Vacation is over. School is in session. Your task list at work is mounting. Your kids have tons of after-school activities that demand your attention. You had strong intentions of keeping your summertime workouts, yoga and light eating. You knew that you’d be very busy in the fall. The big, lurking, looming problem is many different things demand your time and attention.
Unfortunately your inner, wise voice is quiet – much softer than your growling boss or shrieking kids. In yoga philosophy we call this the “buddhi” or intellect, which is often conquered by the ego.
You recognize that when you prioritize your own health you are upbeat. You are also productive at work and don’t even get irritated by certain annoying colleagues. You are tolerant and calm with your children. When you have time to walk in the park, hang with your girlfriends, work out at the gym, attend your favorite yoga classes, you are pleasant, chirpy, even gleeful.
Have you ever said to yourself “Damn, I really wish I hadn’t gone to yoga last night?” Probably not.
Putting your own well-being behind everyone else’s is a gigantic mistake.
Your inner wise voice (buddhi) will not make its needs known unless you help it to. Often your ego interferes with the notion that you can handle everything. I’ve made that mistake – thinking that I can care for my one-year-old, manage the yoga studio, and find time for my own yoga practice. Nope. I finally put my ego aside and asked for help. In the meantime I was stressed and in a very bad mood. To wait for things to magically appear – time, a babysitter, a child who naps 5 hours a day – I’d still be in a lousy mood and waiting in vain.
Six simple steps to prioritize your well-being
1. Plan where you can squeeze in time for yourself each week. If you don’t think about this ahead of time it is unlikely to happen. Spend energy thinking about where you can schedule time. Find at least 3 times per week.
2. Make your appointments for your health more important than your other commitments. Schedule them in your calendar. Use Google Calendar, Apple iCal – your choice.
3. Use an online scheduler for your yoga classes. The act of reserving online also gets you energetically committed. You have decided where you will be at this time and you’ll be there. Schedule classes at Balance with our online scheduler.
4. Start saying no. Committees, boards, after school programs. Realize that you don’t need to do everything that is asked of you. Put your health and well being above non-essential obligations.
5. Toss out the all or nothing thinking. If you can’t take a yoga class or go to the gym each day no matter. Do what you can: 2-3 times per week is great, or even 15 minutes of yoga at home. (Note: We have videos of Sun Salutations here, which is a great start). A few minutes of quiet sitting and sun salutations – you are on your way to an awesome day.
6. Start each day with quiet time . The night before, have your clothes out, make a little mediation space: your favorite blanket or cushion in a corner. Get up ten minutes earlier. Set a timer if you need and sit for 5-10 minutes. Try to be with your body, your breath, rather than your thoughts. Focus on the sensation of being in your body rather than the verbalizations that happen in your mind. This will leave you feeling calmer and more grounded all day.
Tell us your tips for making your wellness a priority in the comments.