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Taking A Step Back When You Really Do Not Want To Take A Step Back (A Forced Hiatus, As It Were)

Photo by  Karina Carvalho  on  Unsplash

I've had to take a step back from most things this month.

It all stemmed from something I can't even put my thumb on: gradually, and yet all at once, I hurt my back. It ached while I sat, it ached while I walked. It ached in my downward dog and shot pain whenever I pushed it too far in a forward fold.

It seems to come mostly from my hips, where a single bit of misalignment means that my heating pad and I have another all-night Netflix date on the couch.

So needless to say, I've been out of the yoga studio for over a month, with only brief visits for yin classes or when I think I'm over the pain. (Spoiler alert: it comes back).

So here I am, still doing baby yoga in my apartment every day, trying to find a balance between strengthening and healing. I'm going a little stir crazy, and it's fueling every wonky depressive synapse in my brain.

Whether it's physical, emotional, mental or spiritual, we all get into ruts we never intended to arrive in, and it can be devastating to your habits and motivation to get pulled so harshly out of your routine. So today, I'm going to just muse on what I've been doing that helps me, and maybe it can help you too!

How to fill the space when you have to take a step back

  • Know that it's not gone forever, it's just not available to you right now. Like (ugh) pumpkin spice lattes. They're not always around, but they will come around again.
  • Pay real attention - if it's an injury, really focus on how your body feels and get in touch with where you're at. Be honest, take care of yourself, and get hyper aware of what feels good and what hurts - both emotionally and physically.
  • Tell someone. The likelihood of them understanding you on a very precise level is extraordinary. So many of my friends and yoga studio buddies have experienced injuries (including hip + back), and they can offer suggestions for what to do. They can also offer an empathetic ear, which is even better.
  • Do something. Do not do nothing. I'm saying this because today, I almost did nothing and were it not for my husband pushing me out of the door, I would have stayed home in my pajamas. (He even had to start the shower for me so I'd get up and bathe).
  • Do something else. I've been trying to do some yoga at home, but I've also been trying to get out on walks since that doesn't currently hurt. It's no intense sweat sesh or cardio bombshell, but it's getting me out of the house and getting some fresh air - two of the things I've been missing since I'm not getting out to the studio.
  • Find yourself - you are still there. Who you are is not gone, she's right there and it'll be okay. Whether it's through journaling or sitting there giving yourself a pep talk while you stare at a blank wall - listen as hard as you can for the voice that's your own.
  • And finally, know that it's okay. It's the okayest. Let yourself be hurt, let yourself be in whatever state you are in and don't face yourself with anger or guilt. There's no use making yourself feel worse about not doing the thing, when you really, truly cannot do the thing. Let. It. Be.

If you didn't catch on by now, this blog post is today's "something else" for me to help get me out of my rut. It's not much, but it'll do.

How do you get out of ruts - physically, creatively, emotionally?

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