This is the penultimate post in this series, the second to last nurturing activity, and I’m trying to work out whether I think it’s gone quickly or not. And I don’t just mean trotting out the usual ‘ooh well I just don’t know where this year’s gone to’ phrase, I mean has it actually gone quickly? Because honestly, turning 40 seems fucking ages ago. It’s probably been one of the worst years of my life. Actually, there’s no probably about it. It was.
When I decided to try these things each month, it was more of a ‘I feel like I’ve neglected myself a little bit’, rather than ‘I need these’, but actually, that’s exactly what I’ve found as I navigated through a tough year. To even stand a chance at recovering from the awul burnout, I’ve had to put myself first and prioritise my wellbeing.
As I’ve got towards the end of the year I’ve been feeling a hell of a lot better. So, so, so much better. It’s not just these monthly things that have done it, but they’ve no doubt helped. This month’s activity – March – has been getting out running in the hills.
But wait! That’s nothing new! Don’t you do that already? I hear you cry.
Actually, I haven’t for some time. Last year my body went a bit on strike and for the first time ever I found myself physically unable to do much. The burnout and stress meant that everything seemed an incredible effort. I struggled to run or walk much uphill, and I could only run about 4 or 5km before I felt absolutely exhausted.
At one time I might have pushed through, kept forcing myself to do more, ignoring any signs. This time though, I listened to my body and dialled everything back. I did what I could, took it easy, ran gently around the park near home and didn’t beat myself up for not doing more.
This month, I’ve headed out to the hills to dip my toe in. I’ve done a few hikes recently, felt good, and now feel a pull to get back out on the trails. The motivation’s there, the want is there.
I’ve started gently, running trails I know and love, not committing to any distance or time, just running for fun and endorphins. I’ve ran with friends, making it social as well as on my own.
I’m loving it. It makes me feel so free, so alive, and a total badass. It’s different each time and puts a smile on my face 100% of the time.
I feel like I’m finally getting back to being me.