Letting Go of Control

I’m not sure if anyone who reads regularly has picked up on the specific schedule I keep during my training week. Almost every week, I get in my runs based on my training plan, plus 2 yoga sessions, core work every day, body pump once a week, and runner’s core twice a week. I also am very good about foam rolling and stretching regularly. What you may not know from the blog posts I have written, is that I am extremely type A and have trouble letting go of control of anything that I am used to controlling. I live a very structured lifestyle which, amazingly, my husband has adapted to very well.

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I plan out our meals every week, and prepare them ahead of time. I make my lunch for work the night before. I fold my clothes as soon as the dryer buzzes that they are done. You get the idea.

Well this week sure threw me off track. It started on Monday morning, when in  the back of my mind I expected to have a snow day. (Or at least a work from home day). The forecast was calling for rain until about 6 or 7am, and then snow- about 4 inches. Schools have closed for less of a forecast than that. I decided on Monday morning to get in my longest weekday run (12 miles, with 3 x2 miles at half marathon pace), in case there was significant snow which turned to ice and would impact my runs later in the week.

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And to back up further, I wasn’t feeling 100% over the weekend, which I wrote about here. I ended up not doing food prep for the week, thinking I could probably do it on Monday if we had a delay, early release, or worked from home. Well none of those things happened and I worked a full day (actually a little late). I didn’t have time to stretch after my run Monday morning. After work I was rushed but made it to Body Pump class Monday night.

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On Tuesday I had Jury Duty, and everyone told me that I would probably get released early. I couldn’t help but think of all the things I could get done with a couple extra hours. Well, not only did I not get out early, I got out way later than I would if I went to work, PLUS I got selected to serve on a jury for a 5 day trial.

Cue meltdown.

I was immediately stressed and overwhelmed about being away from work that long, especially unexpectedly. It also completely threw off a million other things about my very structured schedule.

After freaking out for most of Tuesday night, I have slowly managed to pull myself together. There were a few things that (sort of) helped me deal with adjusting to things that are out of my control.

Don’t be afraid for ask for help

I hate asking Rob for help with certain things. We have our roles and they work for us. I cook, he cleans up. I keep the apartment organized, he takes out the trash. Well Tuesday night I scared him a little with how dramatic I was being about all this, and he insisted on going to the grocery store (which I was planning to do, but didn’t have time to). He also offered to cook dinner on Wednesday, when I was supposed to go to the chiropractor.

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Do what you can, and don’t be too hard on yourself for not doing it all

I have been kept in court until at least 5:30 every night. By the time I get home, its time to get started on dinner. Usually, I can come home and do some yoga or foam rolling for a while before Rob gets home. I feel like with my schedule being different its harder to keep these things in my routine. I managed to get in 15 minutes of yoga on Wednesday morning, which is better than nothing, and I try to spend at least a few minutes foam rolling in the evenings.

Do something special for yourself that you usually wouldn’t do

This seems counterproductive, but this week since nothing was going my way I kind of said “screw it” and after my chiro appt was cancelled at the last minute on Wednesday, I decided to go get a manicure and pedicure. I felt much better after (especially when I got to come home to dinner prepared for me…see above:))

Wine

You knew this was coming, right? Don’t overdo it, but this helps me relax and stop worrying constantly.

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Establish your priorities

If you can’t do everything, you might as well decide what you will get done no matter what and what things can be left until later. Things like work and running are high on my list, while yoga is not. This probably isn’t ideal (we all know how beneficial yoga can be!) but for me running is relaxing and reduces my stress. Another part of my routine that I try my best to keep no matter how busy I am is my sleep schedule. Whenever possible I try to get 8-9 hours of sleep.

Take a deep breath and try to relax and refocus

This one is more of an ongoing process. I am a therapist and have been trained to teach other people how to do this, but can’t seem to do it myself. But when my brain starts telling me a million things to get done and I start to feel stressed, breathing and slowing down can really help.

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So I am trying my best to not let all of this get the best of me. And luckily it is the weekend and I should have some more time to reset, refocus, and prepare for next week, although I have learned that you just never know what the week will bring!

Do you have a Type A personality/difficult letting go of control?

Any tips for staying calm when life gets stressful?

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10 thoughts on “Letting Go of Control

  1. Thanks for a wonderful post. We all need to slow down, relax, reboot and drink wine! (in moderation of course.) If we don’t slow down and let go, the repercussions can be deadly.

  2. I am very type A – I drive my family nuts sometimes with certain things (laundry, dishes, etc), but I also know when it is time to just say ‘it is OK for that stuff to sit in the sink until tomorrow. Learning to let go is not easy, but we all have to do it … My wife pretty much always ends up sick right after Christmas, with pneumonia 3 times since we moved here (not quite 6 years ago). So this past year she let go of a lot. It was what worked – not everything that the boys and I did ended up how *she* would have done it, but that is OK.

    • I know it can be really hard to let go of control when you can’t do something, and letting other people help can be tough. I’m glad your wife is learning to accept help from you guys, and I hope she is feeling better soon!

  3. Oh man, do I ever have a type A personality. Like last night, after work, why was I compelled to immediately do all the dishes and all the laundry? I just can’t let it go. I am definitely working on it and letting my boyfriend take on more. He tells me I need to learn to ask for help. I’m a work in progress. Thanks for the motivation to try harder!

    • Oh I know how you feel. Once I get something in my head its like I need to do it…and Rob just doesn’t understand because he thinks it can get done at a later time. It’s nice to hear that so many other people have the same control issues that I do:)

  4. I can 100% relate to this post, Lisa. Like you, I have a huge need for control and can start to panic a bit if control is taken from me. I’m learning to get better – and relying on my husband to help out sometimes is key. I also feel like I “shouldn’t” have to ask for help for something that I’m “supposed” to do but that thinking doesn’t help either of us, and he’s happy to help! Sorry for the bumps in your week this week!

    • Glad that you are learning to rely on your husband more, and I know how you feel about not wanting to ask for help. I always feel like things need to be done a certain way, at a certain time, etc. Its better to just accept the help and be grateful that it is getting done!

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