Last week was intense!
The combination of the midsummer Full (Honey) Moon and Friday the 13th stirred up some crazy energy! My creativity was on fire, my body was charged with mojo, my mind with inspiration. The week was a deliciously sensual marriage between inhaling Nature in all her late-Spring glory, and flying through projects with vim and dedication.
Today, all I want to do is take a nap or zone out in front of the TV.
But I’ve a blog to write, phone calls to make and a whole list of deadlines demanding my attention. The projects have crashed landed into a mire of mundane details.
Same thing can happen after the outset of dietary improvements, a new exercise routine or mediation practice. The excitement of doing something wonderful for yourself drives you to gather recipes, buy a cute tank top to match your leggings, set up a Zen corner in your living room complete with a Buddha shrine. Then a few days or weeks in, you dread the site of another green juice, your body cries for you to hit the snooze rather than the gym or the cushion.
As my husband so eloquently put it the other day: women can forget that after the buzz & romance of the wedding, “you’re stuck with the guy who farts in bed.” The daily reality’s not as glorious nor as sexy as the dreamy beginning.
The honeymoon’s over.
How do you go about staying true to a commitment when you’re feeling an emotional hangover, discouraged or just plain bored?
1. First and foremost, honour where you are.
Down in the dumps? Tired? Don’t feel like kale today?
That’s ok. This is how you feel today. No judgment. It’s not going to last forever.
Besides, we put so much emphasis on what we need to DO to be healthy, we forget that taking time to BE is just as important.
All that intensity took a great deal of energy over the span of last week. Maybe I just need to rest!
2. Try a change of scenery.
- A walk in the park before you sit down to your desk.
- A run instead of sun salutations.
- Carrots instead of kale, an egg rather than lentils.
- Take a day off the diet and eat what you feel like eating (who knows, maybe it is kale!).
- Wear a dress to the grocery store.
3. Acknowledge what does get done.
If you’re anything like me, you have a tendency to beat yourself up for the stuff that got neglected, to focus on the half empty part of your day’s glass.
When I feel paralysed by inertia, I thank myself for that load of clean laundry, for the lunch I made, for the walk around the block – whether it was on the To Do list or not.
4. Yes, there are times when a little bit of a push is necessary.
I’ve learned over the years that the days when I really don’t want to go to yoga are the days when I really need to make an effort to get there. It’s inevitably (and deliciously) rewarding.
OK, I’ll admit that sometimes I resort to a bit of bribery to get there, you know, create the light at the end of the tunnel if you can’t see it from where you are.
Put a time limit on it – 2 ways:
Literally put on a timer, put your head down and just do the darned thing.
Or, commit to a limited number of days such as, stay off of dairy entirely for one week. Then reassess and possibly, recommit.
Promise yourself a reward:
It’s amazing what you can do with a sweet carrot dangling in front of you.
If I go to yoga, I’ll pick up some of that yummy sushi from the shop beside the studio.
If I get this blog done soon, I’ll have time to watch an episode of Mad Men before I have to pick up my son! :-
Now it’s your turn. In the comments below, tell us your favourite strategy for keeping focus when the sheen’s rubbed off your commitments. When you share your thoughts, you open the possibilities for others.
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What I am very much into honing these days is TRULY being aware of what my body desires. Not me, who thinks it should be doing x,y,and z… but my body. So that me and my body can play together as the team we were meant to be. Not me the Task Master, and my body, the Whipping girl. I recently came off a very demanding tv shoot- demanding in that I had to go against my body’s basic desires, when to rest, eat, pee, poo. Plus I had to eat some foods on camera that honestly I don’t enjoy that usually make me sick and I needed to make them so TASTY to me ( including candy and beaver tails..yuck, NOT my thang)…. and normally that would just create alot of pain, and tension in my body along with deep fatigue,and stomach issues and THAT usually triggers some food choices that doesn’t necessarily nourish me when I get home from a shoot. I was pleasantly surprised that in moments when I felt I could work no longer we were so far into overtime and my head was exploding, I took a quiet moment and talked to my body- I reassured her that this wasn’t forever and as soon as we were done We’d get some rest etc.and movement~ I asked her, repeatedly, “what do you “require in this moment to bring you ease and get the job done? and closed my eyes and took a deep breathe…her messages always surprised me and I had less pain, no awful stomach reactions and energy to continue with more ease then I thought would be possible. Whenever I fought that communion, the opposite reactions occurred.The experience became hard and heavy. So more and more when I want to impose my wisdom on what I THINK we should be doing, I stop , breathe and Body very clearly shows me (with the feeling of expansion I get when I give her some options) what we both need, to feel wonderful at any given moment. This is something I will be continuing to play with till I leave this incarnation and something I am very excited about sharing with my movement participants. Loving this forum to learn, grow and share Thank you Cathy
That’s beautiful, Felicia. So important to notice and take whatever steps make sense – no matter how small – and continue the dance of moving forward.
