How Much Time Are You Giving Yourself?

I let myself sleep in this morning, but when I finally got up it was with a case of the grumps. My to-do list was full and I didn’t want to do any of it.

While I recognized that what I needed to do was go meditate, instead I sat down in front of my computer with my green tea and protein bar, and started to plow through emails. I was going to push on through, despite this yucky feeling.

Wait a minute? Haven’t I learned anything from the past couple of days? Pushing through action when you are in negative catabolic energy often backfires. Was I being in alignment with Who I want to be if I try to write an inspiring blog while feeling the funks? Is that the gift I want to give to my fabulous readers—and truly the world?

I felt better as soon as I made the decision to stop what I was doing and go meditate. As I was getting a glass of water, I had the thought, “This feels like a rest and recovery day. I want to take the time to take care of me.” Immediately my energy surged, letting me know I was on the right path.

One of the women in my accountability group yesterday had a similar experience after feeling the stress of going non-stop all day. She found herself running late to a meeting that she was dreading. As she drove to the site, she thought about the distraction of her late arrival, and how bad that would make her feel. As she pulled into the parking lot, she decided to just skip the meeting completely and go back to her office and get caught up with her work. As soon as she did that, her mood elevated and the rest of her day was more in-balance and productive.

Often we feel stuck treading the path laid out before us on our to-do list and calendars. We dutifully trudge through the negative feelings because we don’t feel like we have a choice. We may have thoughts such as, “I have to get this work done. I have to get these chores done. I can’t get out of this situation.”

When we approach life in this way, it throws us into victim-level catabolic energy. We are not in control of life. Life is control of us. We will never achieve the life of our dreams if we are continually a victim.

The truth is, we always have a choice. Granted, we may really not want the consequence of an action, but we still have the power of choice.

Let’s say if my friend hadn’t gone to the meeting, she would have been fired. She still had the choice to attend the meeting or not. When you approach things as your choice, you increase your positive anabolic energy.

Another stumbling block is thinking the consequences of changing our actions will be worse than they truly will be. For instance, my friend might have gone to the meeting fearing that if she didn’t show up she would be fired. That may or may not be true. Most likely, missing a meeting is not the end of the world and will not result in someone getting fired. (Note: I’m not advocating skipping meetings!)

My point is to take back your power. Recognize that you have a choice about everything you do. And that often, taking the time to shift your energy from negative to positive will actually improve your chances of success.

In my case, giving myself permission to take care of me and taking an hour-and-a-half to rest and meditate completely shifted my energy. As a result I have whipped out this blog.

I have no doubt that had I stayed and forced myself to do it, A.) it wouldn’t have been as good, and B.) it probably would have taken me even longer to do because of the procrastination and false starts I would have encountered.

Another benefit of taking the time to shift my energy is that I’m also much more up for the original workout I had on my agenda. It’s the one I struggle with the most in the program I’m doing, and earlier I just didn’t think I was going to be able to face it. But now, I feel like not only am I going to be able to do the workout, I’m going to be able to bring it.

Where this gets tricky for people is feeling like if you gave yourself permission not to workout, you would never work out again! This is why paying attention to your emotions is so important.

Most people feel terrible when the skip a workout. They beat themselves up and judge themselves harshly. This is still negative carbolic energy. You aren’t shifting the core energy.

There is also pushing through something you don’t want to do to get to the positive anabolic energy on the other side. I know this workout is going to be tough, but I’m also going to feel awesome afterwards. Either way, I’m still doing what I need to do to reach for that more anabolic state, and the end result is that I’m getting my planned workout in.

And ultimately, making your wellness and well-being a priority gives you the energy and stamina to take care of others, and to do those things that you really want to do.

What can you do today to take care of you? How does that impact your emotions and energy level? How might that actually help you be more productive and effective in meeting your goals?

Together we can do it!

18 thoughts on “How Much Time Are You Giving Yourself?

  1. This was great. I run into this situation a lot. I feel so stressed out but I don’t want to stop and take the time to meditate or relax and just BREATHE because I have a, b, c to do in x amount of time. What I need to remember is that taking the time to take care of myself first will make doing the rest way easier. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Hi Hanna, Great article! You make some really good points about the energy you carry with you and allowing yourself the time you need to feel good and care for others. We so often feel that we are obligated to our ‘to do’ list and ignore what our body and mind need to get us through the tasks. Excellent point about exaggerating the consequences too!

    Thanks for sharing! Good luck with your workout 🙂


  3. Yesterday I was plowing through emails and one blog said something about listening to the inner voice. I realized my back hurt and my shoulders were up to my shoulders- oops. I turn the computer off and took my dog to the lake. We both came back refreshed. It is good to support each other.

  4. perfect post for me to read today. I did exactly what I shouldn’t have yesterday and pushed myself beyond my limits, whereas if I had of listened to myself I would be in much better shape today. thank you for this post. I think that a meditation might be just the thing I need right now too….

  5. AMEN. This post was right on time for me. We are one week away from finals and I find myself in the endless cycle of grading papers and preparing lectures on top working on my business. Although I love my work, it can be draining sometimes.

    I did the unthinkable this week — I soaked in my hot tub (which I just refilled after the winter) an left a huge stack of ungraded projects!!! I actually showed up to the next class without grading the papers !!!!

    Hooray for me.

    A mental health day for everyone is in order every once in a while.

  6. Pingback: Kill Stress Before It Kills You « Mental Health Food

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