Ever since my bronchitis started to creep up on me again I’ve been struggling. Even though I knew rest was important, I felt too pressured to get things done and workout that I pushed myself anyway. It was only last Sunday when I was sitting on my sofa, barely able to move that I decided that I was going to take a whole week to rest.

I was going to entitle this post ‘A Whole Week Off’, but looking back I realize that I actually didn’t take the whole week off, but I definitely made rest my top priority.

Normally if I miss a day working out I feel really anxious. I keep looking at my CrossFit timetable, debating whether or not I should go (even if I’m totally fatigued or ill). I watch the clock as jiu-jitsu class is in session and I debate – should I go or not? Basically, I drive myself crazy! I feel guilty for missing my workouts and the stress of that guilt does not make for a restful day.

This week was different. As soon as I decided that I wasn’t going to go to CrossFit or push myself to go to my training sessions, I felt a huge sense of relief.

I was tired.

I needed to rest.

gave myself permission to rest — and it was a welcome break from my routine.

This past week I did go to help teach our Bullyproof classes on Monday & Wednesday and I did do 3 hours of jiu-jitsu on Wednesday … but I didn’t do anything extra. I slept – a lot! I focused on staying hydrated and my nutrition was spot on.

The biggest bonus for me was not stressing or worrying about missing workouts. I haven’t logged on to my CrossFit site this whole week. I haven’t felt guilty about missing jiu-jitsu sessions (ok maybe a slight twinge of guilt for a few seconds for skipping Friday night’s class, especially after my promotion on Wednesday, but I knew taking a day off for rest and recovery was its own form of self-defense). I wasn’t bothered about meeting any step counts. I used my Whole Life Challenge rest day tokens without hesitation, and I would have gladly lost points if necessary.

This whole acceptance of my decision to rest took a huge weight off my shoulders.

It’s incredible how empowering it can feel to allow yourself to take a break! There have been days when I’ve missed workouts before, but it was never accompanied by this sense of relief. A simple shift in mindset and perspective is all it took for me to enjoy my break.

Today I woke up feeling well rested and ready to hit the mats. I had 2 hours of jiu-jitsu this morning and 2 more hours later in the evening. Tomorrow I will be back at CrossFit. I feel ready and energized for the week ahead (and most importantly, I’m not wheezing and coughing or sniffling! Whew!)

Although I am eager to jump back into my routine, I will be more vigilant of how I’m feeling. I know that rest is important and overtraining may just lead to an ever bigger setback than if I properly pace myself. I know it’ll be a challenge, but at least I know – after taking this week of rest – that I can pause for a week and still be ok.