Treat Yourself

Where in the world did this week go?! All of a sudden it’s Friday and we are preparing for another weekend! This week was one of those weeks where every day felt like it was supposed to be a different day of the week, and I had to keep checking my calendar to figure out what day it was.

Summer sure has a way of doing that! With all that ‘looking forward to something’ I am looking back on the summer and wondering where the time has gone. I can’t believe we have been on summer vacation and out of school for over a month now! There’s just a little over a month left until we begin Professional Development for the new school year. Yikes!

I am finding that the time moving by quickly is incredibly exciting, but also ridiculously stressful. I am lucky enough to have most weekdays completely free (yay, teacher life!) leading up to our wedding. While these past few weeks have been mostly free, I still feel like every day is jam packed with tasks to get done.

I wind up staring at my computer or phone, checking my email, making calls or spreadsheets for nearly 10 hours of the day every day. While I know this it completely normal in the month leading up to your wedding, I am finding my stress levels sky rocketing with each day. One day I think I’m getting things done, and then I start a task that ends up creating 5 new tasks for me to accomplish.

Slowly I have started to realize that this anxiety and stress level increase is due partially to my increased screen time! I’ve found that the more time I spend staring at a screen each day, the more anxious I feel. The more I feel anxious, the more I feel the need to get things done and spend time in front of many different screens. This is a viscous cycle, because when I am stressed and anxious, I actually wind up getting far less accomplished by powering through than if I were to take a break to reset.

Yesterday, I had planned to complete my long run of 12 miles in the morning because I would not have time to run for that long this weekend. When I woke up it was storming outside, with some intense yellow and red areas coming at us in the radar. It looked like the rain would let off by about noon, so I decided to postpone my run until after lunch.

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Now, I am a very schedule driven person. I do the exact same thing every day, and this is when I feel my best. I love waking up, reading a little, eating breakfast, and getting my workout done before I start anything else.

So by the early afternoon yesterday, I had lost all motivation to get out and complete that long run. My weather app told me that the temperature was a real feel of 91 degrees, and the humidity was at 88%. Umm, that definitely didn’t help. I decided to stay in and cross train and attempt the run the next morning when it would be cooler. I did eventually cross train, but continued to do work well into the afternoon until dinner time, when I finally convinced myself to do a workout.

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I think yesterday was the most anxious I have felt this entire wedding planning season – and I don’t think it had anything to do with wedding planning. While our wedding to do list is at an all time high, filled with last minute details that need to be taken care of, this stress was so high yesterday because of all the time I spent creating it for myself.

When I tried to give myself a little mental break and take some time to watch TV, I felt my anxiety increase even more. When I turned the TV off and started looking at social media on my phone, the anxiety rose even more. While I was trying to relax, I felt myself grinding my teeth together and clenching my jaw, a couple of bad habits that my dentist hates.

It wasn’t until I finally convinced myself to complete a good ole fashioned high intensity 30 minute workout, that I finally started to calm down. After my workout I felt like I could look at my list with a level head and logical perspective. It was then that I decided to take the rest of the night off and finish my book.

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Sure, crossing off 3 more things on my list would be satisfying. And don’t get me wrong, even somewhat enjoyable. I love planning things! But at this point I knew what I needed to do in order to set the tone for the weekend, feel better about myself, and be able to accomplish anything the next day.

I went for a walk, ordered pizza, finished my book, and chatted with my fiance. And didn’t let myself feel guilty about it.

Sometimes we are our own worst critic. We work, and we work, and work until we are up in the middle of the night trying to finish that one last thing, or get that quick workout in. When in reality, all our body and minds need is some time off. Taking two hours off (and truly off – not just watching TV or scrolling through Facebook) for ourselves one day will help us accomplish two hours worth of things in way less time the next day. That time spent on ourselves isn’t wasted, we are investing it into the most important part of our lives.

I hope you step into the weekend ready to spoil yourselves. It’s Friday, and you’ve earned it!

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