Like the fresh fallen snow, the new year blankets our days with a fresh untainted canvas begging for new inspirations, goals and dreams. The new year brings a peace to our lives and allows us to feel we can start again. It’s inviting and exciting. Many of us start off the new year full throttle—hitting all the Barre classes or reading more often.
But the adrenaline of the new year always fades, just as the snow always melts. And beneath it is the same world we lived in before, with the same challenges we face every year.
I call this time the February Blues; a time where our full sprint into the new year fueled by fresh goals and encouragements, starts to coast into the old habits we try to kick every year.
It can be challenging to keep balance between actively pursuing your new inspired lifestyle and burning yourself out. How many times a year do we work so hard we end up exhausted, on the couch on the 4th season of Friends already? Here are 4 ways you can find a middle ground between working hard and hardly working.
1. Don’t Go Cold Turkey
It’s tempting to maintain self discipline by forbidding any wandering on our path. But that’s not how our lives work! Sometimes you can’t go to the gym directly after work because you have an office party. Sometimes it’s better for you to go out for drinks with your girlfriends than to go home and make the most perfect, well-balanced meal. Being too strict with yourself can tire you out. Allow yourself some flexibility. Know that skipping yoga to go to a movie with an old friend is healthy too.
2. Don’t Think of it as “Cheating”
How many times have you heard “Oh! Sunday’s my cheat day!” ? On your path to your new lifestyle, try not to think of any breach of routine as “cheating.” I like to think of this in terms of children. You want to make sure kids have all the necessary nutrients they need. But sometimes, kids can have a popsicle. They cant have a popsicle everyday for dinner. But it wont hurt them. And the occasional treat wont hurt you either.
3. Relax in Moderation
Relaxing is a wonderful concept that I fully enjoy, but only in moderation, because—as we’ve all experienced—relaxing can often, without warning, melt into laziness. Make sure you give yourself time to rest, because after all, there can be no productivity with out rest. But make sure you aren’t over doing it. Instead, let your rest be an extra long shower after yoga. A long walk. Go to sleep early and tell your Netflix No when it asks you “Are you still watching Gilmore Girls?”
4. Embrace your Crazy Life
Life can get busy. Wouldn’t we all love to be the people who can do it all, all of the time. Embrace your lifestyle and roll with it. Maybe you didn’t have time to go to the art class you’ve been eyeing because you had a lovely lunch with your mom. It’s not ever going to be consistently routine, where you’re rocking every kickboxing class and writing your all american novel at the same time, making dinner for everyone and in bed by nine. But you did have time do go for a quick run before your poetry slam. Celebrate the accomplishments.
We hold ourselves in tree pose by applying equal amounts of pressure from our thigh and our foot. The opposing forces work together to keep us balanced and upright, in the same way that yoga is both challenging and relaxing. I challenge you to support your goals with both active pursuit and resting reflection. I challenge you to trust your process and know that you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Have faith that everything you do is to supplement your health–body and soul–whether you are running a mile or taking a walk. Whether you’re working all day or curling up with your favorite movie and a cup of tea. Let equal forces of Go and Rest guide your newest journey to keep balanced, center and calm.
Do you have any tips for centering yourself?
Also by Alyssa: Yoga’s 8 Limbed Path in Daily Life
The Linguistics of Staying Present
Photo: lauren rushing via Flickr