Life happens. Unexpected situations occur. We get busy. We become stressed. And then our healthy habits and routines get thrown out the window.
We have all been there.
Last week was one of those for me. I was in good company with out-of-town family, but my routine was thrown upside down. I personally thrive on a routine, so when it’s out of whack, I very easily fall into bad habits. I stopped meditating. I drank more soda in a week than I have in at least the past two months. This past Saturday, I didn’t eat a single fruit or vegetable.
I know I’m not the only one. When students pop back into my yoga classes after time away, many of them say the same thing – this happened, then this. I just couldn’t make it to class. I feel bad for not coming.
We are our own toughest critic. When we fall out of our typical lifestyle, we get mad at ourselves for not doing better. When I hear that, I always assure my students that we’ve all been there and that they are in class now. That’s all that matters. Give yourself a pat on the back for getting back into the groove. Yet, I feel the same way. I felt guilty for not getting as much work done, for eating poorly, for ruining the meditation challenge I was taking. But then I remembered my own words and have decided to forgive and get my butt back into gear.
Getting back into the groove can be difficult, because, honestly, the bad habits are often easier. But here are a few tips to help:
First, relax. After a busy, stressful time, slow down and relax. Catch your breath before moving on. Recenter yourself. After everything calmed down this weekend, I had a night in knitting and watching Mindhunter (so good!). That might look different for you – maybe it’s a spa night, a long meditation, a home practice, or a cozy night in with your significant other, or your dog (#singlelife). Do whatever helps you unwind.
Forgive yourself. If you continue to be hard on yourself, it’s not going to be easy to transition back into your healthy lifestyle. We all get busy and we adapt to survive. Remind yourself that’s it’s okay, that it happens to us all, then you can connect with the present without carrying around your frustration, anger, and judgement. Reintroducing habits doesn’t always take the first go-around, so continue the forgiveness when you mess up and miss a day. It will happen, and it’s okay. Don’t give up and try, try again.
Choose a couple habits to focus on. Going from 0 to 60 is tough, so instead of overwhelming yourself with a million and one healthy habits, choose a couple to bring back into your routine. Take a full week to incorporate them, and then add a couple more the next week. It’s less stressful to add them back in slowly. This week I’m focusing on meditating every day and making lunch at home.
Get organized. Every Sunday, I take time to plan out my week in my bullet journal, and this week it was especially needed. Being able to look at my schedule ahead of time makes me feel more prepared for what’s to come, and makes it easier to figure out where I can squeeze in my good habits. If for you, that’s exercise, plan out your workouts like meetings. If, like me, it’s meditation, choose the time of day that will work consistently throughout the week based on your schedule. When you have a game plan, you set yourself up for success.
I hope these tips help you get back into the groove. It can be daunting process. Make the decisions that are best for you. Take it easy. Don’t expect to flip the switch overnight. Do what you can, and try to enjoy the ride. Good luck to you, my friends!