People I know who take health and fitness stuff very seriously make a point of time off. Rest days, and even rest weeks when there’s no running around. Fasting days to clear out the system. It’s something I think about more than I do. The rest days are tricky because walking is my primary mode of transport and one of my main leisure activities. What else do I do all the time that it would be a good idea to take a break from?
Caffeine is an obvious candidate. I use caffeine to push through tiredness, and I use it most days. On a practical level, that reduces efficacy and can’t be doing me much good, so, a day off from caffeine now and then, or a reduced intake day, is something I try to allow myself time for. Today is a no-caffeine day.
The caffeine habit goes with a work pattern that doesn’t give me whole days off very often. Aside from the handful of things people pay me reliably to do, I have three books in progress at the moment, and unplugging from thinking about that is hard. The political side of my job requires me to pay constant attention to local and national politics – days off there are risky and infrequent. I have to know what’s going on. Sometimes I really wish I could have a day off and the respite of ignorance.
Fasting is difficult if you aren’t in a position to rest your body and mind a bit. Fasting is not a viable option if you also have to run hard, it’s just another scary pressure to add to the mix.
I’ve set today up so that I can float round the flat, and I’m intending to crash out intermittently through the day. No caffeine. There will be fruit juice and nut milk, because this is as much about changing what I do as it is about getting into the whole ‘fasting’ thing, and I’m not especially hardcore. It’s an opportunity to reflect on how I construct the ‘normal’ of my days, and whether that’s actually a good idea.
It is not my personal belief that people should work seven day weeks – it’s just that Tom and I are in a situation that makes it difficult not to. He has some hefty deadlines and spends most of his time working, and while I could take more time off (which wasn’t previously the case for me) I feel guilty about stopping when he can’t. If hard work equated to wealth, we’d be rolling in it.
It’s half nine, and I learn that I blog a lot slower without the morning coffee. My concentration is not what it could be, and today I am going to let that be ok. I’m not going to push against tiredness, I’m going to let my energy levels be low, and not do much. My theory is that this should be good for me. Thoughts on how that works in practice, to follow.