Welcoming Discomfort

Winter is tough. Every instinct tells you to stay down, burrow in the ground, and not to surface until the Spring. This isn’t usually an option for most, so we drag ourselves out and try to be productive and make a meaningful contribution to society. With the turn of the season towards winter, we have so many events (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years) that encourage us to get way out of balance with our diets and our self-discipline. This past summer into the early autumn, I was walking 4-5 miles/day with 1-2 daily yoga sessions. But as soon as the cold weather hit, I stopped my daily walking and as the months got colder, I even stopped my yoga stretching - opting for huddling under blankets on the couch for warmth instead of moving the energy in my body to get warm.

This happens to a lot of us, for one reason or another. We just get out of sync with health when being healthy isn’t really what’s encouraged all around us or in the media. But eventually, I get tired of being out of balance, and kick the pendulum in the other direction - which happened 7 days ago. I’ve been walking 30 minutes for 1.5 miles/day for the past week, with stretching afterward. I recognize that this is a small effort compared to what I used to be committed to, but it’s a start and I’m willing to give myself a little time to build back up.

But let me just say, the discomfort I feel when I push myself to get on that treadmill is no joke. And usually within 5 minutes, I want to give up. Each 5 minute increment all the way to 30 minutes requires a push to get through that discomfort, as my lungs start to strain and my mind grows weary of the exertion. But I make a deal with myself at every increment that I will go 5 more, and eventually, I reach 30 minutes. We shun discomfort during times that are difficult, but those are the times when we need to push harder. If you’re finding you don’t even know where to begin, here are some tips to get you back towards a healthier lifestyle.

Treat Your Health Like it’s Your Job

If you approach your dietary discipline and exercise like something you must do, instead of something you’d like to do, you’re more likely to stick with it.

Clean Up Your Inner Dialog

If you’re in the habit of scrolling through social media daily, and often get caught up in reality gossip, food gluttony, awful news stories, insecurity intensifiers, etc., perhaps it’s time for a purge. You have the power to decide what fills your mind each day, and if the things you normally focus on do not encourage you to be healthy and happy, you need to change that. Unfollow, filter, unsubscribe, or deactivate, but do something to clean up that noise.

Get a Support System

You will be more successful if you have people around you who participate and encourage you to be at your best. If you don’t have a solid support system, join a gym or take classes to build up your community. And if those around you are trying to impede your progress, perhaps they don’t deserve your time.

Create a Schedule

My husband and I have started making a schedule for what we project we’re going to do for the week, including goals we want to accomplish and activities we’re going to commit to. It’s been great to have the additional structure to the week so that we actually get stuff done, and it also gives us things to look forward to. We’re growing together and supporting one another, ensuring that we both have enough time allocated for our passions and interests. It’s awesome.

It’s okay if you get off course sometimes. Just be sure to recognize when it’s going on too long, and find the strength to rise again. We’re all here waiting for you to actualize that potential.

Always, Brittney