Winter is hard. Does anybody else find it ridiculously hard to follow your goals when it’s cold outside. It’s just so oppressive. Not to mention the cravings for warm, comforting foods. I write this as I stand waiting for a train that I’ve been waiting for for about 20 minutes already. I’m on my way home from my acting class. My husband is making dinner at home and all I wanna do is get there, take off my layers and veg! The problem is that I can’t do that cause I still have things on my to do list. Reach out to potential training clients, reach out to doTERRA clients, work on my website, submit for auditions, etc. All things that I must do on my own time with no set schedule. Which means that I need to be disciplined as fuck, ‘cause no one else is making me do things at certain times. It’s all on me. So what do I end up doing? Maybe I’ll get something small in or maybe I’ll just eat dinner and then shuffle to the coach and zone out! Cause that’s what I feel energy enough to do. Especially in this weather. I just got over a cold, followed by a stomach bug and I keep expecting to feel better each day but what I’m realizing is these things take time, more time than you want them to. Especially when you’re forced out into the brutal winter weather every day. It often feels like any productivity I may have had in me was blown away with that first gust of freezing cold wind the second I stepped outside of my door. So what do I do to remain productive in these winter months? How do I combat this. Especially since these are the months I need to be reaching out to people the most, cause it’s the time of year that people are “ready for a change” and I need to “strike while the iron is hot” as everyone says. I have no idea! Although, I think the answer is to be kind to myself and don’t set ridiculous expectations that I then can’t possibly complete. Anybody else do this? Woof! Im a pro at it. And then I also do this thing where if I have been unproductive for a period of time, I feel like I need to make up for lost time by cramming in millions of “to-dos” in as little time as possible. As if that will make me feel better or feel caught up with the runaway train that is life. Where did we get this idea that we are always behind? What if we are exactly where we should be? This is a huge idea that I grapple with all the time. A wise friend once told me that life is not measured linearly but more as a mosaic. And everything we do each day, every experience, every choice, every book, podcast, conversation is filling in another piece of our mosaic. And at first it may not look like anything, but over a lifetime, it all becomes clear who you are and what a beautiful life you have created. On good days, I remember this and it helps me to power on with the trust and knowledge that I am doing everything right and that everything I do or don’t do is helping on my journey through life. But what do I do on the days that I need some extra help getting out of bed and taking on my day (which, let’s face it, that’s most days)?
Things that really help me:
-Get up and meditate! My husband and I love the Headspace app. Its a daily guided meditation app. All you do is press play each day and let this soothing man with an English accent lull you into sanity. I highly recommend it. And there’s not really an excuse since you can change the time of the meditation to fit your schedule. Whether it’s 3 minutes or 15, you just do what you can. I’m telling you this is a game changer. And you can kind of do it anywhere. I have done it on the train, in the car (when someone else is driving), on a bench at a park, in bed, on the couch. You can make it work with you and your life.
-Plan out fun events for the week and put them in your calendar to look forward to. Especially in these winter months, we kind of become hermit crabs and in many ways prefer this but if we do it for too long, we get really antsy. Also, staying at home is great for many reasons cause I can focus on being productive but it can feel a little depressing when I don’t leave the house for days other than to workout or go to the grocery store. So we will plan to go to a movie about once a week ( We have Moviepass. If you don’t, go online, and order it right now. It’s $10 a month for unlimited movies at the theater. It’s basically too good to be true so get it fast before they figure that out and up the price!) Or we will plan to go to a happy hour or have a game night with friends. Anything that’s fun and gets us out of our heads. It’s like a little mini vacation for the brain. Plus, it helps keep me more productive and on task when I know I have something fun to look forward to. Try it out!
-Eat lots of nutritious healthy foods. Always have fresh produce and protein on hand. When in doubt, throw it on a pan with some coconut oil, salt and pepper and bake! Warm, comfy meals can do wonders for the soul. Don’t get me wrong, I am always craving those “bad” foods. Fries, pizza, ice cream, etc. And I treat myself when the time is right but I will say that eating clean consistently keeps me sane. Literally. It helps to keep me healthy, both mentally and physically.
-Sleep at least 8 hours. I have found that I am so much more depressed and anxious when I don’t just focus on getting that sleep. I know it feels lame to go to bed early sometimes and to be honest it is still something I am adjusting to, but gosh is it nice to be in bed by 10 and be able to wake up at 8 and know that I got plenty of sleep and I gave my body and my brain an amazing gift by letting it rest and recover from the overload that is daily life.
-Be kind to yourself. America has trained us to believe that you must always be working. Working towards a raise. Working Monday through Friday, 9 to 5, one vacation a year maybe if your lucky. Work, work, work. Somehow suffering through this makes us feel worthy and accomplished. And I think in return, anything different than that feels lazy or indulgent. But the fact is many of us have unconventional jobs that aren’t 9 to 5 or Monday through Friday. As an actor and a trainer, I am basically fully self employed. This means sporadic hours, weeks with no pay, weeks with crazy long days/nights and then weeks where I may barely leave home but still work at home on programming and submitting for auditions. This career I have chosen often leaves me feeling like I haven’t accomplished anything and that I am “stuck” because I don’t have a constant paycheck and I don’t have an office that I go to everyday. Well I call bullshit. Who says that success must look a certain way and who says that I am not living a full, successful, fulfilling life just because I don’t fit into the mold. We must shed these preconceived ideas of success and open our eyes to the truth of the matter. Their is no mold and no formula for success. If we can free ourselves of that and maybe take a page from the Europeans and let ourselves have a 3 hour lunch sometimes, I think we will feel so much better. Plus, at the end of your life, are you really gonna look back and say, man I wish I had worked more? Hell no! We must learn to enjoy the day to day cause that’s all we have. What’s the point if you’re only looking forward. Don’t miss every little beautiful in between moment that makes up your life!