by Sara Marchessault
Roxanne is a woman at my gym who takes Kick and Core on Mondays and Cardio Kickboxing on Wednesdays. She is my idol. She keeps moving when I am pretty sure it’s time to fall flat on my face panting and gasping for air.
One recent class, Roxanne came in distressed and upset. She said that Christmas was still more than two weeks away and that while it’s wonderful to live close to family, at this time of year they really stress her out with demands and expectations.
Her words and her body language were all pretty clear that she needed a break from this hoop-la.
That morning our regular instructor wasn’t there and Roxanne and I were the only attendees. We could choose to join the cycling class if we wanted.
Or maybe skip class…(which I probably would not have complained about).
Roxanne shook her head, dabbed her eyes, and said with deep sincerity, “no, lets just have class. I need this.”
That day Roxanne worked out the way she always does. If she has to slow down, she slows down, listening to her body, and also pushing through.
Because she needs it.
Roxanne was kicking her holiday stress to the curb.
After class she told me that she felt a lot better. And she was her usual smiley self.
It’s so easy this time of year to forget what we need. To put the expectations of others first and to not take care of what we need. Our wants and needs are just as important as anyone else’s.
Roxanne reminded me that sometimes what we need, what we will benefit from most, is the solution that can seem the toughest in that moment. When I’m upset and have a choice between kickboxing or jammies and tea…well, let’s just say I won’t break a sweat!
But, Roxanne reminded me that movement, taking action, and pushing through physically, can be just what you need to release some of that stress and anxiety.
There are lots of strategies that make us feel better when we need it. We can talk to a friend, meditate, write in our journal. It’s about knowing what we need and following through with it.
And some days, we just need to kick it to the curb.
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Sara Marchessault is a coach, writer, teacher, and mom who helps busy women use journaling to create more space in their life for being productive without feeling overwhelmed. To learn more about Sara and her work in the world, please visit joyfulbydesign.com or saramarchessault.com.