3o Something Mother Runner received a Juniper Bonsai Tree from ProFlowers.com. #BringOnZen
I’m not going to lie– this winter it’s been tough finding the Zen. It’s winter, so the seasonal affective disorder was in full effect, I wasn’t running as much, my husband has been traveling more, and we have had some serious cases of the sickies! I don’t why it surprises me, I feel like I find myself in a slump most winters, but for some reason this winter threw me for more of a loop!
I finally got sick of feeling frazzled, and I realized that some things were going to have to change for me to start feeling more relaxed and less chaotic around the house (I mean that in a relative sense–life with 3 boys will always be somewhat chaotic!). I made some changes, and I am so happy to report that I am definitely feeling more Zen in life right now. Here’s what I decided to do:
I Cut Back on Coffee
I have a love affair with coffee. It’s what keeps me going every morning, but you can in fact have too much of a good thing. I will never completely give up coffee, but I realized that I needed to cut back a bit. I was feeling like I was on speed even through the afternoon, and I know that the coffee was affecting my ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Within days of cutting back to two cups of coffee in the morning, I’m sleeping better, feeling more awake in the morning, and I think I have a much longer fuse! 🙂
I Stopped Obsessing About Running
Before you say it, I know– running is a great stress reliever! However, at the end of the fall, running was feeling more like something I “had” to do and less like something I “wanted” to do. I read this blog post by the Healthy Maven the other day, and it captures a lot of what I was feeling.
While I absolutely LOVE living and working in the social media sphere, it’s not without its challenges. Over the last 5 years, I’ve worked hard to build my blog, and it was often characterized as a “running blog.” While I’m proud of all the great running content that I’ve produced, at times I’ve felt like I’m living and breathing running and feel pressured to run races and put up times.
I LOVE running, but it’s one part of who I am– I don’t want to be defined by it. That’s another one of the reasons I chose to shift the focus of my blog to a broader subject area encompassing all of the other things I love to do in addition to running! Making that one decision felt like a weight being lifted from my shoulders…
After taking care of sick kids this winter (and getting sick myself!), I haven’t been running much at all. But you know what? I’m okay with it. I get out when I can get out, and I’ve started taking long walks too. I’m getting back to enjoying the simple pleasures of exercise, without the pressure to get in a certain workout or train for a certain race. It feels AWESOME!
I Started Listening to My Body More
After last fall, I realized I was pretty run down, so this winter I focused on listening to my body. My exercise is based more on how my body feels that day and less on what my splits say. In fact, when I’ve gone running, it’s been without a Garmin! Instead of focusing on data, I’m looking at signs of spring and enjoying the feel of sunshine on my face or the sound of the spring peepers along the bike path!
I think my body was trying to tell me it needed some rest and it needed me to relax and chill out. Since I’ve started listening to it, things have been a lot better and I’ve felt happier!
I Vowed to Not Be So Hard On Myself
I don’t know why as mothers we are so hard on ourselves sometimes. We feel this tremendous pressure to be the best parent, the best wife, the best friend, or the best daughter. Sometimes good enough is sufficient. You can’t be the best at everything you do, and unfortunately, that’s just reality. You can kill yourself trying though! 😉
I’ve embraced the idea that I will do my best each day and that will be good enough. I don’t want life to pass me by because I’m too busy trying to do everything “just right!” One of the best pieces of advice I ever got from a therapist (and one I’ve always remembered!) is to “be kind to yourself.”
We often take such care in the way we talk to others, but our inner voice can be so critical and mean-spirited. Be kind to yourself and give yourself a break sometimes! It’s a great way to stop the self-sabotage and get yourself in the right frame of mind to move forward in a positive way!
I love my little juniper bonsai– it’s helping me bring the zen into the chaos of daily life. The bonsai has always been a symbol of balance and peace, and I love the constant reminder it represents as it sits on the window sill in my kitchen! If you want to get your own, you can check them out HERE. There are also some great discounts you can use HERE to buy one for yourself or someone else who needs some zen in their life!
How are you bring Zen to your life lately?