Move Your body, Change Your Mind

Sweat is good for the soul.

I’m going to assume your feelings about Monday are aligned with the general population—you require a little more conscious motivation to get yourself moving.  The responsibilities and realities come at you fast, like a toddler at 5:00 AM.  Maybe it is a toddler at 5:00 AM or maybe it’s just the flood of fast-moving thoughts and to-do lists reeling through your brain when you should be resting.  Either way, getting over that initial hump of fatigue/dread/anxiety/regret is a weekly rite of passage to productivity in any home. 

Or maybe, hopefully, you jump out of bed with a sense of anticipation and readiness!  This is probably more my speed on Monday mornings.  Charles is out the door before the kids are up and it’s my sole responsibility to get the kids and myself all out the door, fed, dressed, and supplied for the day.  I have a lot of freedom in my day, provided the kids are at school.  I’m happily ready for the time when the kids are at school and I can work.  I generally like to work.  Even the tedious bookkeeping, data entry, and reconciling of accounts can be rewarding with the sense of accomplishing a task.  One more check on the to-do list.  Although, a strong work ethic is a highly valued trait in my world, it can be a trap.   

I don’t know where I got thrown off track, but somewhere along the way, I got it in my head that my value was directly related to my productivity.  I feel like the health problems I’ve had slow me down over the years have been a lesson in knowing my worth and knowing the worth of my body.  Your body tells you what it needs and often times those needs can be met in very simple ways.     

Your mind is part of your body.  Everything you own and control is from your skin cells inward or a product of what your body has accomplished.  Your life has no value if you don’t have a body, so it is your top priority whether you treat it that way or not.  Garbage goes in and garbage will come out.   

So, here’s your #MondayMotivation: Do something good for your body today (or this week) and your mind will get better too.  I used to start Mondays off in full force work mode and then watch my energy peter out as the week kept on.  I had a work first, play later mindset, and I included exercise as play time.  My body has been screaming at me for some time now—through depression, anxiety, Crohn’s disease, and cancer—to pay attention to it.  So now, while I wake up ready to hit the grind and knock off some to-do list items so I can chill later in the week, I’ve added one item to my list at the very top: Move My Body.  I may not always get to it first thing, but it is my #1 priority to get in a good sweat on Monday.  When I can’t run, I walk.  When it rains, I find a free workout video on Amazon or YouTube.  I have workouts in my phone ready to go, so I can just stop and move when there’s a moment.  When I know I have a full day where I will not be able to devote 30 minutes to sweating and getting my heartrate up, I get out of bed, go inside my closet, close the door (yes, I’m hiding) and do squats, lunges, crunches, or whatever I can to get a little heat going.  It makes a world of difference. If you have to lock yourself in the bathroom to get in 30 squats, DO IT!  It’s not about flat abs or killer thighs.  Trust me, you’ll feel better.

I have come up with every excuse to not take care of my body and have allowed self-pity and shame to dominate my choices.  I started to tell myself a different story about myself and my value, a much truer story.  Taking care of my body is the first step to taking care of my mind, the first step to the kind of success I want to have in life.  

If you need some science to motivate you to care for your body, I highly recommend follow Dr. Rhonda Patrick. You can find her at foundmyfitness.com

I like the Fitnessista for workout ideas. Her site has a wide variety of workouts that you can fit in anywhere and anytime.

I was gifted a FitBit Versa this past Christmas and it has really helped me put some structure to my health and fitness. I highly recommend it! This one can go swimming or in the shower with you too, which is fantastic.

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