“I’m not working out because I hate my body; I’m working out because I love it.” ~ my friend, Kristina.
How many of us have been Covid couch potatoes?
Have you put on a little extra weight? Been eating junk food you don’t normally eat? I mean, what’s better than Netflix with a pizza, right?
We’ve gone months with no gym visits. And how many times have you done a workout in your home gym? I thought so. Me too.
Yoga online? Nah, I want the energy of a class. Walking or hiking? Well, maybe a little, but geez, give me a break; we are coming to the end of something we’ve never lived through before—a f*cking global pandemic!
It just seemed right to hunker down within the safety of our own homes.
And, tell me the truth, did you let your mental and emotional state deteriorate a little too? Positive routines that benefited your well-being may have slipped. Did you let your meditation practice slide? Watch too much news? What about reading? Consuming junk there too?
With all the feels you were feeling, you were too overwhelmed to read informative or uplifting books. Maybe you just spent hours scrolling through Facebook.
We missed our friends. And in hindsight, even those questionable coworkers look pretty good. And hugs. If you were a hugger, you really missed the momentary intimacy of a good full body hug.
Or maybe you are one who really loved isolating. “I could get used to this,” you told yourself. “It’s not so bad to live my life inside, online. No one to irritate me but me.”
Well friends, it’s time to let all that go. Let’s circle back and take good care of ourselves again. We are the lucky ones who have made it through this pandemic. It’s time to tune up our physical, mental, and emotional engines and engage with life again.
Maybe we want to revisit those practices that sustained us BC (before Covid), or maybe we are being called to seek out new ways to enrich our lives and nurture our well-being.
Let’s do this because we love ourselves, not because we hate what we have become.
First, ask yourself why it’s important to get back into a healthy routine. Maybe it’s to be in top shape for that job we’re going back to. Maybe it’s to be a better partner in our relationship or a better mother or father for our kids. Maybe it’s simply to feel like ourselves again, or an even better version of ourselves. Whatever the reason, let’s get clear and committed, then line up our goals.
For me, it’s because I love feeling strong. Physical strength helps me sharpen my mental faculties, smooth out my emotions, get better sleep, and face my days with optimism. When I’m feeling strong, I can be of better service to my fellow humans and to myself.
Here’s what I have planned for myself. This is what I’m committing to:
Ride my mountain bike at least three times a week. This gets me out in nature and will rapidly improve my lung capacity and muscle stamina.
Yoga at least four times a week. I’m a yoga teacher so my superpower is simply getting myself on the mat. Once on my mat, I’m good to go. It’s the commitment to actually doing it that’s important.
Make two hiking dates each month. So good for me physically, but it also strengthens my relationship muscle and gives me the pleasure of engaging with friends and family.
Start agility training with my border collie pup. A great way to create a stronger bond with my dog and have fun together. It’s also physically and mentally challenging—for both of us.
Read more. Watch Netflix less. Limit social media time. I’ve spent way too much time in mindless activities over the past year. It’s time to close that door.
Read more books of substance. I read lots of mindless “fluff” in 2020. I’m looking forward to diving into books that stimulate my brain.
Plan curriculum for future retreats. I thrive in my role as retreat leader. I love taking groups to India for spiritual and healing retreats. I’m excited to plan future retreats for when it will be safe to travel again.
Nurture my friendships. I’ve missed my friends. Yes, we’ve kept up on Zoom or by phone, but I’m craving in-person dates. I love looking into the eyes of friends as they tell me the stories of their unfolding lives.
Create friend dates. Tea in the morning, lunch, or dinner, or a glass of wine in the evening. A hike in the canyon. Out to a movie. I’m craving it all.
Sing!!! I’m a singer and musician, and I’ve barely sung all year long. Singing nurtures my soul and makes me happy. I’m committed to creating space for my music.
Schedule time for reading spiritually uplifting literature. I love reading pithy stuff about the spiritual life.
Show up every day for mantra meditation. My meditation practice has slipped and I feel it. I’m ready for a committed consistency in this part of my life.
So, that’s my plan for regaining my own unique balance in this world. I hope I’ve inspired you to contemplate a more expansive life for yourself. I’d love to know what you want to create.
How will you emerge from your Covid funk?