Archives for Exercise
If you're setting resolutions this year, consider reflecting on the below questions to make sure they're truly right for you. Because what's the point of making goals or creating intentions that only make you miserable while you're trying to achieve them and live them?
What if instead of berating your body all day every day, you thanked it (at least once or twice, here and there)? What if you stopped fighting your body? What if you stopped seeing it as an enemy or obstacle?
There's a lot of confusion surrounding self-compassion: We see self-compassion as self-indulgent. We see it as selfish. We see it as weak. Which is unfortunate because a) this means that we don't practice self-compassion and b) self-compassion isn't any of these things. I asked several individuals who specialize in self-compassion to clear up the often misunderstood concept by answering this question: What do you wish people really understood about self-compassion? Last week I shared several of their truths in this piece. Below, you'll find several more truths from another therapist and a nutritionist.
Last week I shared 50 quick journal prompts to help us get to know ourselves a bit better. Below you'll find 50 more prompts, which focus on your favorite things. As you're gathering with your friends and family for the holidays, consider asking them to share their favorites, too. Often there are so many things we don't know about each other because we simply don't think to ask. This holiday season, consider asking---and be sure to share your own responses.
Maybe you're pregnant and are lethargic and nauseated every single day. Maybe you take what feels like 30 naps a week. Maybe you have a newborn, and you can't think straight. The tasks that seemed so simple are anything but today. And it's like you're moving through neck-deep mud. Maybe you're going through a divorce, and it feels like you're scaling a mountain.
There's a powerful passage in the new book Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic For a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living where author Shauna Niequist talks about why she's choosing to be present in her life---instead of striving for perfection. She writes:
In our society, restriction is perfection. It is beauty. Restriction is seen as a correct, desirable approach and path. We glorify it. We yearn to adhere to it. We see it everywhere. Restrict the number of calories and carbs you eat. Restrict the amount of dessert. Restrict your portions. Don't even think about having pasta, pizza or ice cream. Don't even think about eating past 7 p.m.
Working out has become synonymous with weight loss or maintenance. That is, we assume that people only work out --- that we should work out --- to lose weight or to maintain our weight. This is often why exercise is thought of as a chore. As a necessary evil. As a punishment for eating dessert or consuming too many carbs or fat grams. As a way to burn calories. And nothing else.
Here's what is so awesome about appreciating our bodies: We don't need to wait until we lose weight or change anything else about our appearance to do so. You can begin embracing your body right now. I hope these suggestions provide a helpful start:
Many of us think we have to repay anyone who says something nice or complimentary to us, to anyone who takes us to dinner, to anyone who pays attention or is kind in some other way (whether the kindness is genuine or ill-intentioned). We think we owe something beyond a heartfelt thank-you.