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too much on my plate

September 9, 2010

Lately life has been performing its go-too move: throwing more at me than I feel like I can handle.

I can’t say I’m totally a passive victim of circumstance… in fact, most of the things overflowing my plate these days are things I chose to do: work more hours, grad school applications, editing internship, developing relationships, and creating a series of paintings for my very own art show!  Oh, and working out.  See how it has been pushed to the back of my plate?  I’m maintaining a solid 3-4 workouts a week, but this is just me coasting and not pushing.  I’m gearing up to push again for 5-6 times per week.

There are other things happening, however, that are not so positive and not so purposeful.  My mom and step-mom are going through a pretty messy divorce and my brother is in the hospital.  How do you take good care of yourself when life drags you down? This is the big question for me, as my tendency is to try to ease my stress by attempting to soothe everyone else and divert attention from my own needs.  I also tend to get self-destructive and lose touch with my deep desire for true comfort and self-care, which is frustrating because I have been working so hard to unearth this desire.

Here are the things I can do for myself:

*Give myself permission to lose it every once in a while. Cry, get angry, be irresponsible for once… whatever relieves that feeling of being responsible for holding it together for everyone else.

*Submit to those who offer support. There are so many loving people in my life with open arms.  I just need to let myself be held.

*Continue doing the things that I know are good for me. I need to remember to trust that deep voice that knows what will make me feel the best I possibly can.  This, of course, includes (even centers around!) taking care of my body.

One interesting thing I’m noticing: people say stress makes you eat more.  I have never resonated with that statement, and in fact, I’m noticing that often the opposite happens for me.  When I’m really stressed, I lose my appetite.  I skip meals, which I would normally not do, and I can’t find much pleasure in eating a nice big meal, which normally I would.  I’m realizing, though, that maybe I don’t need to eat as much as I normally think I do, because although my appetite has decreased these days, I am in no way starving.  I’m conflicted; it seems like a stretch to think that I could glean such a positive insight from my loss of passion for food, but it is interesting to see what my body really needs just to get by.

Last night Sam took me out for Sushi to cheer me up, and although I was feeling pretty happy and hadn’t eaten much all day, I was genuinely stuffed after about 8 pieces.   Usually I could eat two whole rolls without a problem.  We’ll see what happens, but wouldn’t it be nice if my overflowing plate ended up clearing the slate and re-vamping my view on how much food my body really needs?

Never give up on pinning down that elusive silver lining…

image courtesy of,r:5,s:48&tx=84&ty=67&biw=1263&bih=777

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Lynne permalink
    September 9, 2010 2:18 pm

    there is nothing like stress to help one focus on what is really important, really true, totally honest.

    i am so sorry to hear about your brother in the hospital. i will say prayers for his swift recovery.

    keep up the good work. and let me know when you are having your own art show! i am having a group one with other “fine artists” in late september.

    be well. stay tuned to your body, and DO let yourself be sad. or disappointed. both of those emotions tend to take a lot out of me.

    • September 15, 2010 1:12 pm

      Thank you, Lynne. As always, your support and input is very much appreciated. Wow, your art show is coming right up! Mine is not until mid-December, but I have a lot of pieces to paint between now and then… ! Best of luck with yours 🙂

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