Taking a mental break

I received a lot of interaction on my Instagram post on the weekend, the one with taking a break sometimes to get new energy to move forward. I thought “Why not write a blog post about that?”

Right at the start I want to underline that this is my personal testimonial, where I share what worked for me. My occupation as a coach is in the professional environment only, and I am not a therapist or psychologist. I do consult professionals, if I feel stuck, to help me work through my issues, and I can only recommend that to everyone of you if you feel like you can’t handle it alone anymore.

Additionally, I am very well aware that things working for me the way they are is partly because I live alone and I don’t have any kids to take care of. Because I live in a big city with food deliveries for the times I really don’t feel like leaving the apartment to go grocery shopping. But I really hope that I can give you strength to try and find little things to tweak and maybe leave out right now to find a few minutes for yourselves and conserve your energy.

Mid February I realized that I am just exhausted. I thought “Why am I so exhausted, I’m not doing that much!” – but you mustn’t forget the mental stress we’ve had for the last year in the pandemic. Financial worries, job worries, anxiety for our future. Probably no vacation because of travel restrictions (and maybe money restrictions as well). Social interaction with our friends and family have changed completely, we spend more time indoors, we feel stuck and caged.

  • I realized that I have absolutely no capacity for additional, self imposed restrictions. That means that my diet right now only serves one purpose: to feed my body and keep it energized. Cooking was so exhausting, that I often ate delivery or used ready-to-eat-meals. There was no low-carb diet anymore, and I was so proud of myself for cooking pasta instead of eating a bag of chips. And that’s okay for a certain amount of time. We don’t have to feel bad for preserving our energy for getting up in the morning, breathing, being. 
    But there were a few things I still did follow: 
     – my intermittent fasting times. I allowed myself to eat unhealthy during the day, but I stopped and kept my 16 hours fasting time.
     – I know from my bloodwork that I have low vitamin D and iron numbers. Therefore I used supplements for that, because deficiencies can cause or increase fatigue and exhaustion. Check with your GP if that could be an issue for you before just taking something.
  • One risk we learned during our yoga teacher training is that often you stop or neglect your own practice, because you don’t have the time anymore and it’s part of your job. And I really felt that – not only the time thing but the motivational and energetic restriction. So I really allowed myself to not force myself to yoga aside from my online classes and video shootings, and spend a lot of time on my couch instead. And I really feel it – mentally as well as physically, I came to the point where I wanted to move my body just for myself (not for planning and producing a new video or holding a class) and to benefit from it. I re-discovered why I fell in love with yoga in the first place, to relieve my back pain and tension, to balance myself, ground myself. Without any necessity or compulsion. And I really like that mindset.
  • I told my close friends and family that I don’t have a lot of energy at the time and they shouldn’t take it personally if there is not much contact. I had some time where I didn’t initiate contact with anyone, and didn’t always answer when the called or texted. And thankfully they understand, they’re not mad, and still try it again. Without pressure. And don’t say “you have to stand up and get out and take a walk” but understand that sometimes it just takes time. But on the other hand that will address if they think that my hermitry comes to an unhealthy point where I should take some action. We talk about our challenges and frustrations, and what helps us, but without the expectation that this is the only possible way and everyone has to do it the same way. Everyone is different. Everyone has different challenges. And everyone has different solutions.

These three things are the most important to me right now in this situation. I’m sure that I will find other things as well, and will post there another time. In the meantime, you can comment below in the comment box if you have a tip or question for me to answer in the next blogpost about that topic!