Yesterday I decided to listen to an episode of the I Simply Am podcast on my way to the grocery store. That small decision had a big impact on me. The episode had to do with loving ourselves and self-care as an important avenue for doing so. It got me thinking about how I treat myself. As it turns out, I treat myself pretty well, but of course, there is always room for improvement.
One of the points that was a great reminder for me was the difference between self-care and pleasure. The things that are often instantaneously gratifying unfortunately are not usually beneficial for our long term happiness and well-being. Today I ran into one of those situations.
I had a morning meeting and an afternoon tutoring session. In between those two obligations, I had lunch and prepared for a school site visit tomorrow. This left me with just under an hour before my tutoring appointment. I was very tempted to sit back and watch some mindless TV with this time. Don’t get me wrong, time to unwind is definitely a necessary component of self-care, but I had a goal I was working toward. I’m trying to get in the habit of making sure I don’t skip working out two days in a row. I am pretty damn sure I will not be working out tomorrow since it will be a long and draining day. Without overthinking it, I put on my workout gear and a YouTube video and did a half hour workout. I was so happy I did.
I am tired now, but I feel satisfied. I know I’m one step closer to my goal. I know I kept a promise to myself to work toward a new habit. I knew in this instance that instant gratification was not what I needed.
One small decision yesterday lead to another good decision today. My exercise high lead to me typing out this blog post in the minutes before I had to leave home. Sometimes we have to act before we feel inspired. Sometimes we have to put the commitment into ourselves that we put into our careers and other people.
I needed that reminder today. I just wanted to pass this along in case you did, too.
All my love,
Photo: Flickr/Moyan Brenn