So just over 3 weeks ago, as most of you know, I got my first puppy Chester. He’s a Hungarian Vizsla and I absolutely love him to pieces. But despite the many ‘head’s up’ I received I still didn’t bank on how much hard work it would be. Now, I don’t shy away from hard work, in fact often I thrive on it, but what I didn’t bank on was how much it would affect my routine and how that would make me feel.
Before Chester came along I’d developed a great little routine of waking up, working out, drinking a green juice/smoothie, shower and then on with the rest of my day which included some meditation, as well as working on my business. Now I knew that my new pup would need a lot of attention but what I hadn’t factored in was just how much that change in routine would affect my mental well-being and send me into a real funk.
Working out was the first thing to go. Have you tried to work out with a brand-new pup in the house? He just thinks it’s play time. And as much as I probably could have squeezed a work out in once Andy came home from work, to be honest I was knackered and ended up using the time catching up with the work that I couldn’t get done through the day. Eating had to be something quick and easy and so I started relying on something on toast most days and was snacking A LOT because I was so tired from being up twice in the night. The lack of sleep was probably what got to me more than anything else. I’m an 8 hour a night girl and anything less just makes me feel so groggy and tired for the rest of the day. So, getting up at 1am for a toilet trip and then being up from 4.30am some mornings wasn’t ideal!
Even showering became hard work. Vizsla’s aren’t called velcro dogs for no reason. Chester became my shadow and sometimes doing even the simplest of tasks was no longer simple. I’d been used to taking well over an hour to shower and get ready and now I had to do it in under 20min as that was the longest he was happy to occupy himself.
Now for those of you who have children, I know that having children is probably far harder but I’m not comparing it to that by any means although my sister in law did say she would happily take a baby over a pup any day (having raised both).
I think it was just such a shock to the system that I hadn’t fully prepared for. So, yes, I found myself in a real rut where I wasn’t taking care of myself and I felt run down and didn’t look particularly great. And yes, I worry about that. Not so much from a vanity point of view but from the perspective that as a health coach, looking healthy is surely expected.
I realised last week what a rut I’d found myself in. But it was my own fault. I’d expected life to continue as normal. I’d expected this little pup to just ‘fit in’ with everything I needed to do. And for anyone who’s had a pup you’re probably laughing at the fact that it just doesn’t work like that.
I decided that I had two options here. I could continue to get frustrated at not being able to do things in the way that I was used to, and continue to feel sorry for myself or I could accept my routine needed to change, this was a short-term thing and not getting a work out in every single day wasn’t the end of the world.
So what did I do?
The first thing I did was ask for more help. Because Andy worked long hours I had offered to do all the early starts and I guess I was enjoying being a martyr of sorts. When I asked him to help he didn’t hesitate and so this weekend I’ve had plenty of much needed sleep and started to pull myself together. (Pup is also now sleeping through the night which is a HUGE bonus!)
Next, I focused on easy ways to eat better. I got back to starting each morning with a green juice or smoothie instead of worrying about trying to make some elaborate and exciting breakfast that would make a great snap for Instagram. I also got back to drinking plenty of water. These two additions just made me feel so much better and started to get my skin back on track.
Finally, I started simply accepting that I couldn’t work whilst Chester was awake and just started to fully enjoy spending time with him. All I was doing was stressing myself out. When he sleeps, I can get bits and pieces done and I’m okay with that for now. Just having him in my life makes me so happy and that’s what life’s about isn’t it?
I’m feeling so much better now. I’m coming out of my rut (which a couple of years ago would have probably gone on for weeks), and I can start to see light at the end of the tunnel. Chester is old enough to be walked now so I’m starting to exercise again and it’s so much more fun running outside with him beside me than it was doing my Jillian Michaels DVD (sorry Jillian!).
When we find ourselves stuck in a rut it’s important to stop and take the time to figure out why. What has put us there in the first place? When we can identify that, we can start to work our way out of it.
Yes, I made small changes which helped me but I think what was most significant was my change in outlook. I love Chester to bits and he makes both Andy and I so happy. I feel grateful to be able to have him in our lives and am much more accepting now of the changes I’ve had to make.