Lately I have been trying to be more mindful.
To be honest, it’s a struggle for me.
I’ve talked before about my perfectionist tendancies. I have trouble letting things go. I have trouble settling for anything but my very best – whether that’s at work, on a race course, in an exercise class or even during a sewing project. After 35 years of being like this (14 professionally) I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s just not sustainable.
It wears me down. It affects everything from my self-confidence and my relationships. And it doesn’t improve my performance.
So I’m trying to create some new habits.
I’ve been trying to take deep breaths when I find myself getting overwhelmed.
I’m tucking my phone away when I get home so that I don’t obsessively check, recheck and recheck email all night.
I keep my personal email closed at work. I give myself timed social media breaks.
I’m trying to avoid most social media altogether. I was finding that a lot of the posts on Facebook had to do with politics, and since I’m operating in the news sphere for most of my day it was just too much.
I’m trying to make time each day to either work out or do something creative. Personally I find sewing and knitting immensely rewarding – making small progress towards a project I can hold in my hands. Sometimes this helps tremendously when I’ve had a day at work where I feel like I haven’t gotten a lot done.
The working out part has been interesting. To be honest – over the past few years I’ve gained a bit of weight. Some of this probably has to do with my metabolism. Some of it probably has to do with my less than stellar diet. I’ve also had a different relationship with running. I used to LOVE running. Last year, while planning my wedding my training felt a lot like another stress. There’s nothing like trying to answer lots of questions, keep family happy, and make sure that the wedding matches your “vision” to really take up your time. Trying to run 50-60 miles per week while also working a time consuming job during an election was just not in the cards. So I dropped out of my half marathon, downgraded to the 8K and ran that with little to no training. After that I pretty much dropped off working out. J and I went to Hawaii for our honeymoon- which was amazing…once I got back, I wanted to get back into the workout mix. I started by doing lots of yoga. I went every day for 26 days straight. It was amazing for the mindfulness. I wanted to incorporate something that might help with getting me moving a bit more so I signed up to do OrangeTheory. It turns out it’s just the right mix of running (still love it), rowing (my high school sport) and strength training. I’m frequently sore, which is a great thing. I’ve also noticed improvements in my fitness over time. I can do multiple burpees in a row. I can row 500 meters and then do 20 jump squats. And I’m pleased that they are becoming a little easier.
Working out (even when I feel like I am too tired) is something that’s always helped me feel better. I feel like I am making little bits of progress to a larger goal.
Do you have a workout you love?
What do you do to de-stress/become more mindful?