Stabbing pain shot down my leg, alternating with the numbness and tingling I was becoming accustomed to. The therapist continued to work on my sciatic nerve. “I need you to just breathe,” she said. I released a shaky breath I hadn’t realized I’d been holding.
I need you to just breathe.
I snapped back into focus. Why do we withhold from ourselves what we need the most?
When I most need to breathe, I find I’m holding my breath. When I most need fresh air, or exercise, I find myself fighting depression as I sit on the sofa, or spend too many uninterrupted hours working on the laptop.
When I most need to lean on Jesus? I find myself battling crippling anxiety while trying to do it all on my own.
What is the answer? How do we move past our self-sabotage and give our bodies and souls what they so deeply need?
It won’t happen without a plan. It won’t happen without intentionally changing how we approach life each day. It won’t happen without some work.
Here’s how it WILL work:
- Setting your alarm a little earlier each morning for some quiet focus time. Maybe you can do an hour earlier, maybe only 10 minutes. But give yourself the gift of quiet contemplative solitude, meditation, or prayer, first thing in the morning before your day has begun.
- Learning some breathing techniques for when you feel panicky or overwhelmed. I took childbirth classes in 2003 and I STILL use those same pain-managing techniques no matter if I’m in physical pain or just feeling really crazy emotionally.
- Find some guided meditations to listen to each day. YouTube has a lot of great selections, and there are a ton of apps that do this as well. These are also great for falling asleep if you have a hard time calming your brain at night.
- Find a workout plan that works for you. Some people do better in classes, some need to work out alone. Some do better outside, hiking, biking, skiing… some need a structured gym class. Some prefer yoga, some need intense cardio, or maybe weightlifting is your jam. Whatever it is that you need? Do that. Just get moving.
- Look at your current eating habits. Are they serving you? Are there foods you regularly consume that you know are terrible for you and make you feel awful? Try cutting those out for a month. Maybe it’s potato chips, M&Ms, alcohol, or coffee. If it’s not getting you more of what you want, rethink it!
- Start recording goals & gratitude daily. This one can be life-changing! Every day, journal 3-5 of your top goals and 3-5 things you’re grateful for. You will be amazed at how it changes the way you think throughout the day. I’ve heard so many people say, “I don’t have goals, really.” I call BS on that. Everyone has something they aspire to, even if it’s as simple as going for a walk every day, or sticking to a budget for a month, or being a mom that doesn’t yell at your kids all day. It doesn’t have to be making $100k per month on your blog.