Archive for October 7th, 2010

This past week has been an extremely busy one for me. My son’s asthma flared up last week, causing him to miss some school adjacent to some teacher workdays. So, the net result was having my son home for six straight days. While we did some fun and enjoyable things together, such as an all-day trip to the zoo, I still “lost” roughly 40 hours of time alone in the house to focus on my job, blogging, housekeeping, etc. By the time he left for school yesterday, my head was spinning from all of the things that I needed to accomplish.

My tendency is to dive in like machine and direct all of my energy toward getting a lot of work accomplished. This time, I took a saner approach. :0) I went to the gym and worked out (my usual routine that I had missed during the six-day period). Instead of jumping in the shower and getting right to work (my usual schedule), I went to my bedroom, put on some New Age music, and did yoga and meditation. I lost my “day off” last week (I have made Thursdays my “me” days) due to my son being home, so it had been almost two weeks since I had taken a breather. It took some discipline, but I succeeded in silencing my mind, releasing a lot of physical and emotional tension, and finding my inner calm. Then, I went about my day at a slower (and saner) pace. I probably got the same amount of work accomplished but without the physical tension and emotional intensity that is typical for me after a week like that.

Sometimes we set ourselves up for being too busy, but at other times, life simply throws too much our way at one time. Either way, we are not machines and cannot simply “blow through” our days without ever taking a breather or break. Everyone needs some downtime, whether you think you can afford it or not. If you actually take some downtime, you will discover that you have more energy to get the work done and wind up getting more accomplished than if you had not taken a break.

This is a good tip for those of you who are in the early stages of healing from child abuse and are working through flashbacks on a regular basis. That is actually when I started exploring yoga. I learned how to do yoga by reading Howard Kent’s Yoga Made Easy, and I started getting up 30 minutes earlier to do yoga in the mornings. At first I thought I was doing something wrong because my muscles felt worse after doing yoga than before. I eventually realized that the “discomfort” after yoga was actually what it felt like for my muscles not to be tense! I had carried so much tension in my shoulders for so many consecutive years that I did not know what relaxation even felt like!

Doing yoga each morning helped me manage my flashbacks because, for 30 minutes, my mind and body got a break from the intensity of recovering memories and working through the trauma. I strongly suggest yoga for everyone but especially those of you who are feeling overwhelmed by flashbacks.

Photo credit: Faith Allen

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