It’s Thursday, then it’s Friday, but somehow it’s this super important fresh start. What always strikes me is, nothing just changes because the date changed! Things change because you change them. It’s super inspiring to think, it’s a new year! It’s time to make really big changes in my life! And this year, I’m totally going to actually do them. Apparently, most people’s resolutions last less than a week, and pretty much everyone will have given up by the end of January. I am inspired to make changes though, but I’m thinking not so large-scale. Here’s what I’ve got.
Ginger lemon tea: this is in line with an overall goal of nourishing my body. A year ago, my acupuncturist told me that I’m severely undernourished and I thought, what on earth is she talking about? I eat well, I sleep a lot. And those things are nourishing, but there’s more to it than that. I read in a book (another thing that makes me feel nourished is reading in bed before I get up and start doing computer work and things) about this guy who was trekking in the Himalayas and every place they went, the locals were just drinking pot after pot of ginger lemon tea. I thought that sounded good and since I’ve started making it, I’ve been drinking tons and it makes me feel great, especially re-acclimatizing to altitude since I’ve been back. Another thing along this vein is coziness. People got a little obsessed for a few years about Hygge, the Danish concept of coziness that’s also prevalent in the other Scandinavian cultures. Which, while adding some candles to your living room isn’t the meaning of life, a blanket + a cup of tea + some mood lighting + maybe some loved ones around=you feeling more nourished.
Meditation: I’m the absolute worst at this, even though Whoop tells me that on days I’ve committed the 5-10 minutes to meditate, my HRV specifically and my recovery score in general is higher. With that kind of evidence, how could I not do it? I need all the help I can get. I’ve been using Insight Timer, which has lots of free meditations (and gives you the option to tip the creator of the content but doesn’t require it) and excellent content, but I also downloaded Atom, which is an app that gives you daily couple of minute meditations and kind of gamified incentives for completing them and learning more about mindfulness, and that’s also helped me stay on track a little. As always, I’ll continue waging the war of getting myself to do things that are good for me, but meanwhile I’m winning this battle just 3-5 minutes at a time.
Low intensity: I’m finally convinced that I need to be gentler to my body and spirit. Doing anything at low intensity is against my nature, as a person who’s mostly made of fire and firmly believes that trying harder at anything or everything is the optimal state (love mountains? try competitive mountain running. Feel good after doing yoga? Well, then you should do 3 hours of power yoga every day). It’s been hard for me during recovery because I almost feel like it’s not worth going out for a walk at all if I can’t go out and run. But since I have been going out and walking and hiking and taking it easy, and practicing more yin yoga, I’ve felt so much better mentally and spiritually and of course physically and it gives me reason to believe that gentleness has a place in my life, too. Balance, people! It checks out.
Gratitude: changing my attitude. I’ve already been working on this but it’s changed my mindset so significantly. I think the biggest thing is actually writing it down every day. Everyone says this, but it doesn’t ring true until you do it (So DO IT). I downloaded the Presently app, for whatever reason, I can’t make myself do it in a real journal, and this app doesn’t really have anything going for it other than a bunch of blank spaces to type in what I’m grateful for that day, but it’s gotten me to do it at least a couple times a week and every I do I feel great.
Doing things that actually make me happy. I’m severely aware of days that I feel good and days that I don’t, and it’s easy to establish patterns but somehow it’s hard to make the changes that I know would make me happier, because things that I think I should do get in the way. Last night on our run, we were talking about how some days you feel really productive, and some days you did a ton of useful and important stuff and don’t feel productive. Working is something I realize I need to do and prioritize, but after a day of making money, I pretty much feel like I did nothing. I feel unproductive and a little screen brainwashed. Working on the Pippa Climbs Mt. Rainier book was extremely fulfilling! Each day when I drew the characters or edited the photos or finished pages, I felt extremely productive and energized and happy. I also love writing this blog, and that always makes me feel good. I guess the action item on this one is to organize my time better so that I’m doing things that feel good and make me happy, AND getting the less pleasant stuff done, but not letting it rule my life.
Also you guys, since you’re here, if you’re interested in mountain running and coaching, you can check out my coaching website alpineruncoach.com, or see my training plans for mountains and adventure running like the Grand Canyon on Training Peaks here. I’ve also got a collection of free yoga videos on Youtube here.