Ever since our return from Washington this summer (a glorious three week trip to visit family and friends in August), I can’t seem to shake this funk. All the cliches apply – it’s like a cloud hanging over my head, or an itch I can’t scratch, or moving through molasses. My attitude hits the bottom of the barrel, mornings are for rolling over and ignoring the snooze, and apathy wins out more often then I’d like to admit.
Remember how I was rockin’ it this spring and summer? Up at 5:30 AM, yoga, reading, writing, projects. Setting the day on its course by caring for me first so I could care for those around me. Finishing my day with reading, heading to bed when my body told me to, adding supplements and routines that nourished my body and soul.
Now? Ugh. It all makes me want to roll my eyes and pull the covers over my head.
I don’t know when the switch happened, when I stopped caring and started giving up. My guess is it happened sometime around my neck injury (more on that to come in a blog post soon). Suddenly it all seemed so frivolous. Who cares if I wake up hours before everyone else? Who cares if I pound out words on the keyboard each morning?
I’m beginning to see that it’s not a matter of who cares, but a matter of my choice.
Enough with the wallowing. It’s time to choose.
What exactly am I choosing? This:
- Wake up at 5:30 AM. There’s nothing magical about that time, it simply provides sufficient mental and physical space for me to prioritize and care for myself before the world awakes from its slumber.
- Gentle movements first thing. Yoga and pilates are still my go-to, with modifications to care for my healing neck. Doing them right away when I wake up helps ensure I make time for them, instead of putting it of for “some time later” (which is code for “never”).
- Reading, study, writing, and projects. I’m currently reading through a book on forgiveness, journaling my answers to the prompt questions, and choosing to reawaken the habit of writing on this blog a few times a week. I’ve also taken on a few projects from the campus that I can devote some time to each morning.
- Oils. It may seem silly but a consistent, disciplined approach to using and applying essential oils seems to help me. Ones for immunity, calming, and hormone balance are part of my daily routine. Diffusing fresh, citrusy oils seem to lift my mood and set the tone for the day as well.
- Rest in the middle of the day. When the kids nap and rest in the afternoon, our house shuts down and I go right along with it. From about 2:15 PM until 3:00 PM, I’m flat on my back in our bed, reading, resting, or simply enjoying the dark, quiet room. My HSP personality craves for those refueling stops during the day, and even though I’m often tempted to just push through and get more things done, I’m calmer and happier for the remainder of the day when I do take time to simply rest.
- Say yes to real foods, especially veggies. Stay away from refined sugars, grains, and dairy. Start my day with a huge bowl of plants, greens, and healthy fats. That last one is a kicker for me – I love me some dairy! I’ve learned to tune into my body and realize that the stomach rumbles and trip to the bathroom after eating a lot of dairy might just be related. I’m going to give it a break for a week or two and see how my body responds. The sugar and grains, though, are a no-brainer. They mess with my emotions, trigger me to overeat, and leave me feeling unsatisfied and jittery. Yes, there is grace for those days, but more often than not I want to chose accordingly.
- Close the kitchen at 8:30 PM. No eating past that time, and if I feel tired I can head to bed instead of pursue the options in the fridge.
- In bed, reading, by 9:30 PM. My eyes start to close pretty soon after I lay down with a good book and I get enough hours of sleep to make a 5:30 AM doable.
Back to that same old mantra: it’s my choice. I can’t control the world around me, but I always have authority over how I respond. My internal domain is mine and mine alone. I don’t like how I’m feeling. I don’t like kowtowing to apathy. I don’t like the indifference I flaunt towards the things I know give me life. Time to get out of the funk.