I leave Thursday morning for my annual Girls’ Weekend. Last week, I ended my workweek with a pile of stuff I wanted to get to but ran out of time for. Now I’ve got a three-day workweek with that pile of leftovers from last week, plus all the work of a new week, and there’s just not enough time.
I worked on Saturday to get some catchup done and to plan out my three days. As I looked at all I need to do, I made the choice to cut out exercise this week. It felt more stressful to try to tetris it in than to just skip it. But already, after two days of not running or swimming, and looking toward the rest of the week when I also won’t have time even for a walk, I feel the loss. It’s harder to focus on the positive, I feel stressed, even good stuff only gives me a momentary blip of “Oh, that’s nice” and then I’m back to “Gotta get this done.”
In addition to not exercising, I’ve also found myself not keeping up with my wellness journal these past few days. The end of the day comes, and I haven’t written down anything that made me happy during the day. Too busy. Must get through my list.
After building a habit over the past 18 months to journal things I’m grateful for or that delight me, the days feel gray and bland and all exactly the same when I don’t shine a light on the color.
It’s interesting to me to see this stark difference between what I feel like when I take care of myself and what I feel like when I don’t. In that sense, I appreciate this week of deliberate denial. I can clearly see the positive impact that physical activity and gratitude have on my sense of well-being, and the stress I feel when they’re not part of my routine.
I’ve got two more days of intense work. Then I’m off to spend four whole days marinating in good feelings. An extended weekend with my life-long girlfriends is totally worth the stress of cramming five days of work into three. Maybe we’ll even drag ourselves off the couch for a walk on the beach after our noon breakfast and before our afternoon cocktails begin. And then next week, I’ll add exercise and journaling back to my daily routine, and all will be well again.