2015 may not have been by my best year, I definitely wouldn’t want this year to repeat, but to say I wished it would have never happened might not be accurate. If this year hadn’t happened would I have really taken the time to stop and think about myself or would I have just kept on chugging along focusing on everyone else? You see even though 2015 wasn’t my best year it is now considered my refresh/transition year. The year I was forced to put a little focus on me and realizing that my family might just be okay without me giving them 99% of me.
My self-focus transition was definitely not pre-planned: In July, I went for a bike ride with my kids and while I was standing up and peddling the gear shifted on it’s own. At the time I didn’t think it was a big deal, but I think that when the gear shifted it dropped my hip enough to mess my back up for 2015. To say it was this one event that caused all my back problems is not accurate, I have scoliosis, some mild back arthritis, a weak core, a weak back, and had been working on bad posture for years (you know the couch slouch?) It has been a long frustrating road, filled with spine/muscle/nerve pain and tingling from the base of my head to down to my hips. With tight leg muscles and a knee cap that keeps going outside of the socket. Anxiety and acid reflex kicked in from the stress that my body was under and the doctors were not getting me fixed…..I needed to calm down!
Going through this year made me learn things like:
- I don’t need coffee everyday – tea is a great substitute. My new favorite is Green Tea Blueberry (caffeine free). I still can’t believe I became a tea drinker. The caffeine in the coffee was causing me chest pain from the anxiety /stress my body was under from my back pain. I am still a sucker for a Starbucks Latte when I hit up Target, but I am no longer having a daily coffee.
- YOGA ISN’T SO BAD! I know that I have said to people, “I don’t do yoga”. In fact when I was told to lay flat and let go of my body and breathe, I just laughed. I had the hardest time doing both of those; I would keep everything held tight and just hold my breath. I ended up getting to the point where I needed to go to some yoga classes and really focus on me. It truly helped in stretching, relaxing and learning how to breathe again. Those deep stomach breaths, that somehow have that magic release.
- There is no such thing as too many massages – until the bill comes (see Tip). It is okay to pamper yourself once in a while. For me the majority of my massages were not enjoyable, as my muscles were so tight and having a hard time releasing. But that is why I needed to go. I also had purchased a Lacrosse ball (suggested from my physical therapist) and held it between my back and a wall putting pressure on those muscle knots and holding it for 30 seconds. I hold a lot of tension in my upper back.
Tip: Don’t forget to look into your health insurance and see if it offers any additional health benefits. I found that my health insurance worked with a list of businesses that would offer 20% off if you showed your insurance card. In addition to that, they offer a wellness reimbursement up to $200 per family/per year. Take some time and check it out, you could have some free pampering coming your way.
- Take a bath! It is okay to have your children take a shower to reserve the hot water for you take a hot steamy bath. I like to keep baths a secret though, so I never tell them that is why they are showering. Nor mention that as soon as they go to bed I am going to relax in the jetted, huge tub that I never let them go in (because they would treat it like a swimming pool and I just don’t want one more thing to have to clean up at the end of the day). Make sure to dim the lights and add some essential oils.
- Turn on Spa Music – You can do a quick search on Pandora. I almost put this under the bath section, but honestly it is great anytime you just need to slow things down. Maybe I should try it during dinner time?
Remember, it is okay to allow yourself some me time (without having something force you into it). In the end a happy you is a happy family!
After 3 months of chiropractic care and 6 months of physical therapy, I am finally at a better, stronger place. I am even working out again… yippee! I know that I want to keep working on a stronger body to decrease my chances of having to go through this again and I hope that I can continue to do the 5 things I learned from 2015, as I become even healthier entering 2016.
Take Care and Cheers to 2016!
Many thanks to my husband for picking up my slack this year, my mother for helping us out when I was unable to tend to the kids and my husband was on work trips, my physical therapist who did a great job listening and moving me in a better direction and those amazing friends that checked in on me when they knew I wasn’t myself. And a big sorry, to that friend I ran into at Target that I hadn’t seen in a while and gave her more information than she was expecting when she asked “how are things going”? Now to only get caught up from the past 6 months….