I'm referring more to doing something for yourself, something that makes you feel special and which supports your values. It doesn't have to be a major change to your routine or even take a whole hour.
I've been pulled up short a couple of times recently by friends who have ever so tactfully pointed out that I'm not practicing what I preach.
One of the things I value is feeling healthy, but I wasn't allowing any time for exercise. Not good Sue.
Movement other than from desk to car and back again had gone by the board. I'm not keen on sport and don't like gyms - but I knew I had to do something, or my poor little body was going to seize up or atrophy or something horrible. I know exercise is good for my brain, I know it's good for my body, I know I feel better when I move - but I hadn't made it a priority in my daily schedule.
If I truly value feeling healthy I need to allow that value space to flourish. It simply can't happen if I crowd the day with other stuff (including work). But how to squeeze it in to an already full day? Happy hour for the body? It's a good ideal and might work for some, but nope, that's not going to happen for me, not every day - that would end in frustration, failure and feeling defeated.
But what I can do is start where I am, and take small, achievable steps, non threatening tiny steps, in the general direction of my value.
What I've done is set my phone alarm for twice a day to remind me to move. The alarm is a chirpily sweet bingly beep, it's lighthearted and cheerful to remind me that exercise is possible and achievable NOW! 2 or 3 minutes doesn't sound much, but it's in the direction of a core value and that's good, right? Happy minutes for my body, brain and spirit!
I've been moving more (could this be called exercise?) for a couple of months now and it's not scary or intimidating. I can do 2 or even 3 minutes (stop laughing!) and sometimes more. I have a small wooden box, just the right height to step up and down, up and down - 20 reps, twice a day, and then some twisty things to help my middle become more mobile. I know I need to keep it up for a bit longer for it to become a habit, but it's very much part of my routine, equal to brushing my teeth after meals - not a chore, not disliked, just there to be done.
The benefits so far:
a) I haven't noticed any particular loss of time from other things (like work).
b) I feel generally better physically and more energised and alive after even this small amount of movement.
c) I feel good about myself - I'm supporting a core value and feel good at achieving my simple goals.
d) I was able to walk and walk and walk in China, up steepish inclines, along rough tracks, for kilometres around Shanghai with no stiffness at all. Now, that was a real benefit and far better than any commercial 'Happy hour'. I could so easily have said: "Oh, 2 minutes is nothing, it's not worth doing". It was a direct, tangible benefit ... yippee!!
Have you been ignoring any core values that would enjoy being nurtured for a few minutes each day?
Could you spend time reflecting on your thoughts and feelings, relaxing or being mindful?
How will you benefit?
|Ping An - looking up - lots of steps! The terraces contained rice|
and a wide variety of vegetables.
|Ping An. Is it possible there were less|
downward steps? We seemed to get back very quickly.
More China reflections over at Jumping aground.