Everyday there is pressure. There is pressure to do a good job, to live up to expectations, to be healthy and look as good as you possibly can. This pressure stems from media, books, magazines and movies. Sometimes this pressure is a good thing. It makes us strive for more in our lives and shows us that there are more things out there than just what is in front of us. I personally don’t like to feel like I live under a rock. However, I know that the more I do the more pressure I feel to keep up with everything. It is crazy now because during this generation we also have the pressure from social media. Especially when you are trying to make a name for yourself and do things in the hopes that others will want to see it. There is a pressure that if people do not know your name then you will be a nobody your entire life.
This past week I have felt this pressure immensely. Knowing that I have to keep up with everything. And as a mom it is hard to feel so overwhelmed with your own life and then have to take care of someone else that has no idea how you feel or what is going on. I definitely feel as though I did not do a very good job being a mom last week. Everything just got to be too much. Not to mention, my husband is on the road for work and we were only going to see him for a day and a half over the weekend. Having him home has really helped me breath and realize what is important. It is nice when you have that other person that can make you feel perfectly at ease the minute they come into the room. I am so lucky to have him with me through this crazy life. However, a day and a half is not enough time to get back into the right head space.
Now, sometimes when everything gets to be too much the best thing to do is take a break and get away. Since I don’t work and little man is in school we have been able to get out of the house for the week and really just stir up our routine. Doing this has made me realize that because I felt so out of control and in my own head all last week that my way to cope with this was to try and control the stuff that was going on around me. This meant trying to make Ray be a “perfect” kid and not get into anything or do anything he wasn’t supposed to. When in reality he is only 2 and he was just being a two year old. I have to just relax and let him be and not try to control everything.
Letting go is something that I am going to have to continue to work on. Letting go of how I think everything should go and what everyone should do. I have found that with the pressure to be a perfect mom is something that I have to let go of as well. All we can do is take one day at a time. But as mom’s and women in general we also have to give ourselves a break once in a while and realize that we do not have to be perfect all the time. In reality, more people will be drawn to you if you are confident with yourself and when they can feel like no matter what happens you feel good in your own skin and in your own life. It is ok to strive for better things as long as they do not take away from the confidence that you have gained in the first place.
All things will happen in time and it is better to enjoy the moments that you have instead of being miserable all the time until you get the perceived things that you think you want. In this day and age, I am finding that it is better to just let go and live and stop worrying about our future so much.
As a former dancer I know what it is like to be extremely flexible. I danced from the age of 2 1/2 until I was 19. When I was 19 I was diagnosed with Cohrn’s Disease. I got extremely sick for close to a month and then was put in the hospital for five days since they could not figure out what was wrong. Because of all of this and then being bed ridden for five days all of my muscles atrophied. (I lost 15 pounds in a little less than two weeks.) Once I was getting better and getting stronger I did not take into account that as I rebuilt my muscle I also needed to rebuild my flexibility. I did, however, regain some of my flexibility when I began training for bikini competitions. I would really try to stretch when I was done with my workouts because what I was doing was also taking a toll on my body. I knew that by stretching it would help with my muscle soreness and also help my recovery time in-between workouts.
Once I got pregnant though I stopped working out and in turn stopped stretching on a regular basis. I am now to the point where I am realizing how much I need to be stretching and how good it is for the body. Especially after having a baby because pregnancy changes your body so much and is really hard on your body. When I was younger I would do extreme stretching which I am not even attempting at all now. After doing some research extreme stretching is not good on your joints and ligaments. Even though this is something that is starting to become a craze that is being shown all over Instagram and Pinterest.
If you have started to notice tightness in your hips and back I really suggest trying to stretch your legs at least a couple times a week. This will help you feel so much better. You don’t have to do anything extreme either in order to see some results and feel some of the benefits of stretching. Something as simple as leaning over and trying to touch your toes is a great stretch that you can do in the morning before you get dressed. It also helps to wake up your body. Just make sure to take it really easy since your muscles are not really warmed up. I do this sometime to just help get my blood flowing and really wake up my body.
Personally, I like to stretch before I go to bed. Since I have been walking around all day my muscles are already warmed up and I am able to watch some tv or listen to podcasts and stretch for a half hour or so after I put little man to bed. It really seems to help focus and quiet my mind after a long day. I know a lot of people are really into yoga which is a great form of exercise. I just have never been the type to really enjoy yoga all that much. I would much rather stretch and connect with my mind and my body by doing movements and stretches that my body is still familiar with from my ballet days. Sometimes I am also able to stretch when I am playing with Ray. I use the time when we are playing with mega blocks or when we are coloring to stretch. Stretching when I am playing with him is not as peaceful or mindful but sometimes I am feeling extra stiff and it is the perfect time since I am already on the floor playing with him.
Some of the benefits of stretching include
– Enabling flexibility
– Helping with posture
– Improve energy levels by helping blood circulation
– Helps to improve your overall outlook on life
– It also helps to reduce soreness after workouts
If you are new to stretching some things to remember are to strive for symmetry. A lot of times our bodies are more flexible on one side. Just because one side is “better” than the other does not mean that you should hold a stretch longer on the side that is not as flexible. Typically you should hold your stretches for 30-60 seconds. If you hold for longer you can risk injury to your joints. Another thing to remember is to never bounce in your stretch. I know back in the day when I was dancing that is what they taught us to do, however, it has now been shown to cause more harm than good.
Most importantly, if you want to see improvements, make sure you are keeping up with stretching and making it part of your weekly routine. You will definitely start to see and feel the difference!
*Information on this page is from my own personal experience and research. Always be sure to speak with your doctor before beginning any workout or stretching routines or programs.