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Finding Your Hour after “Over-vacationing”

Over worked, over stimulated, over stressed…you have heard these terms before. I have observed “over vacationed”! My Pilates practice brings many diverse walks of life and there are commonalities among them. My term “over vacationed” is one such commonality.

You work hard at your job, you work hard taking care of your family so you deserve a vacation! So, you plan for a vacation now that the kids are back in school and Fall is here and a three day trip will be nice. You decide to do a staycation to make the planning easier. But is it? You need a hotel with a pool and an exercise room, hiking and biking trails nearby, nice restaurants and adjoining rooms. Don’t forget to book the kennel for Rufus and Rex. You need to leave work early on Friday to get them to the kennel, be sure everyone is packed and don’t forget Timmy’s inhaler, load the car and you drive the three hours to your restful vacation destination. It will be late so you barely have time to get checked in, grab a quick meal, get everyone unpacked and settled in for the night.

Saturday, Sunday, and Monday are booked with activities and meal times from early morning to late evening. You are on the ride home now, the kids are watching a DVD or listening to their own music with ear buds and you remember you need to go to the market when you get home. Yes you have to because there is nothing in the house to make for tomorrow’s breakfasts and lunches for us all as you return to work and school. Thank goodness the market is open late!
While shopping you remember that Rufus and Rex need to be picked up after work tomorrow and each of the kids has practice events after school. Maybe you’ll get your husband to pick up the pets, it will be a late charge but, what else can you do! You are so tired all you want is to go to bed.

And so we go back to our “normal routines.”
We are busy taking the kids to sports practice and games, dance and gymnastics classes, piano and violin lessons. Oh and work and school too! Work starts to feel crazy again and all the on the go of our “normal routines” that we need to plan a vacation, to get away from the hectic feel of daily life.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming up and the kids will be out of school so you can plan a week off for each holiday even though it’s only a month in between them. After all the holidays are so nuts at home anyway! You will plan on taking your spouse’s Mom along because since her husband passed she doesn’t get out as much.
A list is needed to ensure all the plans get made and no detail is missed.

#1. Get online to search out the best hotel location and amenities near your holiday vacation destination. It takes longer than you expected but, it’s done.

#2. Airline tickets need to be purchased for 3 adults and 3 children, after the fourth airline checked out you find one that can accommodate all of you with minimal layovers. It’s going to be a bit more expensive but, what can you do.

#3. Rental car reservation is next. Close to/at the airport. It needs GPS so you can program it to the attractions you are going to visit and it is big enough to carry the whole family safely and comfortably. Maybe with DVD viewing ability too.

#4. Tickets to attractions pre-purchase is going to be more efficient. Book extra activities inside the parks.

#5. Book grooming appointments for Rufus and Rex while at the kennel and book the kennel stay.

#6. Pack…coordinate everyone to get to the airport…park in long term parking.

#7. Book the Thanksgiving or Christmas meal at a nice restaurant.

#8. Long airplane flight home with 3 hour layover, (not planned), Long lines leaving the long term parking lot after waiting for an hour to get your luggage.

#9. Home after dropping Mom off, unpack the car, get kids to bed. It was a very busy vacation.

#10. Less than 4 weeks later repeat!
Then again a vacation in January for New Year’s, February school vacation week, March spring break, April for Easter, and school vacation week, May Memorial Day weekend, July 4th, August summer vacation at the lake, September it’s Labor Day weekend again…

Whew, that’s a lot of scheduling and activity which I hear people planning all year long. In my Pilates practice I observe the effect on the body and mind/emotion and spirit. It looks like this and keep in mind these effects can be subtle.

#1. Shoulders lift toward the earlobes and round forward.

#2. Body slump or slouching; take the rib cage area and the hip/pelvis area and smoosh them together. Can you say no space for the organs to work!

#3. Low back discomfort/pain. Hips are often tilted forward, (anterior), with the tailbone lifted and the spine over extended in the lumbar region, low back.

#4. Slow down…this is often a challenge for people to do because they need to be on High to get it all done.

#5. Holding your breath.

#6. Fatigue/general malaise.

How do I help you? To begin I listen to what you tell me about how you’re are doing today. Whether in a class or private session, I remind you that this hour is about your needs so list making in your head is not allowed. Take some purposeful deep breaths and begin to focus on what your body parts are going to have to do to help you with correct form to produce maximum benefit.
During the session I instruct you on which exercise you’re going to do and give you cues to help you move effectively. I throw in some levity every now and then to keep you smiling and present in your session, (minds do wander). I strive to give personal attention to each individual during the class to let you know your needs are important and matter a great deal to me.
Sloppy movement indicates attention has shifted for that person or that piece has not been articulated well enough by me or any instructor in a way that has made sense to that individual. If time allows during the class session this needs to be corrected. It is always good for even more advanced Pilates bodies to take it back to the basics to re-establish how proper movement feels again by breaking it down to each bony and muscle area that is working. Focusing on my student’s words and movements before, during, and after a session is vital in teaching on the fly! For instance I may have decided on a particular choreography for the class based on the people’s abilities who will be in class. Then as everyone is coming in and telling what body issues they may be dealing with because they were out living their lives I now need to shift that without disruption to the rest of the class. Everyone needs to be challenged in the workout and be kept safe all at the same time.
You can find your hour at Studio 59 Pilates Fitness, we’ll help you focus on you and learn how to breathe again! Keep Breathing…
by:Stacy Darkis,CPI