Let’s face it, it’s been about 8/9 weeks since your new year resolution to work on a healthier, skinnier you… and now your motivation is waning. Gym is boring. Food is interesting. You are cheating… with yourself.
“Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.” – Dalai Lama
Fact is most of us will not realize the value of good health until our body or mind or both quits on us.
In our hyper-active, hyper-connected modern life, we are so busy being busy that finding the time and energy to exercise, eat right, engage in activities that reduce the inevitable stress that arises from such a hectic lifestyle should be a top priority in ALL of our lives.
So what can you do when you don’t have time to take care of yourself? Here’s a short list which you can customize and adapt to your own routine. Six non-sweat easy tips and One that encourages you to sweat it out 😉
First thing in the morning when you open your eyes, in the space before thoughts invade and the to-do list in your head starts ticking. Stop. Breathe. Practice gratitude.
Be grateful that you are alive.
In your bed and not a hospital.
Be grateful for being able to breathe without assistance.
Some days I am so depressed that I find it difficult to find things to be grateful for. Yet I know that I am incredibly blessed. So on my bleak days, I decide to be grateful for little things, like breathing, reading, books, the fact that I can walk without pain or that I still have all of my teeth. Whatever floats your boat… just find something to be grateful for and sincerely concentrate on that blessing.
Take a few minutes and meditate. There are many ways to meditate. You can chant, concentrate, visualize, play the singing bowl, flute or a guided meditation CD … whichever method works for you. Again, if you are not the kind that can sit cross-legged on the floor with your hands on your knees, don’t. If walking on the grass in the backyard works for you, do.
Meditating is about centering yourself. Connecting to the here and now. To be present. It’s the deepest part of you that remains unruffled through the storm of life. It stores your energy, your resilience. Connect and appreciate yourself.
You can create a daily routine to help get yourself into the mindset to meditate or you can take a few minutes through out the day to practice it as you need it. It’s like taking a smoke-break for smokers. Instead of getting off your desk to go smoke, you take a few minutes to breathe and center your mind.
When you cheat on your diet or worry obsessively or simply don’t get around to doing any of the above… don’t worry .. there’s still something that you can do to keep yourself healthy. You can sleep. Not the tossing & turning kind of sleep but a real good night’s sleep. Empty your bedroom of all electronic devices, specifically the TV and make it the kind of haven that you need to truly relax in. If darkness is your thing, install double blinds or get a light blinder for yourself. If you are a light sleeper, put on some white noise to reduce outside interruptions to your sleep cycle. Whatever else you might cheat on… don’t cheat yourself from getting a good night’s rest. Make it routine & a habit to go to bed at a fixed time. Cheating throughout the week and making up for it by sleeping in on the weekend, doesn’t work.
No matter how blue I am .. I usually feel a whole lot better after I have managed to get a good snooze. It has helped me hang on to my sanity on days I want to blow my top 😉
Hug the person next to you. Hug before you leave home. Hug when you get home. Hug your colleagues if you share that kind of relationship. Hug your friends when you see them. A 20 second hug releases oxytocin, nature’s anti-depressant and anti-anxiety hormone.
Find something to laugh about throughout the day. If not a belly laughter at least smile through out the day, even when you don’t feel like it. Try it. You can’t smile and hold on to anger, depression, anxiety, stress. It’s just not possible. The physical effect of putting on a smile or laughing, transforms negative emotions & releases happy hormones. So go on .. laugh at yourself, or if all fails, laugh at all the cute animal videos on YouTube 😉
Write it out:
Put aside 20 minutes at the end of the day, sit down comfortably and write. Don’t think about what to write or how to write. Just write. Whatever is on your mind. Forget about spellings and grammatical errors. Suspend that grammar nazi in you. Just write.
Write about whatever is running through your head. Whatever is clouding your emotions. Whatever is nagging at the back of your mind that keeps you up tossing and turning. Take up a pen and paper and write it out.
Get moving and feel that blood flowing through your veins. If working out at the gym is not your thing, try a different activity … yoga, competitive sport, dancing, start walking to the store, running to your chores, parking farthest at the parking lot…. if nothing else, walk back home from work, at least part of the way. Again, whatever floats your boat, as long as you are being active for at least 20 minutes every day, the kind of active that raises your heart beat.
So time to get on that band-wagon of new year resolution to achieve a healthier you. If you are tired of sweating it out without seeing some results that motivate you to continue… I suggest practicing the first six tips vigorously 😉
Because I can 😀
Well, at least that’s usually the case. I have been writing as far back as I can remember. It started with writing down lyrics and poems in my diary and somewhere along the way it exploded into several diaries and before I knew it, I was online, sharing my thoughts with the world through my writing.
I made a very public pledge at the beginning of the year to try and blog more often and so far I have been good at keeping my word. Only now the situation is such that the words seem to have dried up inside me … or rather…. as the proverb goes “when it rains it pours”. My words are being used up faster than they can come out… in my latest gig. Yeah, in case you missed it with my post on “words – new and old“, I am ghostwriting a book.
My first attempt at writing a book and I really want this to be as good as it can be. I know it won’t be perfect and this will be a long learning curve that I will be traveling slowly but I really want a great start on that journey. And I think secretly I am still an A-type overachiever personality, even though I have been battling that demon (not) for a while now. I am just trying to be more chilled out with my aspirations until this one took me by storm. But no matter how much it rains (I do hope that it won’t rain on my parade), this is one path that I cannot for the life of me, abandon. No Sir! This journey is mine, this new path to explore, new things to learn with that scared but excited feeling at the pit of my stomach.
I have always been very big on being mentored and later about mentoring others and right now I am so grateful that I get the chance to be mentored or in other words become the mentee of a personality like Dr. MAK Yuree. Ghostwriting his book means that I get to ask him anything I want about so many things that I want to know, learn, absorb. It is an all encompassing passion that has simply taken on a life of its own. To get free pass to pick his brain… that’s a wow right there, every single day! And then to get to put down 30 years of his experience in words for other’s to know… yup.. you guessed it.. another “wow” right there again 🙂
Below is the cover of the book we are writing and hopefully it will be out within 6 months. At the rate at which we are making progress though, it might actually be out far earlier than that. Incredibly, for the first time in my life probably (or maybe the second or third, but trust me that’s pretty rare), I have someone else pushing me to do more, better, faster and my usual fast pace isn’t fast enough 🙂 I do actually sometimes feel like a race horse being prepared to run the longest race of my life. Had I been an adrenaline junkie, the overdose would’ve been enough to keep me on a high for months to come. But as my teaching goes, I am learning to be calmer in the eye of the storm, to take the long view on the future and envision the destination even as I embark on this new journey.
There’s one more person that I must simply acknowledge and thank for giving me the courage to even consider taking on this mammoth sized task… Joshunda over at http://partyofones.com/. She just published a book of her own “Single & Happy: The party of Ones”. Her first book on which she has already had some great reviews! and the cherry on top of the cake? She’s just signed a new book deal!!!! So if you have enjoyed my writing, if you enjoy strong women in general, head over to her site and give her a shout out 🙂
So for today, I am grateful for these 2 personalities in my life who has inspired and impacted me in very different ways to go beyond my comfort zone and explore unknown territories. Thank you!