As we near the end of the calendar year and the days are shorter and darker than they used to be, it can be tempting to go into hibernation mode. Maybe you’re wound tight at work, wrapping up projects and feeling the weight of deadlines hanging over you. Perhaps you’ve got midterms at school stressing you out, or maybe the past few weeks of Mercury retrograde have really thrown a kink in your relationships. It could even be something as simple as catching the winter cold that’s going around or feeling that flicker of disappointment as you look out the office window and see the sun setting at 4:30 PM. Whatever it is, this time of year can be a challenge for a lot of us when it comes to keeping spirits and energy levels high.
If you’re anything like me, hitting snooze for the third time or coming home to veg on the couch with a bowl of Ben & Jerry’s tends to sound pretty inviting. And, don’t get me wrong, indulging ourselves once in a while and getting adequate amounts of sleep are both important. However, what is also important is figuring out that fine line between giving ourselves the rest we need and being…well, lazy. I will be the first to admit that this is something I’ve had to do some self-examining with. My Ashtanga teacher used to emphasize the importance of knowing the difference between my excuses and my legitimate needs, saying, “Does the reason you’re not coming to class this morning involve a lengthy excuse? If so, you just need to stop telling yourself stories and get on your mat.” I will always remember that! To this day, I still find it helpful to say to myself, “Emily, stop telling yourself stories.” And then I unroll the yoga mat, or I put on the running shoes, or I set up my speakers for some upbeat POP Pilates.
So this weekend (and really, every day), I’m challenging you to get moving. Choose something you really enjoy, whether it’s yin or yang yoga, Pilates, running, soccer, or chasing your kid around the park, and then go do it. It doesn’t have to be for any set amount of time, and if ten minutes is all you’ve got, then ten minutes it is! Seriously. It could be something as simple as running up and down the stairs in your apartment building to get your heart rate up, going for a brisk walk while you catch up on last week’s podcast episodes, or doing some sun salutations in your living room. Whether you’re dealing with physical tiredness or emotional lethargy, just getting your body moving will get the magic working!
I’d love to hear what ways you’ve been working on putting your body into motion, so if you’d like to let me know or share your ideas and progress with others, leave us a note in the comments below. Shabbat shalom and happy moving!
(P.S. Since running has been my movement of choice lately, I highly recommend the Nike+ Run Club app. You can track your runs and progress, connect with other people with similar goals, and – my favorite part – use the guided runs feature with Nike coaches to encourage you. Check it out here!)