Self care is a big theme in this space and I have not been practicing what I preach lately. Life just keeps speeding past me and sometimes I forget that I’m allowed to choose when I hop on and hop off of that train.
I’ve been reflecting on these last couple months of living here in Dallas and they have contained so much freedom than I’ve ever felt before. I have majorly been off the train. This career move has been one of the greatest gifts of my life and for possibly the first time ever, I feel like me. This might sound silly, but I feel like this person who’s always been in there is really starting to come out of myself and it just so authentically Brenna. Being out of the world of offices and computers and into time where I have more control, more space, and more quiet has nourished my soul.
In this new time in my life with a total lack of structure, I’m actually craving a little bit of it now in a few different parts of my life. Just a couple short months ago I was permanently on the train. I was getting up at 5:30am to pack my breakfast and lunch, put dinner in the crockpot, go to work, and come home to write this blog. I totally lived for the weekends and was in constant survival mode.
So now I’m wanting to meet somewhere in the middle of those two lives because that’s what feels right to me in this season.
In this season my, my body seems to be craving more exercise which is so interesting to me because I’m not someone who enjoys it. What I’m discovering though is that I’ve been in such a perpetual state of stress and therefor a constant adrenal rush, that exercising has sounded unthinkable until now for a reason. In the past, intense exercise has actually increased my anxiety because of the constant release of adrenaline so I’m really careful with the way in which I approach any sort of movement.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with this terminology, adrenaline is a stress hormone and it is designed to prepare the body for danger. Have you ever heard people use the term fight or flight mode? That is in reference to our adrenal system and frankly, that is very much what it means. Adrenaline prepares our bodies to fight our opponent or run like a madwoman, and as you can imagine, constant release of that stress hormone is very, very hard on our bodies. Many people do not know, however that stress is also released when we exercise. So if you are someone who is suffering from anxiety and you’re feeling too tired to exercise, it’s because your body is pumping adrenaline like nobody’s business and you just simply don’t have enough energy left.
Well, that’s been me. And I’ve just experienced a couple of low stress months of life with very little exercise where I’ve been in what I’m calling “recuperation mode” and I finally feel ready to embrace some movement again. Exercise regimens are going to be different for all of us and for me it’s going to be pretty low key for now. I started going to a kickboxing class once I week and I really enjoy it, but I’m hoping to embrace some mind-nourishing movements too like going for a walk with my puppy (!!!) or maybe even some yoga in my apartment. I’ll let you know when I have a real routine happening.
Lately, I’ve found myself kind of grazing throughout the day because I don’t want to take the time to make myself a meal. I was so ready for unstructured meals and the ability to stop thinking about/planning food. But, I’ve finally hit the point where I’m craving more nutritious foods than I’m feeding myself. I get up with my husband every morning to make sure he has a nutritious lunch packed for work and then, ironically, l’m eating some cheese and crackers and a piece of dark chocolate for a meal.
Well, I’ve been having some tummy trouble lately, and that is clearly a way of my body saying, “Brenna, your body is ready to eat with a little more structure again plz”. So that’s what I’m going to do. Real meals and snacks where I give myself the time to take a step back from my day, prepare my food, and enjoy eating it.
San Diego was a really tough season for us, and someday, I’ll talk in more detail about that here. It’s something I’m still processing through myself. During that time, I was praying constantly for help, for guidance, and for direction in my life. And God really and truly came through for me. He called us back to Dallas and my life feels like it’s done a 180. But in the last couple months, I haven’t spent my time with God in a ritualistic way like I did in San Diego and that has been the missing piece to the puzzle for me. I’m certainly not “meeting in the middle from this topic as I want to return to the structure in San Diego, but my prayers have shifted from a need for help to gratefulness, appreciation, and praise for the mercies I have received in these short 8 weeks.
Ah this sneaky, sneaky topic. In my San Diego life I had to schedule my self-care into my evenings or it wouldn’t happen. My life’s been so much more relaxed now, that I keep being like “ohhhh no I don’t need to make time for that! I’m doing great!”. Lies I tell you. I don’t care what season of life I’m in, I’ve officially learned that I’m someone who must prioritize time for myself. It’s what they say on an airplane: put on your air mask before you help the person next to you put on theirs. So tonight, I’m going to drink some decaf and paint my toe nails before my husband gets home because I’m going to be a whole lot more mentally ready to show that boy love if I show myself some love. Can I get an amen?
Alright ya’ll. I have plans to take an hour and sit on the floor of my bathroom and paint my nails with me, myself, and probably, Ariana Grande (guilty pleasure). See you guys tomorrow!