M O V E
Get your blood flowing. Raise your heart rate. Breathe hard. It feels good. Let me tell you.
I’m not saying workout, though that’s a fine idea; I’m simply stating, once you finish reading this, or this evening when you’re exhausted, M O V E. In a non-traditional way. Just for two minutes. You’ll feel better, I promise. You’ll discover latent energy. Motivation will pop up out of nowhere.
Have you been putting off some household chores? A conversation you need to have? A project in need of completion? You’ll be ready after you move.
The non-traditional part is important. Entertaining and managing little humans all day requires a lot of movement. Some careers require a ton of movement. You may be on your feet all day. Or in and out of a vehicle countless times, or rushing through an airport for business travel, or working on a farm. Though, these daily routines require ample movement, this type of moving isn’t exhilarating; often it’s the opposite, exhausting.
Get out of the box of your usual movements. Get down on the floor. Stretch, twist, do push-ups. Stand-up, reach as high as you can, do squat jumps, do burpees, reach down for your toes and feel your hamstrings pull. Breathe… Deep. Clear your mind of the daily grind. Think about what your body is doing, how it feels. What’s tight, what do you want to do more of? Is your heart rate rising? Are you getting warm? Are you inhaling quicker?
Your body loves this. You need this! Movement like this is the counteraction of depression, addictions, and negative coping mechanisms. Try it…
—the next time you want to eat, after you’ve already had a full dinner.
—the next time you want to crack a beer or pour a glass of wine on a weeknight, just because. —when your basic to-do list seems insurmountable.
Move in a non-functional, unproductive way for two minutes (or more if your body starts craving it). It may feel unproductive in the sense that you’re not accomplishing the vacuuming or the shoveling, but what you will produce is well worth it. Energy! A more positive outlook and the zeal to conquer all of the items on your to-do list.
And then, once you’ve turned this newfound force into accomplishment and you relax into the moment of having ticked off each item from your mental checklist, if you still want a little indulgence (your post-dinner snack, beer, wine) — have it! Mindfully and intentionally with the complete satisfaction of knowing that it isn’t an escape from things you need to do or a way to comfort your seasonal angst. Quite the contrary at this point, you’ve tackled the angst with movement. Now you are indulging deservedly without a note of self-loathing or disappointment.
Then reflect on it and see if you can relate.