty about being sick. Yes, guilty because it means I have to take time out to actually put my needs first and not the needs of my job, my boyfriend, my mom, etc. Do you think some of the guilt our society places on people for being sick could have some impact on our abilities to get better more quickly? I certainly do! Feel better! A nice, long soak in a hot bath always helps too!

Anonymous said...

Wow, sounds like you are staying busy.. good for you to let it go and take a bed day. Sometimes that feels so good!

I would also like to say... you rock! I am eagerly waiting to start at INN and saving slowly but surely. I hope you are feeling better and up and at em soon! :]

Aurora said...

So true! It has happened to me twice this year. Take care, get the rest/relaxation you need and hope you feel better soon!!!


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