When you think “healthy” do you envision vegetables, greens, and other types of nutritious food? Your health is indeed based off of vitamins, minerals and the food you eat, but also includes your relationship interactions, how you feel about your job or career, home life, stress, and physical activity. Let’s call these your Primary Food.
Normally I post about recipes and food facts (the “digest & manifest” portion of this blog). Today I hope to nourish your life by sharing a story about Primary Food (more primary food advice at the “inspire & acquire” section)
It came on Wednesday morning at 10:19am.
Not knocking at my door, but kicking it down.
Who you ask? Oh just my long time unwelcomed friend: mental meltdown.
Really universe? It’s not even f-ing 10:30am.
I was stressed and overwhelmed. I didn’t get enough sleep, I couldn’t find my favorite earrings, I didn’t have the correct documents for the DMV, I went to the wrong DMV, I couldn’t find the address, I ordered the wrong smoothie, where I wanted to eat wasn’t open, my ipad didn’t have enough battery because I didn’t charge it the night before, I lost two long emails I had composed to my business partner due to my ipad dying-all before 10:00am.
I was so overwhelmed that I stopped working to ball my eyes out.
If you shoot an arrow at a target and you focus on the bulls-eye, most likely it will land pretty close to your focus (at least hit the target). So if all I was focusing on was things not getting done, no wonder I kept dropping balls.
I decided what I was stressing wasn’t working for me. Using my #1 stress tool: smallchangeBIGshift, I realized I wanted my target to be space. If I hadn’t overloaded my plate, maybe I would have properly read the DMV document sheet, I would have prepared myself nutritious food and I would have had the time to plug in my ipad.
In having to stop everything I was doing for my mental melt down, space was introduced. I took a deep breath and decided to go with this idea of space. I left the gym, and went to a sandwich shop down the street for lunch, Sandwich Me IN. I had been meaning to try it out for months but “hadn’t been able to fit it in”- how ironic.
They just opened their doors for the day and I was the only one in there. I ordered the gluten free BBQ sandwich to which the owner said, “We don’t have that right now.”
Overwhelm started to creep in again as he informed me that they make almost everything in house. Since they just opened up, he hadn’t been able to make the gluten free wrap yet, but if I had a few moments, he’d be happy to make it for me.
Ok, I thought, I am choosing to stress space – so I decided to wait. While I waited, we started talking about cooking and why he opened this sustainable restaurant (only one bag of trash in two years!) and he started telling me about his composting program.
Composting program? I had been wanting to compost for quite some time, but haven’t been able to figure out the best way to do it, considering I live in a Chicago apartment with no yard! He gave me a small container and a simple no hassle, no dirt, no worms way of doing it.
After lunch I was refreshed, inspired, and renewed. By stressing space, I got to connect to an amazing like-minded person, check off a must try food establishment on my list, and accomplish my goal of composting (yes I joined the program)!
It’s amazing what happens when you shift your focus.
This is what I love about smallchangeBIGshift. You can get clear on what it is you are focusing on and stressing in your life and decide if that’s really what you want to put emphasis on.
It’s like ordering at Starbucks. You wouldn’t ask the cashier for a cup of “I want to stay awake at work today”. They’ll ask you what type of caffeine you want. Tea or coffee? Is it a latte? Tall? Grande? Venti? Sweetened? With Honey? How many pumps of syrup?
What have you been putting a lot of mental and physical energy towards (aka stressing)? Get specific. Get clear. Is that really what you want?
Stress is as big of a factor in determining your health as the food you eat and the physical activities you decide to engage in. Knowing your relationship to stress is like knowing your relationship to your food. Where is it coming from? What are you focusing on? How are you consuming it and what exactly do you want your outcome to be? More energy? Weight loss? Increased muscle mass? Are you eating food that supports your health? Are you stressing things that support your life?
Get to know your relationship to stress by watching this video.