It was my birthday last Monday so I ventured out on the Sunday for lunch. I stuck to my 1500 steps that I know I can achieve on a good day. On Monday, I had lunch with my gorgeous stepdaughter. Feeling adventurous, and on a roll after being out the day before, we walked to the restaurant. Not too far, so I thought I would be ok.
That day I did over 3000 steps. Way too much, as for the rest of the week I have been completely wiped out. Totally and utterly exhausted. The pain and burning in my arms and legs went through the roof.
The thing that shocked me the most was that, for a few days, I completely lost access to my brain again. It was like opening the lid to a box that I knew had plenty of things to choose from the last time I looked in there, but this time, it was empty. No matter how much I desperately rummaged around, I couldn’t find anything.
My thinking brain had disappeared. The box was completely empty.
Having built myself up to being able to concentrate for an hour and a half to 2 hours, I was back to square one. 10 minutes, wiped out and with unbelievable pain in my head.
A step too far
Not just one, but 1500 steps too far. For 4 days I felt like I wanted to pull my arms, legs and head off to get rid of the pain.
One day I only did 500 steps, as the pain was so bad. The next day I was worse. So I have gone back to making myself do the 900 steps that I had built myself up to on a bad day, and I have had to go back to doing nothing mentally at all for a few days in order to recover.
Doing that, I am rebalancing. I still have the pain, the burning and constant headache and neck pain, but I am back to 900 steps, 1500 on a good day, and I can concentrate for 30 minutes again.
What I have realised is that in order for me to get well, I have to take my physical and mental health forward simultaneously. Too much of one, and the other deteriorates as well.
Hand in hand
Mental and physical health goes hand in hand. Putting the right nutrition and fuel in gives us energy and supports our overall health. Being physically active releases endorphins to improve mood and mental health and being mentally healthy allows us to think, function and engage fully with the world. Importantly, it sends the right messages throughout our whole system.
To me, getting well means using my food as my medicine and by working on my physical and mental wellbeing simultaneously.
I don’t regret going out, as I had such a lovely time and I have learnt a lot in the days since.
It makes me even more determined to get my life back.