GET IT TOGETHER, MIND. THIS IS YOUR BODY SPEAKING.
Did you know that every second you worry, your mind is expending negative energy & this feeds into your body?
I am the worst at leaving for a vacation. I love to travel & will be the first one to pick our next destination—but the mind game I play with myself as the last couple of weeks approaches?—Oh my GOSH, I say to my mind, Are we still doing this? The kids will be FINE. In fact, they’re probably going to have the weekend of their lives with their grandparents. Yeah, it takes a little prepping to make sure they have everything they need before you take off, but seriously? Those homemade blueberry muffins are not mandatory. I see your control flag going up. Lower it back down. You do not have to clean out every junk drawer. Quit rearranging the bookshelves & organizing the freezer. Nobody looks in there except for you, anyway. And no, you can’t make everyone wear the same clothes two days in a row to avoid an article of clothing making it to the dirty clothes hamper. Laundry is a part of life. I know it’s sad. Embrace it.
Anyone nodding their head or audibly agreeing with me? The normal stressors leading up to a vacation are enough to deal with.
Blake’s & my last big trip was to Portland, Oregon three years ago. Collins was one, & we were in the early stage of the waiting game for adoption. We figured it would be our last chance to travel before we had a newborn in our arms so we booked it.
Before we left for the trip, some hard things came up in my family, & it was a traumatic time. We debated postponing our vacation, but there wasn’t much we could do from home, so we left.
It was the day we left—right as we landed in Portland, actually. I felt sick. You know how you can be exhausted during the day but when your kids go to bed you suddenly have a second wave of energy because you finally have time to yourself? I tried putting this tactic into overdrive. We were on vacation together, & I didn’t want to miss a beat.
I ended up spending the majority of the afternoons in bed while Blake walked around the city by himself. It felt like extreme morning sickness, but no, no pregnancy.
We both had a sense as to what was making me feel like I did, but I had no control over how to flip the switch.
We drove out to the beach one day, but on our way back into the city, I was near tears in the fetal position, so Blake drove to an ER. They thought I was either pregnant or dehydrated, but when I showed to be neither, they gave me some nausea medication & sent us on our way.
The mind and body are connected, & when we aren’t taking care of one, the other suffers. I’m not saying all sickness stems from this—but what I was dealing with was anxiety that manifested itself in the form of sickness because I kept ignoring it. When high stress enters our lives, it’s more important than ever that we take care of ourselves. Looking back on that time, I was overwhelmed with life & focused on everything I could not control. Because I didn’t take time to breathe, to process, to communicate, to drink some water instead of eat my way through a jar of peanut butter—when we did finally have time on our side in Portland, my body fell apart.
I visited a naturopath last spring, & one of the practices she gave me was to rest for a minimum of five minutes a day to reset my mind. Watch the clouds, listen to a song, do a few pushups. Personally, I like to lie on the floor with my legs up against a wall with my eyes closed. A little instrumental Spotify doesn’t hurt, either.
Take your five minutes—once, twice, or even three times today. Rest, reset, take care of your mind & body. Your trip to Portland will thank you.