For those who knew me from The Cleveland Clinic, the most common question asked is “What have you been doing since you left?” Before this sabbatical, I was an extremely busy person: working, preparing for work, housework/cooking, driving and attending my sons’ events, being a mom and wife and everything that goes with that. I was like the Energizer bunny, constantly in motion and a multi-tasking queen. But since leaving The Cleveland Clinic, this has changed.
The first few weeks were like a long vacation full of traveling and visiting family. Once I settled in, I enjoyed not waking up at 4:30am to start my day and sleeping until 7am!. How amazing was this?! I did a lot of fun things like hanging out with friends, taking naps (which is very delicious), long walks and bike rides, coloring (who knew that was so relaxing?), watching movies, and reading mystery novels!
The important but not fun stuff was decluttering. We all receive messages to declutter, but I rationalized that I lacked the time and, overall, my house was clean. The extra “stuff” we had was conveniently stashed in places not visible to me, which decreased my stress level. But after ten years of doing this, I could no longer ignore the overstuffed closets and under the bed! And as any previous Cleveland Clinic patient can tell you, that “stuff” accumulates dust which attracts mold. And we don’t want a mold problem!
I started decluttering before leaving The Clinic but now I spent a few hours a few days a week. I literally went through each room and separated items to keep, donate or throw away just like those HGTV shows! Then I deep cleaned my home by wiping every surface and knickknack with a slightly damp microfiber cloth with seventh generation to remove any dust. This is what the mold remediators ask all clients to do after remediation and annually. I have never deep cleaned my home but after decluttering and deep cleaning, my house felt amazing. It was painful but I highly recommend it, especially, if you have mold.
The last important item was my learning on how to improve my self-care. I was an expert on lifestyle and did everything I recommended like meditation, exercise, eat well, take supplements and sleep 7 hours (yes, this could have been better). Wasn’t this the recipe for good health? So, why was my heart rate variability so low? And why did I just want to lay around? OMG, I had adrenal fatigue, and was burned out! Hence, the delay in starting the new practice.
I used my heart rate variability (HRV), which is the beat to beat variability in your heart rate to monitor my improvement. High HRV is associated with good health, better resilience and self regulation. My HRV was terrible- in the low teens- when I left Cleveland Clinic. During my sabbatical, I watched my HRV crawl up over time.
The key actionable items I learned to improve HRV were:
1. Rest (listen to your body)
2. Single tasking (sooo hard)
3. Give yourself permission to rest (you are not lazy)
4. Not feeling guilty for resting
5. Have gratitude
Thank you for reading and waiting. I am so excited to start! Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your journey! I invite you to follow me at the center and on social media (I have that now!).