So…August arrived. School stopped. This meant that my routine during the day, which is the backbone to my routine at night, was suddenly not there anymore. August is traditionally my time for relaxing from the school year that has just finished. I am always exhausted and taking a month to work my way through The Great British Bake Off guilt free is frankly bliss.
This year, it felt different. Yes, I felt tired but this tiredness was different to my normal tiredness. I’ve since accepted that I will probably experience this particular tiredness until the menopause ends. So, putting aside this new menopausal exhaustion, I haven’t felt the tiredness I usually feel at the end of the year. (confused yet?!)
This has meant that whilst I thoroughly enjoyed rewatching all the past series of The Great British Bake Off, this year I didn’t need to.
However, being a creature of habit, I still made my way doggedly through them. And it was a lovely relaxing few weeks. But because I didn’t need this level of rest, the resulting cons outweighed the usual benefits.
Firstly, whilst I had fought so incredibly hard to stop all snacking, especially snacking in front of the television, watching The Great British Bake Off, (essentially a programme about food) snacking during the day snuck back in without me even realising it.
Of course, I could have had fruit snacks. But did I? No, of course not.
The sitting around and not doing anything physical, even though at this point I was still going to the gym and walking the dog each day, meant I became less and less tired. This had a knock on affect of effecting my (already not very good) sleep.
Add this to the vast number of social events…as an aside, I am the biggest introvert and socialising in any capacity exhausts me…well, this was a recipe for a disaster.
Gradually, I reduced the physical things I was actually doing during the day. Because of the increase in social stuff and a lack of time, Gary and the twins stopped going to the gym. I carried on for a while on my own, but I didn’t enjoy it as much because, well, teenage boys, so many teenage boys. So, in the end, I stopped going as well.
The excess of social events meant no sleep (I get over stimulated and can’t switch off) so getting up in the morning became harder and harder. Hospital appointments here there and everywhere exacerbated the situation. And by the end of August I wasn’t even walking Harvey anymore.
Could I be anymore frustrated with myself?
I had done so well for seven long months. Seven! And in one month had destroyed a lot of the good I had achieved.
Oh. My. Goodness.
For the last seven days I have been trying to claw back a semblance of my former routines and rhythms. It feels so hard. Much harder than it did before. Perhaps Newton’s laws of motion come into play now. It is, after all, much harder to start a thing than it is to continue a thing.
I was talking to my son yesterday and expressing my frustration. He and I are quite similar personality wise so I knew he would understand how I was feeling.
Thomas gave me an excellent piece of advice.
He told me to start small again, like I had in the beginning. Explaining that I just needed to get some sort of motion going, he said that even one press-up (for example) is one percent of the 100 he would like to do. So if he does one, that’s one percent more than nothing. And often, one leads to one more and perhaps one more…then before you know it, he’s reached ten percent.
The point he was making was that one percent is better than nothing and it will often encourage something more. Success begets success.
The penny dropped for me in that moment. I had made such a big thing in my head about everything. If I did it, I had to do it all…walking, gym, Noom, housework, 15000 steps etc etc. So I ended up doing nothing instead and getting frustrated with myself.
So this morning, I woke at seven and took Harvey for a shorter much more manageable (in my head) walk. This spurred me on to hang out the laundry and put another wash on. Then I watered the plants in the garden before the sun got to them.
Not at the level it was before.
But 1% became a few more.
Once in motion I was able to stay in motion.
I’ll do the same tomorrow and the next day…and the next and before I know it, I will be back on track…and much happier for it.