After digging into the roots of my emotional overtraining in last week's post, I've pretty much spent the week since doing what I can to recover. It hasn't been easy, as taking complete rest from life isn't really a viable option and sometimes the decision about what's best for me in a given situation isn't always clear.
One of my biggest problems this week has been the frustration of a setback more than the actual stress itself. Expanding on my overtrained athlete metaphor, I am dealing with the familiar feeling of sustaining an injury just when I've reached the best shape of my life. It's unnerving to go from being the most emotionally resilient that I've ever been to "Going to the grocery store is scary!" fully knowing how irrational that is but still unable to tamp down the feeling of fear rising in my gut.
However, the plus side to this is that I know what healthy and happy feel like, and that my current state isn't just my weak or flawed personality like I would have thought a couple of years ago. Just like an IT band will tear after pounding out too many miles, after overcoming too many scary, hard, or exhausting things, the brain will start to go a bit haywire, too. I've definitely done a lot of overcoming in the past few months, and my brain is sort of stuck in fight or flight mode at the moment.
Logically, I know this, but it doesn't make it any more fun. All I can do is tell myself that it won't last forever and do what I can to help it heal as quickly as possible. I feel like I did a pretty good job of it in the past week, trying to minimize stress and making smart choices about the level of physical activity that would help me without adding further stress. I also forced myself to have a few conversations that I didn't want to have, but that ultimately sped the healing process. (The mental equivalent of a really painful deep tissue massage?)
So I've made it to Monday morning feeling pretty okay and with a fairly manageable "to do" list for the week. Additionally, I'm only three workdays and a nine-hour drive away from seeing my sweetie. And we all know that oxytocin is the mental equivalent of EPO, so that should put me in pretty good shape.