more mindfulness in pain
it was such a full week last week, stressful and difficult. My time was fractured and I barely had time to do very simple tasks for myself some days (like make a smoothie!) It's amazing how that can happen sometimes. There's a lot going on in my life but these past couple/few weeks, it has been exponentially greater. Still, I usually have and take the time to care for my body. I work hard to make sure that I take care of myself throughout all the daily chores, needs, requirements of the house, the dogs, the kids, my work, my classes. It's taken years to develop this habit and it's essential for me to sleep well and function the best that I can.
This past week, however, I didn't do very much in the way of my normal exercise routine. I walked the dogs each day but that was only at most a 3 mile walk each day. I typically ride the stationary bike for 10 miles a day and I have to get in yoga each week. The minimum is 1 full yoga practice each week with stretching every day or every other day. This past week, I didn't get anything more than short walks in and what happens to me is stiffness that accumulates to the point of inflammation and then spasming if I don't get to exercise and stretching routinely.
I had 6 papers to write last week plus another 1200-1600 paper to hand in as a writing example some place else. I managed that PLUS ended up writing another 8 page paper for yet another commitment I have. This means that I was at the computer a lot. Each time I get up, it feels like my body just gets stuck in the seated position. My body is really slow to move and I have to ease myself into movement. I always wonder if this is what it feels like for mildly arthritic folks...
For the past 3 years, I've been standing mostly at the cafe and that has its own pain associated with it but at least I was always moving, hardly sat. That came with it's own host of side effects for my legs and hips but it's always better for me to keep moving.
Since January of this year, I've been having a numbness/pins and needles kind of experience in my foot. It happens when I sit, when I stand, when I walk. Something seems to be pinching a nerve down my leg and into my foot. I have visited the chiropractor and have had massage to help move whatever but it's still present. I want to look into this more deeply. Maybe it is time for some structural integration? An MRI? I don't know.
Today I can feel the numbness/tingling in my foot as I write this. I can also feel a band of low-level pain all around the bones of my pelvis. This typically means that my pelvis/sacrum are not in good alignment. My hips, too, have been talking to me - I've been needing to put a pillow in between my knees at night again. Exercise really does help me to keep a modicum of flexibility to my daily life. Even when I don't do this stuff for a week, my body really starts talking back in a major way.
Today I plan on doing yoga because the stretching is so essential for my piroformis and psoas muscles (These are terribly tight and stiff all the time.) It helps my groin muscles and hamstrings that get so tight they start to experience charlie horses. It helps my hips and pelvis and sacrum that has been so twisted since the kids were born... maybe sooner but the pain really began after Emily was born. SO that's 12 years of some variety and intensity of pain. I have such a high pain tolerance now that it's silly for me to fill out pain forms.
On this day, I have to begin again. NO MATTER how many papers there are, no matter what is happening in my life. My body speaks to me all the time and I listen as best as I can. I do the best I can and when I know better, I do better. My practice today is to not just listen to my body but to actually begin again with my routine after one week off and hope that my body's stiffness, tightness and pain softens quickly.
I probably will be doing my final paper on Meditation for Pain Management since it is something that I have been doing for 12 years. Maybe this is good that this week off from my usual daily exercise program happened because I was wondering what I'd do my final paper on. :-)