A Reminder to Slow the Eff Down

I vague-tweeted this this afternoon. I try not to vague/sub-tweet but hey, I’m human, too.

Since the day my mom got diagnosed, I’ve had killer headaches. I knew they were stress, but they just didn’t go away no matter what. Sunday morning, after spending most of Saturday holing up in my apartment, I went to my doctor, and she recommended a neurologist.

Thanks to the magic of ZocDoc, I was able to get into the neurologist’s office first thing Monday morning. He said I was having tension headaches, and they were exacerbated by TMJ. (Basically, he diagnosed me as a stressed-out New Yorker.) He put me on an anti-inflammatory for two weeks, told me to do TMJ exercises and to do breathing exercises. I’m going to take that breathing exercise recommendation as a push to meditate more. Lately I’m really liking Buddifhy as a meditation app. You can pick a meditation for plenty of everyday situations — I usually use it at bedtime, so I pick a bedtime release meditation.

But really, I took this doctor’s appointment as a sign to slow the eff down. I know how stress affects my mental health, but seeing it so clearly affect my physical health is a huge wake-up call.

There’s so much I can’t control in life, and some of that is really scary.

But there’s a whole lot I can control. For example, volunteering with the Junior League has given me so much joy and fulfillment in my life. But right now, a meeting every week and the work I need to do outside of it is extra stress I don’t need right now. I called my chair this morning and told her I was taking a leave for the rest of this semester. She agreed it was the right choice, and I hung up and started crying immediately. Even taking a pause on something that’s been so important to me is kind of scary, but ultimately, it’s the right thing for me.

And that physical reminder of stress eating at me is a great reminder to slow the eff down and put things in perspective of what’s really worth worrying about and who really matters to me.

And with that, I’m going to get in bed with my dog and a book.


16 comments on “A Reminder to Slow the Eff Down

  1. Pingback: A Reminder to Slow the Eff Down

  2. Kim

    So glad you are able to take the step back and recognize the physical impact of stress. I think so many people don’t catch onto it until something truly terrible happens. You’re doing the right thing and taking care of yourself so you can continue to do things for others. Feel better, lady! I’m sending positive vibes your way! xo

  3. Sana

    You are doing a good job given the current situation. Be there for your mom but also take some time for yourself. Sending positive thoughts to your and your family.

  4. Katie @ Live Half Full

    When my Mom was sick I got terrible migraines. I did not really correlate the two then, but I really just pushed myself to stay busy to distract myself and it only made things worse. I’m huge with self care these days and it has made a world of a difference, but sometimes you just have to let yourself break down and pick yourself back up. A good cry does wonders!

  5. Melissa

    Well said. I’m the type of person that is happier when I’m busy and have an agenda full of things to do – but often that just leads to me being completely overwhelmed. I definitely need to remind myself to ‘slow the eff down’ every once in a while.

    I’m also going to try that meditation app!

  6. Mark

    Right now I’m eagerly awaiting the day I can slow down. I feel like I’m currently on the “life freeway” and there’s not an exit in sight.

  7. Tracy Schwartz

    “Slow the Eff Down” is something I have been hearing from everyone lately. I wasn’t getting headaches but my gut was getting inflamed and I was having serious stomach issues over the last few weeks. I started a healthy eating plan again and meditation. I was hesitant but my father’s fiance finally convinced me. Will check out the app you mentioned!

    Thinking of you and your family during this time. xoxo

  8. Kylie

    Hi….I will check out the app you mentioned. I also programme my phone and computer to shut down at regular intervals through out the day so I can slow down or meditate. Hope you feel better soon! 🙂

  9. heather luna

    Nice job recognizing how much work JL is & taking a break. I used to JL but the meetings, committees, and responsibility was too much. I know you enjoy it but it is important to take care of yourself first.


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