I’ve had a rough couple of weeks at work lately. Things have been happening that are beyond my control and I’m left feeling like I am hanging from a trapeze wire by my fingertips. This sense of helplessness makes me go a bit inwards and lose my sense of self. The world becomes narrow and grey and I find it hard to focus.
To keep connected to the world, I have to keep doing all the things that feel good and right. I need to keep going to dance class and laughing with my friends. I have to keep going to the gym, no matter how grim I feel on first wakening. I have to eat healthy. I am an emotional eater aka when I feel crap = I will eat that whole pack of cookies and wash it down with half a bottle of wine. Then I feel even worse.
I have to go to work everyday, smile and behave like everything is fine and dandy!
But most of all I need to hug my dog George . He’s a therapy dog. I’ve written about him in previous posts here and here and also here. We have volunteered at aged care homes; childcare centers; schools and universities. George has worked with Psychologists to help children overcome their fear of dogs. He is a lovely, gentle and beautiful dog. He absolutely knows when things are not right with me and he will just quietly snuggle up with me and make sure I am ok.
Are the best. There is a lot of research on animals and their positive impact on people. I read an article last week about a prison in Indiana having inmates look after shelter cats. This was hands down the best thing I read all week and helped pulled me out of my funk. If nothing else, look at the pics – those cats!! If prison is to be rehabilitative as well as punitive, having programs whereby inmates can participate in something that connects them back to the world, that is a good thing.
I was talking with my friend Katie at work the other day and she was commenting on how lucky I am because I look fit and healthy. I often get told that or that my metabolism must be really fast, well hell no, my metabolism is the same as any woman aged in her 50s. I work at staying fit and healthy – sometimes it’s easy and sometimes not so much…
Anyway, back to Katie. She was saying that she felt unhealthy, overweight and tired all the time. She said that she often was too tired to cook a meal after work and would swing by the local take-out on the way home.
She also said she didn’t have much time for exercise (so many people tell me that – but really it’s how you choose to prioritize your time – we all have the exact same amount of time in a day, I have another friend, Emma, who is a single mom and she throws the baby in the buggy and goes for a jog with her every morning. Me – I used to enroll my daughter in swim class and then go do laps).
Katie also told me that she has a 500ml (roughly a pint) of flavored choc milk every day around mid morning to get her through to lunch time. She said she felt almost addicted to it, wanted to cut it out, but felt unable to do that and wanted to know if I could give her some tips on how to stop.
My response was – well don’t. She looked really astonished at that and I said, clearly you have a bit of an addiction to the sugar and chemical additives in the milk, so if you just stop you will end up craving it, buying it and feel like you have been defeated. I suggested she try to go one day without it – not change anything else, just try for one day. Then I said if that works then try every other day to cut it back and see how you go. I also threw in that if she could work in a walk at lunchtime or after work, that would also be good.
Three weeks later Katie came looking for me and said, hey you know what? that actually worked… she managed one day, realized that it was doable and then she cut back to every second or third day. Then she grinned at me and said – I’ve cut it out altogether – I don’t need it and I could quit it! She had also lost a little weight and felt better about herself because she proved to herself she could make that one single change. And she had taken up going for a regular walk at lunchtime AND after work! 🙂 🙂 🙂