Often we go through times in our life where we are stretched and pulled and punched and kicked. It is trying. It is testing. And you may just find yourself wanting to shout “why me?!” at the world and pull the covers over your head and try and sleep your way out of a shitty time.
You can certainly try the head under the covers approach, but I hate to break it to you, life doesn’t go anywhere and neither does the stuff it sometimes dishes up. Whenever going through some of these times, I often find myself throwing out my healthy habits and doing whatever it takes to get me through.
It is ok to take a break, it is ok to walk instead of run, of allowing yourself that piece of chocolate/glass of wine/sleep in….what ever helps you feel good right now. But, there is always a but, you need to have a plan to get yourself back on track, to pick up the healthy habits and to get you firing at full power. A day of wine/chocolate and sleep ins may be useful for a pause in a crazy period of your life, saying no is incredibly useful as well. However there is a point when you need to get on with it as a life on pause won’t leave you feeling like you want to jump out of bed each day.
Here are some of my tips for getting your mojo back after a stressful time.
1. If you have taken a break to rest, set your self a date to get back on deck. Do not under any circumstances feel guilty. If it has been a long break, just get on with it. No need to dwell.
2. Depending on the length of your break, start small and build up. If it is only a short siesta, then back to your normal program.
3. Prioritise what is important. What do you need the most right now? Do that.
4. Look at your diet and how you can ensure you are giving your body what it needs to function in a healthy way – often in stressful times we increase sugars, alcohol, caffeine, junk foods. Come back to fresh foods, natural produce and reduce your caffeine and alcohol.
5. Exercise – even if it is a 20 minute walk a day. Do something every day to move your body. Plan a time and commit to it, I have a deal that I have to be on my mat by 7am no matter what. I love something I read from Michele Bridges (Aussie fitness legend) she gets up to train no matter what, no matter how tired she may feel, on the condition that if she wants to stop after 10 minutes she can and go back to bed. So far she has never taken that option.
6. If your meditation went by the wayside, start back and commit to at least half of what you were doing before (eg usual practice 20 min, start at 10) with a gradual daily increase over 2 weeks to your normal schedule.
7. Prioritise your social calendar. It is easy to want to crawl under a rock during stressful times, we can want to hibernate. No need to fill the diary every day, but plan to connect with one special person once a week. Someone who gives you energy.
8. Most importantly, whatever you are going through right now, now that it too shall pass. You WILL feel normal again. Nothing is permanent, everything shifts and changes all of the time.
It is also a good time to look reflect on how you handle the stuff life served you up, was it your usual fall in a heap reaction or did you do something slightly different this time, maybe it was less of a heap, or you didn’t straight away reach for the wine. It is useful to notice your vice’s so next time you can be aware of them. Maybe not change them just yet, but being aware is a start. As for sure over time with awareness you will notice the hold of that pattern will start to loosen and one day disappear.