It is time for me to get back to basics. Allow me to explain. I have not been feeling well, have been gaining weight at a very rapid rate, and have just not been happy in spite of many positive things happening in my life. I’ve tried analyzing my situation, tried just forcing my way though, and for a brief period even tried to ignore it. I’ve shared little pieces of this on my blog, but I haven’t even written an article for a while. None of that has worked, so it’s back to basics.
There are some obvious contributing factors including my current job. Since beginning this job 3 years ago my health has declined due to the increased sedentary work, no longer having the option to work out at lunch consistently, and generally feeling misunderstood and unappreciated. There is the other obvious factor that each year I get a little older. I really don’t bounce back as quickly as I used to from stress, illness, or injury.
Back to Basics
- Read. I have a few “go-to” books that can inspire better self care. My list for the next few weeks includes 1) Go Wild by John Ratey and Richard Manning, 2) Innercise by John Assaraf, 3) The Tapping Solution for Weight Loss and Body Confidence by Jessica Ortner, and 4) Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life by Wayne Dyer. I have read each of these multiple times and they inspire me.
- Walk. When I first moved here I walked 2x a day. Religiously – rain, snow, heat, dark. I committed to it and didn’t let anything deter me. It wasn’t always easy and sometimes I only walked for a few minutes and other times I walked for hours. My dogs went with me. Sometimes I had to use a flashlight. I have continued to park pretty far away from my building to work in some extra steps but I rarely go for a walk. I am committing to walking 2x a day beginning today. I already got one walk in at lunch and it felt great. I was amazed at how good it felt to be outside in the middle of my work day. I know I won’t always be able to go outside to walk, but am shooting for at least 50% of my walks to be outside. I’m not setting a time limit/requirement. My only commitment right now is to get started.
- Eat only foods that make me feel good physically. I really do know what foods make me feel great and what foods make me feel awful. Unfortunately, the foods that make me feel awful do give me a bit of a brief emotional lift. That feeling doesn’t last and is rarely worth it. While many people preach moderation, I have been trying that unsuccessfully. With many foods, once I start I can’t stop.
- Return to pampering myself. When I was having more success with my weight and health I was practicing some pretty “intensive” (by my terms) self care. I was getting regular massages, getting manicures and pedicures, and engaging in activities just for the fun of them. I visited museums and exhibits, and I spent time in nature. Almost all of those things have fallen away and now when I get massages they aren’t really for relaxation, but instead to remedy some physical ailment. While that needs to continue, I need to be aware of the pampering time too.
- Schedule management. I have so many wonderful things going on in my life. It is often difficult to prioritize. The reality is that too many wonderful things can also become stress. I don’t know
if I will really drop any of my activities, and am actually considering a new one, but am increasing my mindful participation in each of them instead of letting my mind drift to the things I’ve done in the past or the upcoming demands.
- Bloom where I’m planted, but change “gardens” (work) as soon as possible. I’ve already started transitioning to a new “garden” and love it. Just knowing there is a plan in place is beneficial to me. The choice to stay in my current “garden” for a short while longer is just that, a choice. I’m no longer stuck. I’m trading a small portion of time in a less than desirable position for some financial security while making the transition. Unpleasant? Yes. The best choice right now? Probably. Set in stone? Definitely not.
Many people wait until the new year to make resolutions and I was tempted to do that too. But I feel awful now. The new year is pretty far away. So Carpe Diem. Back to Basics.
Do you have some “Back to Basics” that would benefit you right now? Please share.