Its hard to keep your focus when everything around you is falling apart, believe me I know! This week has been a really tough week for me and also my eldest boy. For me the week started off badly with a ‘ding’ in my car - totally my fault and just ones of those things, lets call it an expensive mistake! My training that day really suffered as my mind was obviously elsewhere but my body was also coping with the dreaded PMT which visits every 3 weeks. Gosh the things us women have to cope with, I am finding since I am getting older that my training is definitely affected much more during this time, I feel lethargic and de- motivated which is not at all like me.
Obviously I need to work through this as missing a week of training every month just isn’t going to work. Luckily I have found this app called ‘fitr woman’ and it gives you heaps of information regarding your cycle, how your supposed to be feeling, what intensity of working out is right for each cycle and finally the specific foods that can really make a difference to how your feeling. It's really interesting if you do get time to follow your cycle, as you will learn why on a specific day you don’t want to get your kit on and do that session. It's not because you are demotivated all of a sudden it really is those pesky hormones!
The second part of my week became even more intense, with stuff happening with my eldest. It was his last week of Primary and should have been a week to celebrate all things about growing up, but sometimes life throws you a curveball and you just have to get over those obstacles that are beginning to make your life tough. This was a particular stressful situation for both him and myself, where I definitely used my fitness as a release (I think he used his Xbox!)
After a difficult Friday afternoon I came home, put my lifters on and went into my garage, loaded that barbell and lifted heavy. All that stress, slowly left me and I was able to refocus myself, and even rethink some of the things that had happened whilst sat resting in between reps! Luckily my program calls for a 3 minute rest period and sometimes this feels like an eternity, but on Friday it was desperately needed. It gave me time to adjust and redress all that had happened over the week. Lifting really is so good at restructuring your mind, it really does lift you in so many ways, personally I could never not lift a barbell again.
I came out of the gym on Friday much calmer than when I started, and able to put the happenings of the past week in a box for a little while. I am not going to say that everything felt rosy again, but things felt liveable, I felt able to cope with stuff which is important for me. If I didn’t have these ways to release my stress and refocus, my life would be very different indeed.
So next time your going through a particularly tough period, use your exercise as a kind of crutch, let it prop you up, let it help you get rid of the feelings of anxiety, stress and anger. Refocus and push on, I can promise you that fitness not only benefits you physically but it can also help you mentally as well!