How to find that elusive balance, EVEN during the holiday season

Last Sunday night I did something not natural to me. In fact goes against some of my core beliefs I’m trying to transform. It’s that funny little phrase, you hear recommended but yet in the moment never find yourself doing. It’s the recommendation to ask for help.

One of the biggest lessons I’m learning as I heal and for cancer prevention is to slow down and respect what my body needs.This is always a tough one for me. As an athlete I was taught to push through discomfort. As a kid growing up in NY, “no pain, no gain” and “work hard, play hard” were phrases repeated quite frequently. There was no saying that involved rest.

In fact as a physical therapist and yoga teacher I over analyze my schedule, my workouts, my cancer screens to try to map out exactly how much rest I might need for a given week. It doesn’t always go to plan.

I was pretty proud of myself this Thanksgiving weekend. It was a good balance. I closed up shop Wed. and shifted my focus to family. We even ordered our Thanksgiving meal to cut down on “things to do”. It was a relaxing and fun weekend.

So last Sunday night when I couldn’t get up from the couch to make dinner a flood of emotions took over.

“I’m just being lazy”

“Push through it, you are fine”

“I rested all weekend, there is no reason why I should be feeling this way”

Instead of listening to those thoughts and forcing, I set those thoughts aside, closed my eyes and turned inward. Against my own expectations of what I should be doing tonight (making dinner and healthy food for the week for the family) my body was calling for more rest.

And then I did something very surprising and uncomfortable for me.I called out to Sean and asked “Can we order pizza?” Sean looked at me with surprise and said “really?”

“Yes” I said. I need help. Can’t move from the couch.

No problem He said. In fact I could tell he was STOKED to get some pizza ha.

I was waiting for his disappointment in me to fuel the shame and guilt that I couldn’t do what I said – make food for the family for the week. His disappointment never happened. I then realized Sean would never be disappointed that I would ask for help. He never would shame me for not being enough. For not having high energy all the time.It’s me. He wants me to be happy and rested. I do that to myself. I’m the one that creates the disappointment, shame and guilt.I let the mean girl CEO take over and boss me around.Well last night I kindly told her to pipe it down and enjoyed some pizza. That Monday I woke up replenished and had slept like a rock, instead of being worn out and exhausted. Now that is the way to start a Monday. Apparently I need to tell mean girl to sit on the benches more often and respect what my body and health needs more.

But, don’t take it only from me. 

Listen to Jen Eddo’s Real Life Story of being a yoga teacher, owning her own business and finding balance. Listen here.

Can’t wait to see you on the mat!


Alison McLean

"I help the Entrepreneur reduce stress and live a more fulfilled and balanced life."