In this day and age it seems easier and more acceptable to develop the I-can-do-it-all complex. I, too, am a victim of this especially of late. As I wrap up the final days of my two-year clinical residency at CCNM, I'm nothing short of exhausted. This blog gets personal.
I did manage a quick trip down south and one up north that seem like ages ago. Since then, I have absolutely no recollection of where this year has gone. It's already approaching September! I'm wearing a sweater at night!
The analytical and medical part of my brain knows that my cortisol is completely out of whack, overriding my melatonin, insulin, thyroid, etc. I know that my central nervous system is on permanent sympathetic mode. While I'm running around, literally and mentally, trying to do it all, the only messages my body is getting is one of fight-or-flight. I wish there was a "good stress" hormone. Particularly one that decreased wrinkles as an added bonus because hey, it's all good stress right?
I wrote a while ago about the importance of being mindful: to stop and simply check-in at various points throughout the day. I'll be the first to admit that it's not easy. But it's so important. It helps drop out of that high-strung sympathetic state, it helps regulate cortisol, it increases oxygenation to the blood and all of the cells, it helps us digest our food and nutrients better, and most importantly, it brings us peace of mind. These little breaks to come up for air don't have to take place on a beach or mountaintop, it can take place right where you're sitting now. For some of us it's as simple as taking an hour to just sit and breathe. Even 10 minutes. Use that time to not focus on what needs to be done tonight, or tomorrow, or next week. Use that time to focus on what's happening right now. If your mind wanders, that's expected. It's the act of bringing the focus back that's the entire core of mindfulness.
You don't have to book vacations to come up for air, nor do you need to be a zen master to be mindful. It's the little breaks in the day that amount to the most beneficial and lasting effects. Now then, everyone take 5 deep breaths. And continue about your day.