Warmth

For a third day in a row I have been for a walk after work, made a real pleasure by the sun shining. I felt like I could even smell warmth this afternoon. It’s much more pleasant when the weather is nice.

Simply walking 10,000 steps a day probably sounds pretty unimpressive to a lot of people. Lots of people run, go to exercise classes, swim or cycle. On Sunday I’ll be travelling to London, just as many people complete the Marathon. Whilst I acknowledge the pitiful nature of my strolling in comparison to these kinds of sporting feats, for me regular extra activity is a big achievement. I have never, ever been a sporty person and have always felt like I am destined to be slow and without skill. For me, exercise and sport are activities way outside of my skill set. Therefore, this is definitely a case of walking before I can run (if I ever do).

Walking has definitely helped me to cope with stress. Feelings of anxiety can bubble inside me, and I find that walking helps me to channel some of the nervous energy into activity, helping me to feel physically calmer. I guess it’s using up some of the ‘fight or flight’ adrenaline.

I’m also getting myself organised for my imminent work trip to London, sorting out laundry so that I will be able to pack. The paperwork and logistics are looking like they are all falling into place. I’m looking forward to the trip, albeit wary of the fact that it will involve negotiating London during rush hour on Monday evening. It will be a change of pace from home, for sure.

Three days back into work, then, and I’m feeling tired but positive about how the week is going. Hopefully my body clock will soon adjust properly out of holiday mode and I will be less tired in the evenings, more used to the early mornings. I’ll need to make the most of the chance to relax on Saturday, as the journey to London will cut my weekend short on Sunday.

Still Going

I didn’t think I’d have a very active day today due to a dreary weather forecast, but I still managed to squeeze in a short walk when I got home from work which has taken me over my step target. It felt good when my neighbour told me that she always sees me walking when I passed her on the way home. My walks are becoming a real routine.

Due to other commitments, I missed our last official work Mindfulness class today. That was a shame, but I do feel more confident now that I can practice myself using the apps I have. There’s also my Mindfulness book to read, which I haven’t really dipped into yet, so I’ve plenty of resources to help me along.

I’ve got some practical stuff done in work – some out of the ordinary kinds of tasks that I’ve had to get my head around. I think I’m pretty much there, though, and everything should come together well.

Slowly, I feel like I’m starting to get myself together after a rough couple of weeks.

Back to It

Is 6pm a reasonable time to go to bed as an adult? At the end of my first day back in work, I’m feeling the effects of the early alarm.

It has been good to be busy today. There’s a lot going on and, as usual, there was no easing back in gently. It’s going to be a busy week.

I’m quite proud that I have managed to go for a walk after work and am nearly at 10,000 steps. It felt natural to go out again when I got home; there wasn’t a feeling of obligation or any reluctance. It could be that my evening walk is properly becoming a habit, which would be brilliant. I’m aiming for at least 4/7 days of 10,000 steps, so I’ll see how I get on with that target. Hopefully I can then build upon that activity in other ways, too. It all feels like progress.

At the risk of sounding like a total loser, today has been much nicer due to the fact I was wearing new shoes. I’m not talking about an elegant pair of heels here (I’m almost exclusively a flats girl and usually reckon the more orthopaedic a shoe looks, the better) but a pair of very sensible Clarks Trigenic shoes. The are supposedly designed to support walking and are so soft and supportive that my 10,000 steps today have been delightful.

My self care routine this evening has also included a mindfulness session. It’s the first time I have practised for ages and although my mind did wander somewhat, I did a body scan and feel much calmer for having done it. I can see myself returning to this meditation over the next few days.

Rest and Recuperation?

At the start of my spring break, I anticipated taking some time to spend on myself, my home and my professional studies. An event on Easter Monday totally changed my holiday. It was a stressful and upsetting event, and its consequences are ongoing. I actually didn’t blog for a couple of days in its aftermath, because I was too overwhelmed with processing what had happened. Therefore, the prospect of going back to work tomorrow has both its ups and downs.

The ups are that I will enjoy seeing the people I work with and having my job to focus on. I have a big event coming up in a week’s time that I am looking forward to despite knowing it will be hard work.

It’s a busy time in work, which also brings both ups and downs. The time flies by, but there is the pressure to get things done well within a short timeframe.

The downs of going back to work are that I needed a break that I feel I haven’t really had. The time off has ended up being spent recovering and I would have liked to be more rested and have been more productive with my time. There are things I wanted to achieve that I haven’t, and I feel that I am going to need to look after myself well in the next few weeks.

I’m fortunate in that I get frequent holidays, so it will only be a few weeks until I have another week off. Until then, I’m going to be gentle with myself.

Sunshine

The weather has been lovely today and I have enjoyed being out in the fresh air in the sunshine. My friend invited me out for a walk along with her baby son and dog and we had a lovely time.

Pram pushing meant that my Fitbit didn’t clock up many steps, but we walked a decent distance and made time for a sit down and a cuppa as well.

I had a giant sized lie in this morning and aim to be up at a more reasonable time tomorrow, so that I can enjoy more of the last day before I return to work. A week tomorrow I travel to London for work, so I need to get myself prepared for a busy week ahead. That will make things smoother as I get used to the shock of being back in the working routine.

Still, there’s a day to go yet. The forecast isn’t great, but I still hope to have a good Sunday.

Time to Fill

Today is really the last day of my holiday (weekends don’t count). I’ve had a nice mixture of things going on.

I visited a cafe that I’ve never been to before with my best friend. We had a lovely brunch and have found a new haunt. The food, atmosphere and staff were all lovely.

This afternoon, I had a dental appointment to investigate the toothache that I’ve been suffering. If you’ve read this blog before, you may well be aware of my extremely squeamish nature, which makes medical and dental procedures particularly traumatic. I know they aren’t anyone’s favourite things to do, but I am supremely bad at dealing with that sort of stuff. Luckily, my plucky mother was on hand to accompany me to give me moral support and pass me the apple juice when I had my inevitable funny turn.

It turns out that I had a broken filling in my back tooth. The good news was that this did not require an injection, as it didn’t have to be drilled out. My very patient and understanding dentist replaced my filling quickly and calmly. A little sit down in the waiting room to recover and I was on my way, feeling as tough as a marine.

Events have made this holiday stressful rather than restful, but I’m grateful that I’ve been off work to be able to deal with what’s gone on.

Busy Doing Nothing

I have been feeling like I haven’t done much today, but in reflection I have achieved a few things.

I contacted my doctor about an issue I need to deal with.

I’ve enjoyed reading a novel.

I started tidying up in the garden.

I went for a couple of walks and clocked up nearly 7000 steps.

When I go slowly, I feel guilt that I’m wasting the day or being lazy, but perhaps these slower days are what’s needed to balance out the busyness of life.

I haven’t practised mindfulness for a while and I think that it would be useful to return to it. Giving myself permission to stop and just ‘be’ isn’t a bad thing. Self care comes in many forms, including the form of nothing at all.