You wake up in the morning and it’s a struggle to drag yourself out of bed. Everything feels stiff and sore and you don’t feel like you’ve slept that well, again.
You head out to get a cup of tea and settle down to drink it, waiting for your body and mind to get into action. You’re not feeling overly enthusiastic about the day because your hip aches, your hand hurts, you’ve got weight you need to lose, and the list of negatives just seems to go on and on.
These problems are really starting to get you down.
You’re sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, but with so many ‘problems’ you have no idea what to do or where to start.
You want to feel different, feel better, feel happier. You don’t want to take meds. And you feel too young to be experiencing ‘all of these problems’.
Somehow they have just crept up on you. Or perhaps you’ve been aware that they’ve been there but suddenly it all seems to have become 10 times worse.
I can relate. It’s not only a story I hear a lot, but recently I’ve had a few physical issues myself – aches, pains, and a skin inflammation of some kind. My physical issues come from a combination of things.
One, doing physical therapy for more than 10 years, the effect on the joints is catching up. It’s basically muscular imbalances that I really need to work on.
Two, getting into the habit of being too sedentary – it’s an issue of working from home, predominantly on a computer. And obviously this doesn’t help with my muscular imbalances, it only aggravates and inflames them.
Three, stress. That’s where the skin issue came from, which did have me worried because psoriasis runs in my family. Thankfully it’s resolved. Just know that, stress increases inflammation, which can end up coming out of your body in multiple ways, as various health conditions.
No excuses here. But the thing is we all get off track.
When things catch up on us, we can turn them around, no matter what stage we’re at, how old we are, or whether we feel like 100 years old.
I must admit I’ve had a few mornings where I’ve felt like 100 years old – which is not great for a 39.5 year old. Hey, but not for too long, new changes are in motion. Check out the New Season Challenge here.
We can turn our health problems around.
No really. Over the years I’ve seen so many people change their lives for the better, people of all ages. Whether our problems creep up on us or just suddenly hit us in the face one day, every problem has a solution.
When this happens we can’t let it cave us in and bring us down. We’re stronger than that. Think of some of the things you’ve been through in your life. You’ve probably overcome many things, perhaps even enormous struggles – I know I have.
So you know that you do have strength and endurance inside you.
But…when it comes to putting yourself first and investing in your health, you come head first with resistance. Excuses. Habits.
That’s okay, but know they are there and begin to examine them.
What are the excuses?
Listen to what they are and work out how to overcome them.
I’ve really got no excuse not to be more active. So I’ve dedicated 1 hour a day to movement. I’ve been swimming, walking, doing LOTS of stretching, and I’ve just cleaned up my home gym that’s been collecting far too much dust and not being put to good use.
Have you got a piece of dust collecting machinery? I bet you do.
What are the habits?
Habits are just routines we get into and we can get out of them too. Even if we start small and work on one tiny thing at a time. It all does make a difference.
What is the real resistance?
It could be many things but for me I think I’m still learning to put myself first. It’s only been a year since my last child moved out of home – I’ve been a Mom since I was 17!
Being so busy with my Masters last year it never really hit me. I think it all piled on top of me this year and I entered a dark period for some time – that’s what I call them, I’ve had a few at various times along the way.
I’ve always driven myself hard to achieve goals. We’ve had multiple financial struggles over the years and I’ve admittedly become a bit of a workaholic. I enjoy my work, but I do need to learn to switch off more, as we all probably do.
Sometimes it’s just easier not to think about yourself, to address the issues. I get that. But it only gets worse if you live in denial.
My one saving grace is that I’ve always eaten well.
Sometimes a little off track, or perhaps a little too much (I do love food), but always well. So it’s probably easier for me to pull in those strings if I need to.
But, it’s not always easy to get started in other areas. I’m too much of a thinker and sometimes beat myself down too much instead of boosting myself up. This personality trait has driven me into a few dark holes over the years.
We all have these struggles so we just need to focus on where we want to go and bridge the gap.
In fact, I think we have a GAP period. We know there’s a problem, we think about things, sometimes for a long time. We know we want to change but we can’t seem to do it. We try a bit, we fail. We try a bit, we can’t seem to get into a routine. We keep pondering. This is the GAP.
It’s like wading through muddy waters. Your feet keep getting stuck in the mud and dragging you down, your body, mind, and soul, heavy with the struggle.
But you can change it.
You put your mind to it and focus on lifting your feet one step at a time through the thick mud. It’s hard. It takes effort. It takes dedication and some extra attention and strength. But you’re making way, you can see the shore ahead and you’re determined to get there.
So you just keep taking one step at a time. That’s all you have to do. And all of a sudden things do begin to change. Suddenly your problems aren’t getting you down so much anymore. You start to feel better and gain confidence and hope that things can only keep getting better and better.
And they do. They can. They will.
All you have to do is take one small action, make one small change, and keep on going from there.
If I can change things, so can you because there’s really nothing special about me.
I always come back to the power of diet and lifestyle. Anytime my life has derailed and I’ve felt less than my usual energetic self, I’ve always turned to the powers of nature. I’ve tuned in and made changes to what I’m eating, what I’m thinking, and what I’m doing. Simple things. Simple changes that have always delivered great results every single time.
So if your health problems are getting you down right now – your weight gain, your aching joints, your skin problems, your digestion, your sleep – or lack of, your energy levels, whatever it is – what one thing can you change right now?
Make it small. Make it tiny. Just focus on lifting one foot out of the mud.
Getting started is always the hardest part. But as you’re trying to drag up the steam to do it. Think back to one of those times where you have had the strength and endurance to get through. Think about that time and draw on the strength of your past self.
You can make changes and transform your life and health. It all starts now.
So what are you going to do about it? I’d love to hear about it so feel free to share.
P.S. Here are a couple more resources about habit change that might interst you.