It happened again. I ran myself too thin. I didn’t take time to fully listen and feel. I pushed things away. I lied to myself. I believed those lies.
Although I never thought it was possible, I have slowly become a morning person. The only problem was that I was still a bit of a night owl. This resulted in only getting an average of 6 hours of sleep each night. My WHOOP app helped me determine this sleep pattern was having a negative affect on me. I decided it was time to focus on not only the quantity, but the quality of sleep I got each night. My nightly routine has greatly improved; the biggest change I made was not bringing my phone into my room at night. I bought an alarm clock so I could no longer use that as an excuse. I became more consistent with taking a magnesium supplement before bed to relax my muscles and also started reading more to make me tired.
I had convinced myself that because my sleep was improving, I was taking the time to slow down. That was one of the many lies I was telling myself and the beginning of an all too familiar cycle. On the surface, my mental and physical health seemed to be well. I am happy with so many aspects of my life: I have a great job, teach at amazing studios all over the Des Moines area, am in a good routine with posting on my blog, YouTube channel and social media, and am surrounding myself with people that make me better.
I knew something was a bit off, however. I just didn’t feel like my normal self. It started out as a small feeling in my gut. Then, it became a bit more real when I had my first Reiki session and discovered my root chakra was completely closed – meaning I was floating around, not feeling grounded. I had a trip to Colorado planned shortly after, so I figured it would be good timing. A chance to get away, disconnect for a bit, and find some time to connect with nature. And I was right. I took a whole day to be alone, to go at my own pace with no schedule, to sit in the mountains and observe the beauty surrounding me.
I sat on a rock high up in the mountains with my phone turned on airplane mode. I closed my eyes, focused on my breath and listened to the sounds around me. I started to cry. I didn’t know exactly why, but it wasn’t a surprise to me as this had happened before. I let whatever emotions come up that needed to. I felt a bit of a release and a new fire to share my experiences with others. I thought I was good to go.
I thought wrong… I went back to my normal, constantly on the go, life, packing each day full of work, play and socialization. Once again, not finding that time to be alone and to fully process the things I needed to. This time was worse, though. I had convinced myself that I did the work on my Colorado trip. That I was grounded and ready to go.
Another week passed. I started to feel sluggish and not myself again. I didn’t understand why I was feeling this way. I decided it was time for a “tune-up” using Neurofeedback again. NFB is a way to teach self-regulation to the brain. I was introduced to this a few years ago when it was discovered that I was suffering from relational anxiety and mild depression. I had seen great results from this type of training, but when I moved, it became difficult to find the time to travel 3 hours (one way) to my counselor that had performed this training. I didn’t take the time to find a new place once I settled in here, sort of brushing it off as not important.
I am so thankful to have found a local place to do NFB. This new counselor said she was able to see that my brain remembered the training but that it was definitely time for a little refresher. I will be going weekly for the rest of this month and possibly a little longer to “get back on track”. Along with NFB, I am finding other preventative measures so I can avoid repeating this cycle again in the future. Each time I go through this cycle, I come out with a desire to make change and share with others.
I’ll be sharing more about NFB and my journey through this process in upcoming blogs. Be sure to subscribe below so you don’t miss a post!