As I alluded to in my self-love summary post, last month was a bit rough for me. I ended the month feeling frazzled, which is a feeling I don’t handle well. I’ll admit that a lot of it had to do with the crazy snow storms we’ve had (and my bitterness about that is pretty apparent so I’ll just leave it at that). With all the snows days and traveling in February, most days I couldn’t even tell you what day of the week it was. Normally I can go with the flow relatively well, but lately I’ve been craving more structure and normalcy.
Last week the only thing I kept thinking was how unbalanced my life felt. I don’t leave work at the office anymore, I’m not working out as frequently as I did earlier in the year and it’s been a struggle to devote quality time to those I love (quality being key). It’s not working for me. That’s why this month I’ve opted to embrace balance.
Balanced meals: While I skimmed these 20 health habits I initially saw on pinterest, it dawned on me that this month I should really put my focus on balancing my meals. Indulging undoubtedly got the better of me in February. I should hopefully be able to avoid #15 this month, but what really struck me was #7 – the 50/50 rule for fruits and veggies. I used to be really good with this, but that was back when more fruits and vegetables were in season. Still, it’s no reason for me not to strive for it. Admittedly not all of my meals this month will be balanced, but at least one meal each day will consist of 50% or more of fruits of vegetables.
Balanced drinking: I don’t mean alcohol. Thankfully I’m not drinking Diet Coke as much, but coffee’s been a pretty constant in my life. It’s not a bad thing…until I realize nearing the end of a day that I’ve had 5 cups of coffee and only one glass of water. No bueno. For every non-water drink I have, whether it’s a soda, juice or coffee, I want to balance that with one glass of water.
Balance myself: There’s something about yoga that makes me feel zen. My mind usually operates 100 mph, but in yoga classes I’m able to shut out the world (the same thing happens in Zumba but I usually leave feeling like my mind operates at 105 mph). Not only that, but my body feels more balanced. Even though I’m still not at all flexible and probably look ridiculous half the time, stretching out all my muscles and joints goes a long way. Given the mental and physical balance I get out of it, I’m aiming to go to yoga once a week this month so I can make it a more consistent practice.
Practice active listening: I pride myself on being a good listener. Any day of the week, I would much rather listen than talk. But I’ve gotten a bit lax in making sure the person(s) I’m talking to have my undivided attention and that I’m actually hearing what it is they’re saying (which is a skill I’m building on in my training). When I’m on the phone I don’t want to be checking my email or And when I’m hanging out with someone, I don’t need to pull out my phone. I read somewhere once that the best gift you can give someone is your undivided attention, and particularly in this day and age, I don’t think that could be more true.
Daily double: I’ve avoided setting any daily goals for myself, and my rational for it is something that was actually brought up in my training as well. Even if you do it 6 out of the 7 days, you still feel like in some ways you failed because it wasn’t all seven. It’s often better to aim for five days a week and feel like an over-achiever if you do hit seven days. That approach, paired with the notion that my “resolutions” are about slowing incorporating changes into my life, makes me feel better about “daily” goals. I’m going to spend at least 10 minutes each day of reading with no distractions. No music in the background, no phone nearby, no putting the book down to look up something on the computer that just popped into my mind. It’s going to be just me, a book and perhaps a blanket or a cup of tea. I think I need that during the day just to unwind and minimize those frazzled feelings. And completely unrelated, but I also want to start moisturizing daily. I’ve always been warned to start taking care of my skin now while I’m still young. Plus the winter’s been brutal on my poor (now dry) skin.
That’s all the goals I’m going to focus on for the month. While it’s in my nature to want to tackle a lot because I get a little too excited about goals, I need to keep my balance in mind. They may sound like great ideas now, but two weeks down the road I may have a very different perspective. This month I need to take it one day at a time and try to regain some sense of balance in life. And I don’t think it’s just for my sake…haha