There's no negotiating with a back injury; no amount of angst over dailymile emails reminding you that you've run zero miles this week will speed the recovery process. When negotiating stairs or getting out of bed moves from the level of reflex to conscious, painful decisions, you develop a certain irony-tinged appreciation for the adage, take it easy.
I am not a natural take-it-easy person. I'm a constant-state-of-activity person. I'm a feels-guilty-about-eating-unless-I'm-doing-something-productive-while-I'm-at-it person. I'm a pre-dawn-spin-class person.
I've also spent a lot of time injured, or sick, or in hospital. There's a certain cosmic balance to this: I tend not to slow down until I am so obliged, by injury or illness or exhaustion.
But as I've gotten older (and more, rather than less, impatient with my ailments) I've tried to make this balance, as it were, less painful.
Yoga. Pilates. Running (clears the mind. really.) Actually taking vacations (I have mostly failed at this).
But in typical type A fashion, I can get a little competitive about my relaxation. (AARGH did not go to yoga this week I am a terrible person, etc. An attitude that could not be described as zenlike.)
So I've been trying to build calm into my day.
I used to come home from work, hang up my bag and drop my mail on the sideboard and immediately rouse my computer from sleep. Three hours later I'd still be standing there (standing desks, FTW), sucked into a void of tweetage and email.
Now, when I remember, when I am "present"-- as my yoga teacher would say -- I hang up my bag and drop my mail (almost inevitably some form of Amazon package) on the sideboard. I light some incense. I turn on some music. I decline to check my email or fire up the Twitter.
I'm also trying to use my phone more consciously (i.e, less). Some weeks ago, as an experiment, I left my phone at home on what I knew would be a particularly long day. And then I counted the number of times I reflexively reached for it - on the subway, standing in line, while walking - for reasons ranging from habit to boredom. A number I will not share, but it was not small. I turned off push email. I read (books!) on the subway instead of manically emailing myself tweets with links I want to read later.
I installed RescueTime (what? Type A remember?) to keep track of my productivity killers.
I aim to cook once a day, and to try a new recipe once a week. I keep my Sundays free.
A work in progress. Life in beta, etc.