This post is part 2 of a two part series. You can read part one here: Expectations Of the “Default Parent” And The Unrealistic Pressure On Moms Of Kids And Teens
Let’s talk about what being “derailed” looks like for me and what I am going to do about it…
My biggest obstacle lately is life. That sounds sooo dramatic, but it’s true.
I will be going along, eating well, exercising, having a put together house, filling all the emotional cups, excelling in my career and then life comes a knocking… a kid sick, or especially since the pandemic… an anxious kid, an unavoidable social commitment, or a repair needing to be done.
I rarely crumble under the pressure of life and I have become better at saying no and grasping that as a solo mom my available time is pretty much cut in half. I will be trying soooo hard to do everything well that although I mentally am handling it, my body says, “nice try lady… here’s a migraine” or “here’s a SIBO flare up.”
Then all of sudden I am physically taken out of the game so to speak.
I need to clear my schedule, or put off chores, or eat whatever my body can handle, or skip the next few days of exercise and move into survival mode.
Wasn’t I done survival mode once my kids got a little older? Apparently not.
Recently I took a step back to look at the big picture and accepted that this is life, or at least my life and I cannot just eliminate stress or how my body processes it. But I need to learn how to manage it more than I have been, so I have started doing some things to create a net to catch me, a fail-safe.
Now before I get into all of these solutions, I want to be real for a minute. I started this post weeks ago and am now finishing it in the midst of a big derailment thanks to unavoidable social commitments (way too many in a row for this introvert) and a season of my kids fighting more than usual. I am currently on day four (which typing it out feels so small, but living it feels like a lifetime) of survival mode and today I am slowly climbing my way out of it and putting these solutions in place.
I am going to say this and really hear me out… meal plan and batch cook on weekends if possible. This for me is massive. Due to picky eaters and my sensitive gut, I cannot always be eating the same dinners as my kids, so typically on Sunday I will batch cook 3-4 meals for myself a week. I make sure they are really healthy and satisfying.
Lately that has been fish, steamed spinach, quinoa, another steamed or roasted green vegetable and roasted sweet potato. You have no idea how much I thank “Sunday-me” when I am totally spent and not only have a meal ready for me and not extra dishes, but it’s healthy and keeps me on track with my clean eating which in turn prevents SIBO flare ups.
I tend to be an all or nothing kind of person. I have been my whole life. So I am constantly fighting against that urge. That’s exercise for me. I will go hard and daily and then get derailed and take big breaks. This wasn’t working. So lately I have been making specific goals each week and focusing on a minimum of 3 good workouts with some kind of movement most other days.
When I reach my luteal phase I switch it up to walks and yoga. And on days when I physically cannot workout because I am beyond spent or am dealing with a migraine or SIBO Flare up, I am kind to myself and take a break. But then I get back to it as soon as I am well again.
Living with Migraines
The older I get, the more consistent my migraines are. I am finally learning to live with them. I know my triggers… stress, heat, wine (during certain times of the month), over-doing upper body exercise without stretching before and after and laying down to rest too much. I my friends, am a delicate flower.
But really understanding my many triggers has helped me a lot to prevent full-blown migraines. I stay in-tune with my body as much as possible and that is half the battle. But here’s what I do to minimize, or heal them:
- Take 2 Advil Migraine pills before I get one but when I know I am vulnerable
- Eat nuts, especially almonds
- Put an ice pack on my neck and a heating pad on my hips
- Move. It is so tempting to lay down but that is the worst thing I can do for it
- Drink lots of water
- Avoid alcohol
- Drink coffee
- Eat complex carbs and avoid refined sugar
- Put Voltaren Extra Strength on my neck and shoulders and repeat as needed
Lastly is keeping a clean house. Here is my advice to you about this one. Your house will ebb and flow. Do what you can when you can. Also, purge your stuff and give everything a home. I am constantly purging and rarely buy anything new.
Life will happen. Focus on what’s in your control and in the meantime, be KIND to you yourself.
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