It’s so easy to take care of your physical health because you can see tangible changes. Exercise more, lift heavier, and run further. You will lose weight, grow muscle, lift more and run longer, faster.
You can measure the changes.
But when it comes to mental health there’s no reinforcement that you can see. I think that’s why sometimes it gets put on the back burner. Maybe if people could physically see the effects it was having, they would be more likely to make it a priority.
But really, mental health should be our number one because without it, nothing else works properly.
Without it, motivation, drive, ambition, energy and mood are all low – which filters into every single other aspect of our lives. Try work in a sales-dominated role, where you deal with 100’s of people if you lack motivation and happiness. Results are minimal, I’ll tell you that much.
But even knowing this, I still find it difficult to make the time to take care of my mind and soul.
Actually, let me rephrase that. I don’t make it a priority to take care of my mind and soul.
Everyday, without fail I have it ingrained into my essence to eat healthy food and exercise. Go to the gym, walk on my break, do a class, run. Something. And, if I don’t exercise I feel out of whack, lousy and not myself. I get grumpy & that is something you do NOT want to be exposed to.
That’s because I have made it a habit. It’s been a habit since I was a child to run and be active. Over the years, the activity has changed in its form but nonetheless; it’s still physical activity.
But countless times I have tried to make meditation or mindfulness or yoga just as much of a habit but they just haven’t stuck the same.
Don’t get me wrong, I still incorporate aspects of all three into my everyday life but it’s just not at the extent or intensity that I would like. I can easily go a few weeks without going to yoga, even once, and it wouldn’t turn my life upside town. I can go months without purposeful meditation but if it were the same with exercise, I would go insane.
I think I’ve finally realised why for me, it’s harder to make this a habit than it is to be active.
Because I have a really, really hard time sitting down and taking time for me.
For some reason, I have in my mind that I constantly need to be moving, doing something productive or up and about.
I find it almost impossible to just STOP, without being consumed by guilt.
And I think that’s why so many people in society these days develop anxiety. Because, our minds and bodies work around the clock from the moment we wake up to the moment we fall asleep.
There’s always something else to be done. There is always something more we could be doing for others and ourselves.
And I am such a culprit of this!
I always feel like once I have done all my chores, house clean, food prepped etc. if I have spare time, I need to be going for a walk.
I’ve come to accept the fact that maybe I need to not be so harsh on myself. Sometimes, Stacie, it is okay to feel sick and want to sit in your pyjamas and watch TV.
Stacie, you are allowed to read a book for enjoyment that might not be teaching you anything.
My dear, you aren’t a failure or wasting your life if you read articles that aren’t publications.
My god, it is tiring trying to always grow, learn, develop, inspire, write and flourish.
I’m never going to be someone who can come home from work and do nothing but watch TV until I go to bed just to get up and do it all again tomorrow, because I ain’t about that life.
But it is fucking okay to want to do that every now and then.
It is okay to take time for your brain to just stop running and churning.
It is even recommended to take a break from trying to learn.
I’ve decided to start making meditation a natural part of my daily routine. It’s recommended to do when you first wake but you need to find a time that works for you. For me, that’s 10 minutes before bed.
I’m allowing myself time to relax and not feel guilty about it.
Taking time out to just be, with no expectations from myself, is my new goal.
If you’re anything like the type A personality I am, maybe you should try too.