Finding your “Ahh” can often be as difficult as remembering what it is in the first place. This blog was initially titled Decompression. At the time it was appropriately named, as it reflected my mood at the point. And being a woman, I’m entitled to change my mind, right?
It is important –however- to note the change over in titles. You see, the last few weeks I struggled to decompress at the end of the day, week, etc. It would quite literally take me a few days to unwind. With the weekend only amounting to 48 hours, this needed investigation. Time is not a luxury many people have. Time to relax is even more constricted. So, it behooves me to look into exactly why I was so tightly wound.
What’s The Sitch?
Being all wound up causes my typically jovial disposition to turn rigidly contemplative. Trapped by my own thoughts, an instant replay of constant streaming video burning through my consciences. We all have a need to replay events, determine our worth, how we might improve in the future, prevent further errors and reassure our actions. But this was just getting ridiculous. Being a Type-A personality doesn’t help any either. Two gears go like this, 1) Chill, 2) Full Throttle. As an adult, I have become a competitive personality (eehem, not very attractive ladies).
As an enthusiastic proponent of constant personal development, I wanted to peel back the layers of decompression and in turn, peel back the layers of myself.
“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” -Marcus Aurelius
Thank you Mister Aurelius. So what you’re saying is that we are in control of the things that are out of our control, by how we choose to let it affect us.
Cortisol (or the stress hormone) is released into our bodies during periods of anxiety and intense trauma. The effects of prolonged cortisol are nasty, namely the body goes into full on freak-out mode, preparing for starvation, resulting in weight gain. Cortisol can also affect sleeping patterns, hair loss, and increased desire to eat food high in salt and carbohydrates. Talk about adding insult to injury!
That quote has definite merit, yet once compression and stress induced anxiousness has already taken affect, already internalized, how do you then “decompress”. That is the real question. The “Ahh” moment is where the answer.
See… All Better.
I finally had my “Ahh” moment and more importantly, I decompressed. For me this first began by determining that I was not putting in what I was taking out. I was unbalanced, my body and mind in disharmony. I forgot what I was working for. Focused on the job and only that, not breaking concentration made me loose a little bit of myself.
In the last few days I did 2 of my top favorite things in the whole world. I’ll spare you the details, but least to say I was able to swim again and began riding my horses again (fyi… mutually exclusive activities, mind you).
Maybe it’s the fact that I don’t have an actual “home” or any traditional place I can return to that supplies any ounce of comfort and safety. I feel the most comfortable on the back of a horse, or swimming in the water. Strangely enough, that is my home, my welcomed respite.
Over the weekend, I relaxed, I was happy again, rebalanced. The planets aligned.
How could I have gone so long without riding? Without swimming? Taking time to remember the thing that makes you breath deeply, that brings you to your happy place… that is where you will find your “Ahh moment”. That is where you will find decompression.
Penny For Your Thoughts
If I can lift the self-inflicted weight off my chest, you will too. But just incase this story isn’t enough inspiration to get you out of your funk, here are some helpful steps to prevent stress and assist decompression.
1) Make a List each morning of the 5 most important things to do that day.
2) Make a list of things that can be moved to the next day.
3) Eat small healthy snacks during the day.
4) Take your lunch break to exercise.
5) Find something to reward yourself with at the end of the day/week/month.
1) Do the thing that makes you the most happy
2) Listen to relaxing music while reading a good book
3) Exercise moderately
4) Take a hot shower and soak
5) Get Social
6) Don’t EVER talk about work
Be Kind, Unwind
Working smarter means knowing when to take a moment to recharge your batteries. The mind only has finite energy assigned for each day, after that, the quality of your work will deteriorate. The goal for every professional is to know the importance of balance. A balanced life will help you turn off so you can attack each day with enthusiasm and ferver!
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