/Pace yourself

Pace yourself

By Laurie Sweig

are still in a state of lockdown thanks to COVID-19 but it’s warm and
sunny outside. My guess is that most of us are going to take spring
cleaning to a whole new level. What else is there for us to do? There
are windows to clean, cars to wash, garages to sweep, lawns to rake and
seeds to plant. Depending on where you live the list could be vast and
the workload demanding.
This year I’m changing my approach to the
tackling of spring chores. Last August I moved from a postage stamp
sized property in downtown Ottawa to a much bigger space in Haliburton. I
can’t look in any direction without seeing leaves to rake or branches
to prune or a garden to weed. It could be overwhelming both physically
and emotionally. It’s easy to get lost in a task and lose track of time.
Then there’s the “I’ll just rake up these leaves over here and then
take a break” and another hour disappears. Sure, more gets done, but not
without sacrificing energy for something else (like writing this
column) or feeling the aching muscles tomorrow. Setting a schedule and
sticking to it has been my answer.
The first step in the process is
deciding it will be OK to leave something unfinished. In fact, sometimes
that makes it easier to get back to doing it. It takes away the
decision of what to do next. Sometimes I find that a little paralyzing. I
try to prioritize the tasks in my mind; I get overwhelmed so I look at
Facebook instead. Then I find myself wondering where the day went. I
can’t be the only one who does that, or can I?
The next step is set
the schedule for the day. Balance between physical and mental tasks.
This morning after seeing clients online, I spent two one-hour periods
trimming shrubs. There was a lunch break between the shrub work.
Fuelling and hydrating are necessary. The key is to not stop for too
long or there’s the risk of the loss of momentum and stiffening muscles.
the second hour in the shrubs I cleaned things up enough that I can
easily go back to do more either later today or tomorrow. I had a snack
and water, now I am writing. Even when it comes to the mental tasks,
pacing is also a good idea. Soon I will get up and stretch so that I
don’t turn into one big muscle contraction later on today.
There was a
time I used to work until I would almost fall down. Sure I got more
done but I’m pretty sure I didn’t enjoy myself as much as I am now. If
there’s something to learn these days thanks to COVID-19 is that we do
need to stop and smell the roses … or whatever is blooming in your
Something to think about.
Laurie Sweig is a certified
personal fitness trainer and spinning instructor. She owns and operates
The Point for Fitness. She can be reached at laurie@thepointforfitness.com.