In the last 3 weeks, I've had two separate colds, popped out a rib, written 7 exams, and spent about 15 hours per day studying (when I'm not teaching or training clients).
Things have gotten hectic...
Part of my discombobulation has stemmed from the fact that I haven't been able to train the way I want to while simultaneously coughing up a lung and avoiding 'over-reaching'. Although I've always intuitively known this, last year at my very first Tarot Card reading I was told there is one facet of my life that is key to maintaining balance and control amongst the chaos of attending school, running a business and managing my own wellness: movement.
Move it or Lose it
So, the question becomes, what am I supposed to do when I'm unable to physically work off some steam during stressful times? Well, movement is more than just physical expression. At least, for me it is.
Movement = Thought + Mindfulness + Physical Output
Planning a program to achieve certain goals is thought-provoking, calming, and almost feels like solving a mystery. Movement itself is mindful. When I ask my body to take on a new or challenging task, there is an analytical evaluation of the demands of the task, what I need my muscles and joints to do, and in which order to rise to the occasion, how I'm going to breathe, and what equipment I'm going to require. After the first attempt, successful or not, there is a review of the task: how it felt, how it went, what could be done differently to optimize performance and gains. I take that feedback, and apply it to the task the next time I attempt it.
So, if I can't use physical movement to maintain balance, can I employ 'mental movement' to stay centred during times of stress? I've written many times about the 'life lessons' we can learn from movement, sport and training, as well as how movement can help build confidence in other areas of one's life.
It's Time to Put my Money Where my Mouth is!
I didn't do a great job of it over the last few weeks, but normally during exam season, I take that mental process that I apply to training and use it to maintain balance in the context of training, work, school and family. It's a process I wasn't even really aware I was engaging in until 2 weeks ago I found myself feeling like I was lost, without a 'study schedule' and for some of my exams, not even knowing what percentage of my grade they were worth until I sat down at my assigned desk to write them. Yep, I'm not perfect. But as I review the last few weeks, as well as the previous 9 sets of exams I've written since starting Chiropractic school, I've learned I have a 'hidden' process for finding and maintaining balance, whether it be on one leg, or mentally amongst the (usually) organized chaos of juggling multiple life commitments. And now that I am aware, I can use that process CONSCIOUSLY to stay centred and balanced at times when I don't have access to my main medicine: movement.