Today, Be Gentle

When in doubt, take action. I’m not entirely sure if that’s a phrase, but since I’ve started this post four times, in a fit of indecision, I’ve just coined it, in case it’s not. Because I know I need to write something today, get something done, so I can feel better. This is me, trying to give myself what I need. Indulge me.

Today’s not a very decisive day. I’m not feeling very productive. I’m self-doubting. Regular old hump day, don’t you think? How is your Wednesday treating you?

The past few days have whizzed by in a storm of productivity. Books were bought, courses were registered for, exercise + healthy eating happened – generally speaking, I was on top of things. But today, my muscles are sore. It’s -21 outside, if you count the windchill (and I always count it). It’s overcast, as it tends to be for the bulk of winter. It feels almost as if today is a day to pause, and process. To take stock of everything I’ve been accomplishing lately for myself, and tug in the reins a little before I hit burn-out.

I’ve been eating healthy, cooking all my meals. I’ve exercised for at least 30 minutes, every day for about a week. I’ve done my readings, gone to my classes, taken my notes. I’ve gone to the gym! I’ve spent time with friends. I’ve made cupcakes with pink roses on them. I’ve spent a lot of time alone. I’ve worked things out in my journal. I’ve made wall art.

So today, even though I feel unproductive, even though my first exercise plan was thwarted (I made it two blocks before turning back, it was that unpleasant), even though I don’t yet have a beautiful picture for project 365, I’m still going to be proud of myself. One of my 2012 intentions is to be gentler, with myself and others. And that means taking the time to listen to my body, figure out how I feel, and no matter what, being proud of the little things. Not taking anything for granted. Being proud of what I’ve managed to accomplish.

And I’m proud of you too, all of you! Good for you, for going back to school with a bang. I’m glad you sat down in your chair and did the work. I’m excited that you started a new health resolution and have been sticking to it so far. It’s amazing that you’re making positive changes for yourself. It makes me happy that you’re making a list of things that bother you and tackling them one by one. I’m happy you’re doing the right thing for you! Just remember to go easy on yourself, don’t push too hard. You’re doing a great job. 

So today, be gentle. You’re doing your best. Don’t berate yourself for not doing enough, for needing a nap, for sleeping in a bit too late, for not hitting your most important goal-of-the-day right off the bat, for eating too much or too little, for not exercising enough or too little, for not being perfect today. Be gentle. Take a minute to take stock of the positive things you’ve been doing lately. Make the voice inside your head that of your mom, or your best friend, telling you that you’re doing such a good job. There’s no rule saying that you have to bust your butt until Friday, and then have downtime. Maybe Wednesday is the low, stagnant point in your week – that’s fine too. So take it easy today. Be quiet, be still. Be gentle.

  • Isabelle

    Wow, this was exactly what I needed to read. Halfway through reading this, I realized that I had spent that last few hours feeling bad about not having gone to the gym yesterday, having stayed up too late, etc. Makes me feel better knowing I’m not the only one who beats myself up about these things. I will definitely work on being gentle with myself today :)

    • Stephanie

      Awe! Isabelle I’m glad I wrote it then, if even for you. I know both of us can be so hard on ourselves sometimes – we definitely beat ourselves up! I hope this inspires you to not be so hard on yourself today. :) xoxo

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