Impending Event Syndrome

Does anyone else ever feel like they are incapable of doing anything productive when an impending event is around the corner?  Do you find yourself scrolling mindlessly through email or facebook because your brain tricked you into avoidance before you even noticed?  I first recognized this about myself when I was supposed to move out of my first apartment in college.  I literally could not do ONE SINGLE THING until my mom arrived.  I quite seriously just sat and waited.  I WANTED to do something, but at the time, I had no skills or practice to help me take action when I felt totally overwhelmed.  Needless to say, my mom was less than pleased when she arrived and found that I was not ready to go AT ALL.  Lucky for me, she was patient and we got through it.  These days, I still struggle with impending events but I have a few coping mechanisms that I will share.

I have an impending event in 18 days.  I’ve spent the last three days doing every avoidant behavior I can think of: eating, Netflix, red wine, driving hopelessly around football traffic hoping to see the open house for PSU horses (thanks for nothing, CHAPS!), hours spent at Barnes and Noble.  These have been my avoidant behaviors.  The problem is, they masquerade as a solution to the overwhelming feelings I have and thoughts like, “I’ll never get it all done.”

My experience with overcoming this paralyis taught me that the avoidant behavior actually prolongs the wait and makes it more miserable.  I’ve learned, through yoga, to be MINDFUL, be PRESENT, and be ENGAGED during these times of overwhelm.  When I do that, the time is more enjoyable and feels like it’s moving faster, because you’re not stuck in a state of perpetual limbo.

So that’s where this blog comes in.  I’ve committed to be MINDFUL, PRESENT, and ENGAGED over the next 17 days, and the best way I can do that is through blogging.  I’ve committed to stick to my nutrition plan, exercise plan, and writing about it at the end of the day in order to hold myself accountable.

I’ll make today’s entry short:

It was a rough day.  I got 5 hours of sleep, drove from State College to Harrisburg and was tired most of the day.  I ate a healthy breakfast (banana and shakeology) and lunch (honey chicken with rice and broccoli), but by the time I got home at 6:30pm, I was starving and I had to work out.  So I bought myself a turkey sandwich on a kaiser roll from Karn’s.  No mayo!  I consider the no mayo a huge win–it was inconvenient.  I didn’t have any at home,  and I ate it in the car anyway, so no mayo for me.  I’ll have to remember that trick for next time!

The absolute last thing I felt like doing was my workout.  But I got through it.  I’ve noticed that if I’ve taken a hiatus from working out, just committing to the TIME of the workout, minus the intensity, is enough to get the ball rolling again.  But sometimes, trying to make yourself jump right back in when you’re exhausted is enough to make me avoid it for another week.  So I committed the time, but I did not do the workout with intensity–I simply did it.

So that’s Day 18, in the books!  I stayed engaged!  I even took a walk outside at work today and got a few things off my desk!  Let’s hope the next 17 days are as successful!

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