This time of year is always the hardest for me; I get antsy, am more easily frustrated, desire more instant gratification, and am generally less interested in being around others. My heart freezes, I want to quit my job, I have difficulty getting on the yoga mat, and I say no to hanging out with friends. Dunkin' donuts starts screaming my name. The fuzzy static on NPR when I drive into a dead zone makes me want to rip my hair out. My weekly toe polishing goes from hot pink to dark burgundy. I have to drag myself to women's group.
I have a brilliant idea, or at least it seems like a gem right now, I think. Instead of hibernating and white-knuckling it through this time, denying it is really happening....what about just acknowledge how miserable I feel and try to boost my mood through an increase in pleasurable activities. Maybe working extra hard to self-care will outweigh the doldrums. Obviously, duh, that makes perfect sense.
With intention, I am going to crowd out the sluggishness, frustration, malaise, and apathy. Purposefully, albeit slightly begrudgingly, I am going to force myself to increase the pleasure. Ending in a vacation into the sunshine with my Bestie, I am embarking on 28 days of choosing to effort-fully fulfill my mind and body. In the mean time hopefully side stepping my usual February/March long lasting pity party.
Today is the first of 28. I slept in late, and when I say late, I mean really late. I put an extra squeeze of lemon in my hot water this morning. Then, even though I had a ton of homework to do I did my favorite Saturday morning activity, I cleaned and organized my living space. I felt motivated and positive so I went about my day reading, writing, and consulting.
Much later in the evening, I was perusing FB and got stuck on the page of an old friend, her posting started in my vulnerable mind to mirror the accomplishments of a combination of Rachel Maddow and Martha Stewart. The jealousy washed over me and flaming red flags went up, time to engage more self-care. Cooking lentil soup with a smidge of chili pepper, listening to some Krishna Das, I allowed myself to go back through the events of the week in my mind's eye searching furiously for accomplishments rather than failures.
It is not in my nature to, nor was I raised to focus on my own pleasure and self-care. I have a normal amount of self-care intertwined into my days but this time of year calls for emergency reserves. I commit for the next 28 days to this intention of increased self-care for the purposes of freeing myself from the concrete blocks strapped to my feet. I will share my progress and as always hopefully learn from you all in your responses.