Happy Fat Tuesday! I started off my day with a 45 minute spin class at the gym followed by a pazcki. It’s all about balance, isn’t it!?
Every year since I was a kid, I’ve given something up for Lent. In recent memory, I’ve given up alcohol, chocolate and tabloids. This year I’ve decided not to give up anything traditional. Instead, I’m giving up stress.
Stress? Is that even possible?
For me, I think it is. After a full week spent at home recuperating, I felt better than I have in a long time on Monday morning. Physically, I was still in a bit of pain but mentally I was calmer and clearer than I’ve been in years. I decided that I want to stay this way.
So what changed in a week?
The truth is, this realization was a long time coming. Over the past few years as my Dad and I have grieved after losing my Mom, I’ve seen how much the stress has affected my Dad. Last Winter, he was diagnosed with Colitis and has spent the past year taking care of himself both mentally and physically.
It’s important to note that my Dad is the hardest worker I have ever met. He’s a self starter and has owned his own company for over 25 years and now runs three businesses. Growing up, it was very rare to see my Dad not working. The past year, this has all changed. He takes time to shut down each and every night and spends time doing what he enjoys. He watches sports, gets his sleep and is a much more relaxed version of himself. For awhile, I’ve been wanting to follow his lead.
My realization came this past week when I went to the doctor and she urged me to work from home and rest. I then talked to my bosses who urged me to rest. They said “they know how I am” and that I needed to get better. So I did. I took the time to do the things I enjoy and that relax me. I watched movies, read, took baths, organized and send out Valentine’s to my best friends. I listened to my body and ate whatever I wanted. I took time to decompress. And now, I’ve never felt better. I want to continue this process as I learn to make myself a priority, to de-stress, to learn how to take a break and to unplug.
With that, I’m closing down my computer. I have a few chapters of book to read and some much needed sleep on the agenda. Tomorrow, I’ll start another day feeling calm and refreshed.
Are you giving up anything for Lent? Did you participate in any Fat Tuesday traditions? Have you ever had a Pazcki? What do you do to de-stress?