This week hasn’t been an easy one. At the eleventh hour I received notice that I had qualified for a funding opportunity that was completely out of my wheel house amongst a laundry list of other last minute items. Rather than clearing my schedule, I decided to try and do it all. Today is a true practice of managing my stress and auto-immune diseases during real life circumstances.
If it wasn’t for my month of dedicated movement and Melissa Ramos’ 14 day Stress Detox I decided to take on, I am sure that I would have had a bit of a meltdown. Today is the last day to sign up, won’t you join me?
As the holiday season starts to ramp up and our to-do lists reach frightening lengths, it seems appropriate to set out a reminder to stop, drop and play.
Capturing a little wonder in our hearts and exploring something familiar or new is a great way to shed the shackles of stress and find some perspective. A reoccurring best practices theme in The Self-Love Book Club is naming and discovering the avenues to happiness. Letting go by getting a little silly is a great way to nourish your inner-child. Indulging in tradition or making new ones is something you can carry through the year to bring you that extra joy that seems to creep into everyone’s hearts around the holidays
At the beginning of the month I deemed to steep myself in a bit of the arts and culture. My budget left a little to be desired, but I still managed to pick two sure-fire feel good experiences and incorporate them into my scattered schedule. David Bowie brought me back to being a child and reminded me that it isn’t the worst thing to dance in the most stoic places. Born Ruffians was a chance to shake it out on the dance floor with my life-long partner-in-crime, my brother. The band decided to open with fan teenage karaoke – there are no words for how much I laughed.
Go ahead, have fun and play, your grown-up life wont suffer from a little self-indulgent excitement now and again!
Even the best laid plans run into roadblocks. I started my celebration early this month and got quite smug with myself after a barrefit class. Of all things I threw my hip and lower back out trying to wrangle a sick cat into a carrier for a vet visit. It’s funny how delicate and fleeting the body is even when you are admist feeling on top of your game. Four days of committed movement is a huge feat for me considering walking around the block or a casual half hour on a stationery bike was a big deal just a month and a half ago. Last week I hit up three out of my allotted four movement classes in the face of a silly yet painful injury. I spent hours beating myself up this week thinking I should have pushed myself more, feeling even a bit of shame knowing that I didn’t meet my goal. There are so many colloquial phrases to draw from here, for me “you are your own worst enemy” flashed to the fore. To say the least, I lost sight of being gentle and realistic with myself. Even with all of the planning in the world, life will still throw you a curveball.
Thankfully I had a very wise man at my side when I tried to awkwardly step into my athletic gear and hobble out the door. His words quickly silenced my frantic thoughts – “sometimes you need to let yourself win”.
I think we are all starting to feel it here in the Northern Hemisphere; darkness at 5pm softly nudges us indoors to blankets and comfort foods. My roommate noted this past weekend that with winter on the horizon she is more likely to stay at home during weeknight evenings. It just feels natural, doesn’t it? I’ve been slowly changing my daily routine by grabbing warm drinks rather than cold smoothies. Even with my goals of movement this month, I am going to allow myself to indulge in rolling myself up with a duvet and a good book. Comfort is key for acclimatizing to the colder, darker seasons.
Gathering around food is natural occurrence, but sometimes life gets in the way. Slowing down and sitting at a set table filled with food and free of cellphones and televisions is an entirely different affair. As the weather gets colder and we lose daylight hours it’s that much easier to justify standing over the stove. During this month of movement I will be gathering with two lovely ladies to break bread. Finding a way to spoil each other with a meal and giving room to let out a healthy rant, or seek advice seems vital in a month filled with reflection and a retreat indoors. Inviting others into my space can quickly flush out loneliness and it is one way that I am strengthening my community in November.
It’s no body break slogan but it’ll serve its purpose today.
Seasonal Affective Disorder is starting to turn its ugly head in a few people that are near and dear to me. Each day I whisper to the trees in the park on the corner of my street asking them to hold onto their bright red, orange and yellow leaves for a few more days. Continue reading →
Over at The Laughing Medusa’s Self-Love Book Club we just finished reading The Happiness Project, a book I had originally picked up two summers ago. In a nutshell, as much as I appreciate Gretchen Rubin’s candor, I really felt overwhelmed with coming up with my own methods to tackle my own laundry-list of goals. Again, The Happiness Project left me wanting more. What I did appreciate was her idea to focus on one goal a month. Rubin gets into some of the science of building habits, and her Happiness Project and website reflect a 21-day project model. I am personally of the belief that it takes around 30 days to develop a habit, for me three weeks can feel abrupt.