The second reason why I’ve been feeling a bit frustrated recently (see previous post) is that I’ve been struggling to take care of myself.
In the past months (years?) I’ve been working really hard to become the best version of myself, and I got to a point where I know what makes me feel good. Theoretically, I could be 100% all the time. I know what my body needs, how its needs change throughout the course of every month (a lot of my body fluctuations are period-related), and how to meet said needs. I also know how my head works (well, most of the time) and how to create a safe, calm and serene mental space.
But for some reason, it seems like I can never be bothered to listen to my body and mind’s needs.
For example, I know that simply drinking a glass of water and do some stretching first thing in the morning would make a huge difference to boost my mood for the day. Yet, I hardly ever do it. Or better, I seem to only be willing to do things that make me feel good when I’m already feeling good enough to do them.
Let me explain: if one morning I wake up feeling happy, relaxed and energised, I would feel more motivated to drink my water and spend some time on the yoga mat before starting my day. On the other hand, if I wake up feeling groggy, uninspired, with troubles on my mind, all I want to do is wrap myself in a burrito blanket and spend my day on the couch binge-watching #vanlife videos on YouTube. In other words, it’s very easy for me to dwell in self pity. If I don’t feel great, I feel like there’s no point in trying to feel better. I’ll just accept that it’s a bad day and roll with it.
This ends up being a vicious cycle, because I need to feel good to take care of myself, but I need to take care of myself to feel good. Plus, in a situation like the one I’m in now, where I’ve been stressed for months, you can see why this can get dangerous.
Luckily, the other day at yoga I had one of my revelations.
I’ve been going to hot yoga for the past couple of weeks (long story), and I’ve been enjoying it quite a bit I have to say. Last Friday I forced myself to go to a 7am class, spurred by the desire to clear my mind after a post-basketball vexation and the prospective of the class being taught by a super hot instructor (which is the main reason why I’ve been going in the first place). However, the hottie wasn’t there, and I was knackered after the game the night before, so I sat in Sukhasana already predicting a bad practice.
Halfway through, we were doing some weird pose that I’d never done before and that required a lot of balance (which I don’t have), and I kept on wobbling and falling and was getting really annoyed. When we shifted to downward-facing dog to recover, I told myself, Fucking. STOP. This.
Stop being annoyed. Stop focusing on what you can’t do. (This was also basketball-related). What’s the point? Instead of getting frustrated because you can’t hold a pose, think about what your body is already doing for you, acknowledge it and accept it.
And so I did. I couldn’t do all the poses and I spent more time in child’s pose than most people, but by the end of the practice I felt relaxed, tired as fuck but at peace with myself. I walked home as the sun was rising, watched people going to work, smiling at the thought that it was only 8am and I’d already accomplished so much.
At home I sat back on my yoga mat and did some more breathing exercises. I can never do yoga for more than two weeks at a time because I always end up losing interest, however this time I’d really like to keep it up. I’ve learned that yoga shifts the focus from what your body looks like to what your body can do – and that’s pretty awesome.
- Think about what you can do rather than what you can’t, and try to understand why you can’t do what you can’t do.
- It’s ok to feel crap sometimes, as long as you don’t let the crappiness ruin your day. Just embrace it as something you’re going through, but do something to change it.
- Remind yourself what makes you feel good and fucking do it. You are worth of feeling awesome every day.