I am learning to be Okay with the way my day goes. I try not to schedule too many things, so if I do decide to play hooky from a committment, it’s easy for me to play catch-up the next day. I no longer beat myself up. But, I do give myself lots of praises and rewards after I get the job done. Some of my rewards are getting some Pralines and Cream Ice-Cream just because it’s not part of my diet and it’s my favorite flavor. I used to feel guilty after eating it. But now, I just get right back on the bandwagon with a healthy salad or smoothie to follow.
Yes… the proverbial to do list that doesn’t want to get done! LOL… That’s been my week! I think it’s when I get overloaded… a break and shifting all helps like you’ve said above, so I really like being reminded… for me also, eating dinner, and then relaxing and not pushing… and allowing myself to wallow in the pleasure seems to invite me later to return to my direction. And you know, being a night owl myself.. .I often find working in the night is my time…. and I need to remember, it’s not always others, but that’s just fine 🙂
Great post! Also, good for you for getting it done when it was not on your “want to-do” list. My daughter often talks about how she gets cases of the “I don’t wannas”. It is important to realize that some things are necessary, something can be graced for an hour, day, week, and some things are ideal but tend to carry day to day on the to-do list. I find that people generally are forgiving of the humanness of others but when it comes to themselves, none is allowed. There is definitely a balance between just doing it because you need to and will thank yourself later and listening to what you really need and letting go of expectations that do not match your needs. Thank you for sharing the wonderful tips!
Love this! So powerful and applicable in all aspects of life and biz. Love the refreshing perspective and your hubs humor 😉
useful, doable tips to get you moving in the right direction again, cathy! i especially appreciate acknowledging what DOES get done. this is my go-to pick-me-up (and why i adore making lists that i can cross out!).
My dad always said to start your To Do list with an item that you can cross off right away.
Great food for thought. I suppose I like to inject variety into my life when I feel like I’m at a dead end. Lately I’ve been bored with my same old same old workouts. So… This Friday, I am trying a barre class for the first time! 🙂
Cathy, this was like a breath of fresh air! I love the piece about literally setting a time to do it and getting it done, wearing a dress to get the groceries and promising yourself a yummy healthy treat after the gym/yoga! Acknowledging what got done is so powerful too – we do beat ourselves up for what didn’t happen, and ignore what else we did get done which aren’t sexy things on the to do list, but still meaningful (like taking elderly parents to an appointment or getting their shopping in, sorting old clothes to give to charity). Thanks for this!
Cathy, we can be reminded enough to focus on what does get done and feel good about that! Recently, I spoke on checklists and to-do lists with the idea of making them shorter and achievable so when you check everything off you can reward yourself with ‘free play’ (a camp term when I was a kid) by not adding more to your list that day.
I love that one, Susie, and after reading that, I took a taste of my own medicine with your twist: I got right down to the 3 things I wanted to get done this morning, then went and had a lovely long lunch with an old friend…on a Monday. Health really does come in all shapes and sizes.
This is great! I was just talking with a girlfriend about how I’ll feel guilty if one day I’ll just want to zone out, eat what I want and skip yoga. But it’s what my body needs and I’m becoming comfortable giving in to that. Thanks for sharing your tips!
In my experience, guilt only helps perpetuate the downward spiral. Let’s all learn to enjoy our days “off”!