As spring emerges, we find ourselves ready to bloom and emerge out of the winter. We may find ourselves wanting to “rise up” and beyond habits and patterns that don’t serve us. We may ponder how we got stuck in these ruts in the first place? For many, the spring of 2021, is going to be a particularly strong resurrection... As we emerge from the pandemic and begin to forge new paths and goals and return to pre-pandemic life. Many have lost hope and motivation, given up on their health and self-care, and are struggling to find the will to get motivated to do the work it will take to resurrect themselves from the long winter of the pandemic... If you find yourself struggling to rise up and bloom again here are some helpful seeds to sow your new life spring.
Find Your Sense of Wonder
Adulthood is real, and with all of the responsibilities, digital distractions, and immense focus on getting ahead (or even just getting by) we can lose our sense of wonder. Remember how magical the world seemed when you were a kid? What it felt like to take off running through a vast field after a ball? The freedom of flying through your neighborhood on your bike? How interesting basically everything was? If you recall what it felt like to think and experience life this way, you can also recall that life seemed insatiable! You were always up for an adventure, a chance to go outside and play, a chance to live in the moment and be free. Motivation to be active and have fun really wasn’t an issue, was it?
Now with our careers, families, and other pressing commitments, we may feel totally exhausted and unenthused to get out and be active, free, and in the moment as we did as children. Everything begins to take precedence over self-care, dreams, and goals. Of course, there is immense merit in being a hard worker, good parent, and spouse, property owner, etc. But it can take over and result in you losing yourself and that child-like sense of wonder you once had.
If this sounds familiar as an obstacle to your rising up, it could be that you need to make time to step away from responsibilities, distractions, and commitments- and make time to redevelop your sense of wonder. Challenge yourself to go out on your next trail run and not think about work, your pace, how you feel slow, or any other distractions...remember how you felt as a kid chasing the ball across the field and apply that playful mentality to your run. Notice your surroundings, how fun it is to bound between rocks, and if you're with friends laugh and enjoy it with them. We can all use more play and when your mindset shifts to see things as full of wonder and play everything in life becomes lighter, and your workout will seem like less of something to check off your to-do list and something you are dying to get out and do (just like when you were jumping out of your seat in school to get to recess). This shift in mindset can help you rise up!
Find a Sense of Purpose
Motivation can easily be lost, only to never return if we lose sight of a deeper meaning and purpose to our lives and goals. We may find that we are just checking off boxes and going through the motions and that we don’t have much meaning behind doing the things we do. This loss of purpose can lurk into any aspect of life: career, chores, fitness routines, etc. A key to finding purpose is to think about what you are truly passionate about and find ways to implement it and apply it to everyday aspects of life.
Even if you can’t change your career, you can change the way you think about your career. How does your career serve others? For instance, if you work as an engineer and are feeling a bit burnt out you can tap into the value your job has in helping others as something like “I design safe roads that prevent car accidents”. You can re-think about your household obligations such that, “by painting my home I am protecting my investment and caring for the shelter for my family”. What are you passionate about that you can apply to your daily to-do’s? For the engineer example, it may be that they are passionate about safety...for painting your house it could be that you are passionate about providing a good home for your family.
With your health and fitness routine, you may have lost sight because you feel it is selfish, you may feel you are not getting results, you may feel you are not good enough, too tired, scared to get going again after a long lay off, etc. You can change this thinking and give your personal well being greater purpose by realizing that you matter and that your best self is a self that is loved, cared for, and healthy! You can try new activities that may be more motivating. You can do your workouts with family and friends, to add the purpose of positive social connections. You can cook with your family and friends to help encourage your loved ones to eat better. Taking the extra care to cook a healthy meal for your family can be given the greater purpose of knowing that you are helping your children to establish lifelong healthy habits that can help prevent them from developing preventable illnesses later in life. Remember, that the benefits of taking care of yourself extend far beyond you and that your example can radiate goodness into the world around you!
Serve Others and Do Something Beyond Yourself
A surefire, well-studied key to happiness (if ever one existed) is to help others and serve something bigger than yourself. A way for you to rise up may be that you need to rise up and help the world! Reflect on what you're passionate about. Are there injustices you would like to fight? Disease cures you would like to help but feel powerless? Do you love animals? Nature? Fighting childhood obesity? Find what fires you up? Find a way to serve- and this deeper purpose and motivation to serve something beyond yourself will propel your motivation.
An example could be that you have lost motivation to exercise since covid and you have lost a lot of ground and just don’t have the motivation to get back at it. You just read an article about a rise in abandoned pets as a result of owners not being able to provide for them in the financial trenches of the pandemic. You get really upset and want to help. You can use your passion to help the animals motivate you to get out the door. You could set a goal to run a 100 mile race and set up a Go-Fund me for your cause with a financial goal if you complete the race. Now you are not just training for yourself, you are training to raise money to help animal adoptions.
Take a moment and find what pulls at your heart and work to serve it will bring you immense joy and help you rise up!
The final thing that I would like to suggest that can help you to rise up and bloom, is to crush perfectionism. Perfectionism has been proven to destroy motivation and confidence. Although that may sound ironic it is well studied and true. Perfectionism stunts your ability to take risks, try new things and get out of your comfort zone. It forces you to adopt a self-sabotaging attitude that if it isn’t perfect, it isn’t worth doing. Well, perfection is unattainable, so you will end up not doing anything if you are expecting perfection! Perfectionism could be what is preventing you from rising up and blooming. For instance, if you feel that every workout has to be perfect you won’t workout. If you wait to race until you are the fastest and strongest, you will never race, because in your eyes you will never be good enough. It is best to just get out and do things, strive for only what it means to be YOUR best but not perfect or you WILL miss out on so much!
I hope that these tips will help you to find what you need to rise up and bloom this spring! If you would like to discuss these tips further I can be reached via email: salynda@ruggedrunning.