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  • Writer's pictureBountiful Bridge

Go Easy On Yourself.

No, really. Do it.


I haven’t run in weeks. It has been so long that I have been craving it. I do yoga practically every day, and it helps my mind and body move and stretch, but running gives my mind peace and my heart a workout. I need to run for my sanity more than anything.


So, last night, before I went to bed, I wrote myself a to-do note: Run!!! Tuesday and Thursday



There.


I was committing to myself. I wrote it down, so I was going to do it.


Then, the night came. I fell asleep quickly, but it was a restless sleep. My A/C quit two weeks ago, and it has been very hot the last few days. It’s no wonder that I was restless. At 4 a.m., I was fully awake, and the ping-pong ball mind began.


Have you heard of this? Does this happen to you?


It’s what I call it when your mind bounces like a wild ping-pong ball from one thing to the next, with no real resolution to each thought. The issues, stresses, and unreasonable thoughts of the mind bounce and bounce and bounce endlessly.


A form that I forgot to fill out, details of a work project that I had an epiphany about, which led to another idea, which led to self-criticism.


Bounce. Bounce. Bounce.


I stopped myself several times with diverting thoughts.


Let it go.

There isn’t much you can do at 4 am.

You need more sleep.

Rest.

Get it done first thing in the morning.


Yet, somehow, the bouncing mind continued.


I eventually fell back asleep, and to my dismay, my alarm jolted me awake a couple of hours later.


Feeling groggy, I rolled over to turn off my alarm’s annoying jingle, and there it was.


The note that was supposed to be my positive motivation.


Run.


Crap.


Run.


Really? I’m so tired.


I pulled myself out of bed and began to think of my day ahead. It was busy and constant, with a hustle and bustle of tasks.


I fell back onto my bed. No. I can’t. I need more sleep.


I lay there quietly, listening to my restless mind, feeling the stress creep in. I wasn’t going back to sleep, but I certainly didn’t feel like running.


Irritation and frustration crept up on me.

“So, I creep, yeah. I creep.” (Thanks, Internal DJ and TLC)



I cringed at the thought of being grumpy all day because I was letting myself down. Yet, I know enough about myself to realize that I was not about to run.


The old me would have gone on the run anyway. Or I would have said, “Forget it.” and lay back down in bed, listlessly shunning myself for not doing what I said I would, only to get up an hour later, still tired and very grumpy.



But a new me has been emerging in the last year or so, and sometimes it surprises me.


The new me talks to myself like I would my daughter or a friend. The new me is kind and genuinely understanding of struggles like this.

See, the best intentions are there. I recognize that I want and need to do something. Yet when obstacles are put in front of me, I crumble. I heed the negativity. Well, the old me did, at least.


Today was different. I listened to myself and understood what I needed.


Even though I craved a run in the cool, crisp morning air, I knew that if I pushed myself in that direction, I would only feel more frustration. I would hold myself accountable and ridicule that I walked more than I ran or maybe I didn’t go as far as I would have on another day.


Instead, I pulled out my headphones and meditated. (by the way, YouTube is totally underrated for the number of meditation videos it has available.)


I began the first moments of the day replaying the ping-pong string of thoughts that kept me from sleep. There are times when it’s downright maddening. From past experience, I knew what to expect, so I decided to do things differently and go easy on myself.


I meditated and then did a 15-minute, self-led yoga session. YouTube helped with the meditation, but for the yoga session, I allowed my mind and body to lead the way. By meditating, I was already in tune with how my body was feeling: what hurt, what muscles felt tight, and what my mind was focused on. So, I knew what moves would release the tension that I was already feeling.


Child’s pose, Cat/Cow, Downward Dog, Plank into Upward Dog and back again. Standing Salutations into Warrior One, then Warrior Two, and at least once, a Warrior Three. Each pose was completed with a deep inhale and exhale as I listened to the rhythm of my own self.


It seems so odd to type this out, but when you do the moves on your own, they are empowering and calming at the same time. It’s like calming a crying baby with soothing moves and breath sounds.


It’s about finding what works for you, listening to yourself, and consciously learning to be gentle with yourself.


Weird, I know, but listen when I tell you… the closest person to you is you. The voice that you always hear is you. The friend that is always with you is you. So...


Be kind to them. Take care of them. Heed their cries when they are sad, soothe them when they are upset, and listen to their bodies when they are in pain, tired, or sick.


Go easy on yourself.


There are enough things in this world that challenge us and harden us if we let them. Believe in yourself and take care of yourself by recognizing what’s best for you.


This is a bridge that is definitely worth crossing.


Till next time -


Xo,

Bridgette


Update: on Wednesday morning, I woke up and went for a run. It felt fantastic!



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