For me personally, when ever I have the time to sit or take a nap, part of me always feel guilty. Why am I sitting around? What other things should I be doing? But relaxing is so important. Yet it makes me more anxious sometimes. Taking time for your body and mind to rest and stay healthy is huge. Some of you may be reading this and be thinking....but you do the exact opposite. You are right. But i'm learning. Learning how to manage this "Type A" personality and how to not let it take over my life or my health.
Many people who are Type A are competitive, always over scheduling, never feel successful enough, easily put over the edge, and tend to lack patience. Very ambitious people who enjoy moving quickly and doing many different things. I'm no expert by any means. But I am very type A. It is very obvious and people point it out all the time. Who you are is who you were made to be for a reason. Use it to your advantage. If you are an overwhelmed type A person, don't think of changing you. Focus on changing your lifestyle, your way of life. You were made to be type A for a reason so don't ever feel compelled to change that.
I think it's natural to learn this management more as we become older or when we start to feel changes in our bodies. My experiences have led me to learn how to manage everything in a greater sense. Over the past year or so, I've really had to take a step back from everything I'm doing and think about what needs to change. My health was declining and my body was suffering immensely. Can I change who I am and why I pile my schedule to the ceiling? Probably not. Can I alter the way I do things and how I handle them? Absolutely.
For the sake of my health and stress management, I've learned to find time to relax in each day or at least most. Whether that's waking up and drinking tea or warm lemon water, siting out in the sun in the morning and listening to some music, reading, writing, or just taking a rest day from the gym. Even just taking as little as 10 minutes out of my day whether its in the morning or evening has helped me relax, something I am terrible at. It lets my body just sit as ease for a few moments and realize everything will be okay.
Over scheduling or scheduling too much in too little time? I live by my planner. I mean, I kid you not I take it everywhere with me 90% of the time. Even on vacations. When you have so much going on its reassuring when you have everything written down and with you all the time. Plus- crossing things you accomplish off is pretty exciting too.
Yes there may be a lot written down but not having to worry about forgetting anything eases my stress. It's important to give yourself enough time. Be realistic with yourself. I used to be one to schedule everything immediately back to back. Any little delay and my entire schedule could be thrown off and I would end up being late or missing out on what I had planned. Inevitably resulting in stress. If you do this daily, you're not helping yourself. Now, I make sure to allow myself extra time for scheduled things for "just in case" instances, such as traffic, appointment delays, etc. Taking different approaches to managing my schedules has really helped. Sure it's still packed and busy just how I like it, but allowing yourself reasonable time and breaks in between everything can really make all the difference. Overdoing myself for so long in the end has taught me so much. I've learned a lot. But remember my perspective is a learning one, one I hope you can maybe relate to and will help with managing your stress and craziness too.
I used to think my body was invincible. It could handle everything I was doing. That only lasted so long.
Then I hit the old age of 20. Just kidding, but as a gymnast 20 is old. That was when my body really started to feel the wear and tear. After 18 years of the sport you're body is quite a bit more beat up than most your age. My body started to really break down. Extreme joint pain, repetitive fractures, and then a ruptured Achilles all in a a short time period. I hit a turning point with the degree of injuries I started to sustain. I knew something had to change. Being type A though, I am very competitive and hard on myself. I never felt good enough, so I would practice or condition more. I was never happy with where I was at so I continued to push my body more, even on days where I knew my body had enough. I refused to take advantage of rest days. And I definitely wasn't ready to retire.
I needed a different training approach. I began to focus on quality rather quantity, factoring in rest days, and a lot of general rehab to try and keep my body in one piece. It was an even larger wake up call when I began waking up for the day with joint pain in multiple areas that I was popping ibuprofen by 7 am everyday just so walking and stairs were bearable.
Patience is another struggle, something also very common in Type A's. I like to always be on the go and be constantly moving from task to task, quickly accomplishing everything I need to in a day. I am constantly reminding myself that it will be okay if everything isn't done. I try to think of not flying through each day and just "living in the moment". I am still terrible at this. But it is just as important to be conscious of it and try and tell yourself it will all be okay as it is to be patient with people, tasks, and life in general.
I'm not completely to where I want to be but life is about improving everyday and recognizing the positive changes you are making. Acknowledging your successes and learn from your mistakes. We are human.
Changes are important and can be such a good thing. It was a blessing to have my eyes opened to the care and time my body and health needed. We all need time to and for ourselves everyday. I was known for not paying attention to rest days, and always over doing it. Destroying my body.
Don't feel that being Type A is a bad thing because I honestly love it. You should love your drive for accomplishment and the energy and pride it gives you. But always remember your health comes first and when you feel stressed or overwhelmed, take a step back and find the little modifications you can make to improve your daily living.
You, your health, and well being are important. Be happy with your Type A self and know it will all be ok.