As I was sitting down to write this blog post, having officially Gotten Back to Work, I had a strange thought: I don't have time to figure out what to write about...I have too much to do! The problem, of course, is that one aspect of writing is figuring out what one is going to write about. Strange, but true.
The pressure many of us feel coming back to work after the holidays is a lot like the pressure we feel as we face our First Day Back to Our Official Exercise Routines. We have so much to do! We have to work, we have to sweat, we have to suffer. We have to undo the damage we've done over the holidays. Not only that, we have to do it with a happy smile on our faces because this is supposed to feel good...or at least satisfying, right?
The problem is, how we expect to feel may not be how we actually feel. You may expect to wake up on the third day of a new year and happily sweat your way through a workout, because it's January and the party? It's way over. What you may actually feel is tired, maybe a little depressed, maybe not quite ready to work at 100%.
What we often do in these moments is try to force it, telling ourselves things like, "I should be killing myself after that long break!" or "I don't deserve to go easy on myself...I just multi-slacked for seven straight days!" Yet, some easy time may be exactly what you need to make the transition to Life After the Holidays.
So, how can you take the pressure off and figure out what you need as opposed to what you think you should do?
- Take a Breath - Just as I felt too rushed to stop and figure out what I was going to write about, many of us feel we have to get back to our workouts right now. However, the best time to stop and take a breath is at the exact moment you think you don't have time for it. Is that what you need to do today? Do you need to stop, take a breath and figure out how to ease back into your workouts without punishing yourself?
- Take the Pressure Off - You may face your first few workouts of the new year as if they are Life and Death. You might even get overwhelmed, trying to figure out how you're going to fit in all those missed workouts. The good news is, you don't. All you have to do is figure out what you need to do right now, today. What does your body really need today and what can you reasonably do? That's it, that's all.
- Give Yourself a Break - Hitting the ground running after days or weeks of parties, travel, family visits, etc. is a tall order. We often feel guilty if we don't start the day with happy energy, but most of us need time to get our workout mojo back. So, how could you pull back and make the transition to Real Life a little easier? A little more pleasant? For example, one of my clients decided to schedule a massage her first day back to her exercise program so she would have something to look forward to. What could you do to give yourself a break?
What do you think? Do you feel pressure to get back to real life at full throttle? If you took the pressure off and forgot about what you're supposed to do, what would you really want right now? Leave a comment and tell us about it.