Have you ever felt completely unmotivated and not wanting to get out of bed to exercise? You’re not alone.
The other morning when I awoke I found it difficult to get up and excited for my morning run with our dog. Throughout my life there have only been a few times where I haven’t had the energy or motivation to exercise. My self-discipline always kicked in, I’d get up and just do it. As I’m an early riser (4.30 - 4.45 am), a run or weights before work makes for a productive day. But the other morning, no matter how I cajoled myself mentally, I just couldn’t. So, I didn’t. I took the time to listen to my body and did some gentler exercise; stretching and deep breathing/Qi gong exercises, then went about my day.
However, the next morning the same dark cloud hung over me. It got me thinking; most of us at certain times will experience some trials, tribulations or lows brought on by ourselves or external forces beyond our control. For me, when I’d experience such things, exercise was my saviour, my antidepressant, as the endorphin release was sure to follow. However, that morning, no matter what I said to myself - “Get up you lazy thing, come on you can do this, get your butt moving, time to get out of your head and into your body…. blah blah, blah” - my mind didn’t want to have a bar of it.
Then the good ole voice of International life coach Tony Robbins, Mr Energy himself, and ‘Unleash the Power Within’ guru, came into my head. Tony Robbins always advocates, as do I, in order to change your negative mental state you need to first change your physiology, by moving your body with purpose. So, as reluctant as I felt, I got my A into G, got Apache our American Bulldog and went for a long walk/jog. I’m not going to lie, it was hard, extremely hard. The first 30 minutes of our walk, had me ‘in my head’ chattering away with negative self talk – “I can’t do this, it’s too hard” - it came up with all the excuses to stop. I had a choice, to either give in to my internal chatter and stop, or to press on and enjoy the scenery. I didn’t stop … I made a conscious decision to persevere. It was time to get out of my head and fully into my heart and body! As we got to the top of the hill, we started a slow run down and something magical happened. I’m not sure if it was the rhythmic pounding of my feet on the road, the birdsong or having Apache running alongside me, but the cloud started to lift.
Endorphins were kicking in, I felt lighter, more at peace and energised.
By the end of our jog I had clarity and knew that today was going to be a GREAT day! In that moment I was truly grateful that I was able to get myself out of that funk.
If you’re going through a rough patch, got the winter blues, feeling overwhelmed or extremely unmotivated, I can advocate four gifts to give yourself. Your body, mind and spirit will thank you for it:
- Get out of your head and into your heart and body by eating wholesome healthy food to nourish and replenish your body;
- Aim to get 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night;
- Have some deep diaphragmatic breaths upon waking and before bed and any other time you feel anxious;
- Make sure you get regular exercise - strength training and some form of cardiovascular exercise is the way to get the endorphins flowing.
I’ll leave you with this adage from one of my mentors Oprah Winfrey. She said recently, “When you’re at your lowest low, give thanks”. Give thanks for what you may say? She says, “Give thanks, as you know this moment too shall pass.”