This photo showed up in my Facebook feed this morning and it has been taunting my subconscious all day. Given the time of the year, I think it is appropriate to address the importance of taking time for yourself.
So often we get lost in the hustle and bustle of life and combined with the stress of wanting or needing to get training sessions in can cause the same signs of over training. We may lose sleep (even though we are exhausted), elevated or suppressed morning HR, longer HR recovery periods, persistent illness or injury, and/or lack of confidence and overall lack of quantitative progress. Basically we turn into a burning ball of fury that is ready to explode on our loved ones or coworkers.
Although many of us see the off season as a chance to work on our weaknesses, build strength or speed, or simply reassess our goals, I can’t stress the importance of taking time for yourself – outside of training. Don’t be afraid to take more active recovery days, restructure your microcycle, grab an extra massage, or simply go for a walk.
Personally, I have a workaholic, obsessive personality and it is very hard for me to break away from my routine. I remember going through a particularly challenging time in my life a few years ago when a friend said, “just come over and relax”. My immediate answer was, “and do what?”. Wave the red flag. Just like you, I’m a work in progress. I’m becoming better at taking ‘me-time’, whether that is a walk with the dog in the dark, a coffee in the corner of coffee shop (please do still come and say hi if you see me hunkered down. I would love to chat.), or taking part in the latest coloring craze.
So when you find yourself overwhelmed with the holiday cluster, Christmas Eve shopping, in-laws, and cramming training sessions in, take a step back. Take care of #1 and the rest will fall into place.