Since being home and working for my Mom, I have come to realize something huge: My Mom doesn't know how to relax.
I don't find this surprising really as she was the one I originally learned this skill from during my eating disorder days. I didn't even know the concept of relaxation then, and neither did my Mom.
Like Mother, like daughter I guess.
Anyways, this might seem insignificant to you but its sometimes a big issue for me. I have since learned how to successfully relax and am proud of y accomplishment. So being with my Mom 24/7 is hard sometimes, as she doesn't stop moving for even one second.
There is always something else to do, something else that needs to get done. And I've tried to jokingly tell her that she needs to learn how to sit still for once, but she says she can't.
I remember back to the days when I was like that too. There was never a time when I wasn't doing something, anything, to stay busy, to keep burning calories.
Of course, my Mom's not really thinking about burning calories as I was, it's more of a I-have-too-much-to-get-done sort of issue with her. But one all the same.
The first time I was able to grasp the concept of relaxing was when I starting lifting weights over a year ago. I had learned that in order to build muscle, my body needed to rest and repair itself, so I took one rest day per week. On this day I tried not to do any form of exercise whatsoever. It was hard, sure, but I immediately felt 100 times better with just this little amount of rest.
It was like my body thanked me and the next day was up and ready to start again the next day.
Since then I have been very concerned with making sure I take these rest days, both to insure my continued muscle growth and strength, but also just for my own mental sanity.
There is only so much our bodies can handle day in and day out. If we are not giving them a break, eventually something will break.
I take two rest days per week now and I make a big deal out of them. I work all week, take long walks with my Mom, lift weights, and walk some more, so it is crucial to take a breather and let everything go.
I am trying to get it through my Mom's head that she must take a breath sometimes. She does do yoga everyday which she says relaxes her, but I know that's not enough.
I have been trying to encourage her to take a whole day and do nothing too strenuous. I've suggested dropping her off at her art studio to just paint and draw or whatever and she loves the idea, but is nervous to take the leap.
The hardest part for me has just been trying to balance my own personal needs and needs that must be met for my work. It's not as hard it used to be though. There was a time when my own needs were never even known, but now I know them and I voice them clearly.
I no longer feel guilty for resting or taking a break when I need, because I know it's what my body loves. And I love caring for my one and only body.
One day, I know my Mom will take that risk and let everything go for a little while. She will learn how to relax and enjoy it by the time this summer comes to an end!
I will teach her.