Jane de Graaff’s Health Journey: this week I fell right off the wagon – Michmutters

Jane de Graaff’s Health Journey: this week I fell right off the wagon

This past week was the big one. It always happens at some point on a health journey, but I just didn’t think it would happen quite so soon.

I’m on week three of a reset to regain my personal health, both mental and physical, after letting it slide for too long. I knew it would be hard to get on back up, but it’s time to put myself first. So I did. And it’s been going well – gently, but still well.

This week things took a bit of a turn, and putting myself first actually meant my new regimen had to wait and I fell off the proverbial wagon. But, as always, there’s two sides to this. Because stalling on this journey doesn’t necessarily mean failing.

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Jane de Graaff is seeking out her health.
Jane de Graaff is seeking out her health. (Supplied)

As one of my good friends loves to remind me, the body keeps score – and mine is really showing its hand these days. My immunity is being put through the wringer and despite having the various shots and doing all the right things, I still seem to catch everything that’s going around. I’ve had a cough and flu symptoms along with headaches and general aches and pains since March.

It would be nice to have just one week where I don’t feel run-down and on the edge of another cold, yet again, but that’s part of the reason for this new health journey. And I know plenty of other people feel the same. I hear you.

So, I rest, I drink lots of water and hot healing drinks. As noted, my diet has improved and I am doing regular amounts of manageable exercise both for my mind and body. You’d think at this point my health would start to pick up, start to improve and join the Reset party.

Yet it seems I might have been asking my body to just hold on and keep going for a bit too long before I decided to take my health in a more focused direction. Because last week I crashed and burned in a spectacular fashion, right at the moment when I thought I’d be on track to start seeing improvements.

It’s that age-old conundrum, you know how it goes – things just seem to fight against you when you make a change for the better. My brother often jokes that you don’t twist your ankle until you take up running, you don’t sprain your shoulder until you start playing tennis, that sort of thing.

So my week went down in flames. A migraine, which I never suffer from, took me out for a whole day midweek, and the rest of the week was a blur of COVID tests and cold and flu medication, along with bedtimes so early the kids started calling me “bubba”: “Night bubba, sleep well.”

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What it meant was that while I was listening to what my body needed in terms of rest, food and quiet, I simply had to abandon my hard-won personal permission to exercise and get out into nature. All exercise ceased and food was simply what I felt like – possibly not as nourishing as it could be, because I couldn’t really think about it.

But crashing and burning when your body is telling you to rest is sometimes the crash and burn we need. Sure, I fell right off the wagon, but it was what my body was telling me I needed to do and that was important. You’re sick, you’re burned out, you need to rest. So it’s oksy to put a stop on things this week – and I clearly needed to – or a week will turn into a month and then into many months. So I stopped. Even with the health regimen.

Jane de Graaff out in the bush.
Jane de Graaff out in the bush. (Supplied)

But I also promised myself that this was not an excuse to give up on my new focus on self-care in an exercise and mental health capacity. In fact, this fall was a mindful moment that would pave the way for me to get on back up, yet again, this week (gently).

It might not have been what I planned for my health journey, but it is still part of the bigger reset. In fact, while on the face of it it may look like a disaster, it’s actually exactly what the reset is about, listening to what I need, instead of pretending that I can keep going.

Unfortunately, it still seems I’m learning the hard way that if I don’t stop when I need to, It will become a case of I’ll stop when my body have you unto

How many of us are guilty of this, ploughing on why we think the world will stop turning if we don’t? Let’s just hope that next time, I can learn to stop before I crash in a heap. And yes, it’s just another lesson for my personal Reset. Is it part of yours?

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