Jess December 31st, 2012
As the holiday season winds down, we begin to settle in for the long haul of winter whether we like it or not! Sometimes I find it difficult to get out of bed or off the couch or not eat that extra piece of cake in the winter time. It’s cold outside; the sun is often hidden; and it gets dark hours before I’d like! These are my signals that the season has changed, and a shift in my habits and thoughts comes along with it.
This shift that occurs within me each season presents the perfect opportunity to “practice.” I thought I would share a few of the concepts I focus on to stay present in my life during the gray days of winter.
1. Accept where you are. Accept that you may be feeling a little “off.” As the seasons change, so do we! Quit fighting the fact that you are not feeling “perfect.” We often don’t. The sooner we accept where we are at the present moment, the sooner we can choose to change it.
2. Do something about it. The more active I am, the better I feel. There’s just something about the winter time that makes me want to curl up in a ball on the couch with a good book instead of getting outside or going to yoga class. While reading a book can be a fantastic way to spend time, I need balance. I need to get up and do something. I need to commit to a routine - once a day, once a week – whatever works into my schedule. Last winter I made Sunday my day. Every Sunday – rain or shine, snow or wind – I made my way to a park or two for a walking meditation. Some days I spent thirty minutes; some days it was hours. It’s up to you what you do and how long you do it, but the most important thing is “do something!”
3. Don’t judge yourself! Coming off of the holiday season, you may have gained a few extra pounds or your body may have simply rearranged itself on your frame. This is okay. You will have days when you feel great in your skin and days where your mind will wander off course. This is okay. You will have days where you simply need to lay on the couch and days where you are more active than you have been in years. This is okay. Not judging yourself gives you permission to just be. When we can “just be,” we can get what we really need.
4. Don’t be attached to the results. Setting benchmarks keep us on track. They mark our progress and give us a goal to aim for. But the important thing here is that we do not define ourselves by reaching that mark. The real progress comes in the journey, in the lifestyle change you are making. Life is lived in the moments between those goals; try not to miss out on it by being consumed with the achievement of that goal.
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