Can I just be honest for a minute? Daily life is tough, and busy, and sometimes, it’s just all too much. I’m usually pretty good at keeping a positive attitude and getting stuff done no matter what challenges come my way, but I broke today. Nothing monumental happened to cause this break; I just found myself completely overwhelmed by all of my responsibilities and my expectations.
My first response to this lack of control was to get angry. Rationally, I knew that I was likely overreacting…but the fact that I couldn’t just “turn it off” made me even angrier. Rather than take this anger out on someone, I decided to try and channel my energy into something positive…exercise. I pulled down a rower and started rowing; 5,000 slow meters later, I didn’t feel any better. In fact, my anger had turned into an overwhelming need to cry. For 25 minutes, while my body was doing a pretty mindless task, my brain continually cycled through everything that I should be doing but can’t seem to find the time or energy for and everything that I am doing, but not doing as perfectly as I would like. I spent the entire time reviewing my shortcomings. Seriously…is anyone else this hard on themselves?!?
I moped through the next few hours, not really able to accomplish anything productive despite my best efforts to pull myself together and refocus. I decided to join our 4:30 pm group Fitness class, figuring it might be good to take my frustrations out on some weights. That workout was the exact hard reset my brain needed! I left that class laughing and smiling, and remembering that while I will never be able to “do it all”, in the grand scheme of things, I’m doing pretty well! I was able to give myself some grace, and grace wins every time.
So, why didn’t the 5K reset me earlier in the day? That’s a pretty significant workout, right? I attribute it to two factors – intensity and intricacy. While you can certainly row a 5K with intensity, my effort was not intense. And while there is some technique to rowing on an erg, it doesn’t exactly require a ton of mental effort. It was enough to keep my body busy, but it wasn’t enough to clear my head. The Fitness workout, though, required all of my attention and effort – for an entire hour.
Moral of the story: when your brain breaks and your emotions get away from you, high intensity exercise is the best (and healthiest) method for achieving a hard reset.
Could your mind use a hard reset? Come workout with me and let’s tackle the world’s problems (or at least the problems in our own little worlds)!