I'm just starting right off the bat with a challenge.
DO SOMETHING PHYSICALLY HARD THIS WEEK!
Why would I come out the gate with that challenge? Why do I care what you do? Why did I encourage hard physically when most of us spend our mental energy coping/enduring/dealing with HARD?
The truth is, HARD is going to come to you, but it's much better to choose your hard ahead of time. What I mean by that physically is get up and move! Find something that might scare you a little or that you don't feel yet capable of doing.
I'm NOT telling you to sign up for a marathon, take a spin class, or play a game of basketball. I'm begging you to just do something that's hard for you, because you will learn that you can handle WAY MORE than you thought you could. Surprising yourself physically will spill over mentally. The endorphins that are created from choosing something physically hard will give you greater ability and control to handle things that you don't choose.
Here's my proof! I have been actively running/training for half marathons the past 4 summers. Each year, I try something a little harder that frankly scares the crap out of me. I sign up for a race that I'm not fully capable of doing when I sign up. I even signed up for 3 in a row with a month in between last year wondering what the heck I was getting myself in to. The more I trained, the more my confidence grew in my abilities. Because the truth is.......
Confidence isn't having the ability right now to do the "thing". Confidence is the ability to FIGURE IT OUT.
What does this have to do with being able to step up my mental game? Well, my husband spent A LOT of time in hospitals last year as we navigated through his health challenges. Mentally I was a mess trying to figure out what that meant for him, us and our family. BUT, I know that by me choosing to continue to put my body through hard as I was training, I was able to cope much better than if I had let that part of me go.
Now here I am this year, getting ready to run my FIRST Trail half marathon. I was terrified when I signed up, at least with my physical capabilities. But the truth is, I have never once doubted my mental stamina to figure it out. And with practice, you can too!
For beginners, here are some tips to get moving today!
*walk to the mailbox to grab your mail instead of driving up in your car
*use less drivethrus this week at restaurants
*take the stairs just ONE day at work/week (only 1 flight at a time though)
*go for a stroll (not a walk, a stroll, then work up to the walk)
For more advanced, check out these tips.
*Add 30 minutes more to your weekly schedule of exercise getting your heart pumping.
*Sign up for a free class at your local gym to try something new (spin class, dance fitness, HIGH fitness, yoga, etc.)
*Run for 20 minutes without stopping (pick a pace that is a little slower than you think you can handle)
My plea is to FIND YOUR MOUNTAIN AND CLIMB IT! Even if you have limitations due to pain, surgery, inability, etc, there is something you can do to step up your "hard" game to better prepare for other "hard" in your life that will come whether you're ready or not.