A sense of calm composure relieves stress and tension.
Not doing what we know is best for us can leave us with the feeling of being out of touch or disconnected from ourselves. We can feel unmotivated or overwhelmed, shut down or even hopeless. This lack of “fire in the belly” is frequently attributed to why we stopped going to the gym or never started in the first place. Let’s explore how procrastination and lack of motivation go hand in hand and what can be done about it.
Not enough hours in the day?
Time is the number one reason cited for not going to the gym, talking a walk or meditating every day, yet we all have the exact same amount of time. There are 24 hours in every day for everyone. The difference is where we put our priorities and how we spend our time. A sense of failure or frustration is challenging to overcome, especially when your self-care list grows longer and longer.
Narrow your focus
Pick one personal goal that would truly be just for you. Keep the goal simple and one you really want. Select a goal directly related to your well-being. If you know you need to exercise, maybe working with a personal trainer once a week can get you on the right path. Going to bed 30 minutes earlier every night can start the catch-up on sleep. Remember diet, exercise and sleep are the biggest three things required for healthy living. Start with just one thing for you.
Eliminate ‘I must’ pressure
Take a step back to examine how true some of the “I must” feelings really are. Must you exercise every day or is once a week OK to get going? The fact is, working out once a week is better than not working out at all. Must you take care of everyone else ahead of yourself? Taking care of “number one” is critical to your ability to be able to take care of others as well. Must you answer that text the second it comes in? Only if you give your cell phone more control than you have. Maybe checking the cell phone at designated times will let you get more done in the bigger picture, rather than stopping what you are doing to respond.
Self-care and boundaries are not self-indulgent. They are essential for healthy, happy living. Avoid burnout by recognizing your limits and taking action to honor your needs and preferences. The stress and tension we feel from not taking care of ourselves lurk in the background like a constant nagging reminder. Taking that first step provides unimaginable stress relief. Like a breath of fresh air, feelings of being in control brings a sense of calm and composure. It is a breakthrough.
Jennifer Closshey is a doctor of integrative health and a Plant City YMCA yoga instructor. JenniferClosshey@gmail.com.