The last few weeks have been a blur. I was in survival rescue mode.
My business has been closed down temporarily due to the Coronavirus and it was a mixed emotional time.
- What about the clients and their poor bodies? We’ve spent years helping them to help themselves, and what if that all unravels and their pains come back?
- What about our poor staff? How will they cope if we don’t have any work for them, how will their families cope?
- What about my business? How can I pay the huge overheads? Is there any help, are there any answers, is this the end?
- What about my kids? How will they cope being away from their friends, from school, how can I explain this all to them?
- Then just panic, fear, worry, anxiety, sickness, guilt, some more fear, panic, worry… and a huge headache!
As someone who is an optimist and always cracks on and gets the necessary done, I found myself going in auto-pilot mode. My husband said of me during this period “you have been amazing, I cannot believe how positive you have been and how you’ve just adapted and cracked on.”
I’m not going to lie, the last few weeks haven’t been about health and wellness for me. There’s been way too many late nights and long days working. Some days, I never actually made it to bed for getting work done. There has been too many quick fix meals of toast and too many coffees to keep me going. Too much screen time, not enough down time, not enough time spent with the children, not a lot of self care. But that’s ok. We can’t always be on top form, to get the balance, sometimes you just have to crack on.
I realised this; The Pilates Pod is my 3rd child. I gave birth to it, I’ve watched it grow, I have nurtured it, helped with it’s struggles, seen it become a toddler, embraced it’s success and now it’s a teenager. NO ONE or NOTHING was going to take that baby away from me…. let alone the Coronavirus! So you fight, you adapt, you survive.
This week, I’ve had a bit more time for reflection. I’ve cried about the doors shutting. I’ve felt like a failure to my “baby”
I’ve had imposter syndrome thinking other studio owners are doing a better job than me at this all, I have had mummy guilt on home schooling/work juggling, I’ve felt tired, I’ve wanted to sleep and to rest, and to make it all stop and just be quiet.
In short, I have listened to my mind and my body. They are talking to me.
I have come to realise that whilst sometimes it may be necessary to put in those mega 16 hour non stop working days and get the job done, you cannot do that for a long period of time. Even the Cheetah who can run between 60-70mph, can only keep it up for 20-30 seconds! I don’t know why I am surprised I have only just realised this (again!) as twice in my life I have experienced what medics call “Burn Out” from working too hard for too long and your body eventually shuts itself down. My body has spent too much time recently in the sympathetic nervous system (which ironically is nothing like sympathetic; it’s your fight or flight mode) to address everyone else’s worries, issues, questions and queries and my mental and physical wellness were shouting at me “REST.”
So this week I have been actively encouraging things to stimulate my parasympathetic nervous system (also known as the rest and digest system) Here’s some of my favourites I think you will enjoy:
- Reading: Extract from “The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down” by Haemin Sunim.
“I squeeze myself into the subway car. People are crowded all around me. I can either get annoyed or think it’s fun that I don’t have to grab a handrail.
People react differently to the same situation.
If we look at it more closely, we see it’s not the situation that is troubling us, but our perspective on it.
2. Breathing: Joe Pilates focused all his method on breath. It facilitates all movement and links mind with body. It purifies the blood and helps reduce inflammation in the body, calms the mind and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system. Many people struggle to simply breathe. For respiratory issues and asthma, it’s a great thing to do to control and improve your lung function. I have been using an app called ‘Box Breathing’ which gives you practice breathing sessions using audio and gaming modes to help you be mindful of your breath and improve your lungs.
3. Meditation: Each evening, our little family have been finishing our day by coming together around a candle for a family meditation. We’re using a childrens’ meditation book called “The Magic Box” by Marneta Viegas, and afterwards we talk about one thing we are grateful for or happy about today. It’s been a wonderful thing for the whole family to enjoy.
Here’s Dylan to read you a meditation called “Mindfulness” – he choose this one because “normally you don’t think about what parts of your body you are using on a day to day basis, but this meditation makes it really nice to focus on each one.” Sit back or lay down, pop in your headphones with the volume up and enjoy!
Remember, your Mind and Movement Matters