February is here! Time for new monthly goals. What are you focusing on this month? In today’s blog post, I’m sharing how I want to respect my body’s speed limit and listen to what I need.
January was a tough month for me. Seasonal Depression showed up and hit me like a ton of bricks. My energy was low, and I felt unmotivated to do any of my favorite things.
My daily routine got completely out of whack. I even ran out of my favorite bedtime tea, and it made falling asleep a challenge.
I just wanted to pull the covers over my head and sleep it off. But busy mom life, work life– just being a middle-aged adult haha– you know you don’t really get the luxury to take extra time off when you’re in a funk. You gotta push through it. (This is why our standards for true self-care, particularly for mental health, need to change. But that’s a story for a different day.)
I’M DOING MY BEST
All throughout January I focused on doing my best.
It seems “I’m doing my best” has become my motto. I think it’s a good motto to have because it’s genuine and let’s yourself and others know you are trying.
You are doing the best you can and that definitely matters.
Remember last month– I had written about January’s Focus was going to be embrace the slow season?
I wasn’t expecting seasonal depression to hit me so hard. However, I think I’m doing well with embracing the slow season.
When I’m having a tough time, I remind myself it’s okay.
It’s okay to start the day two hours later if that’s what I need. It’s okay to not get everything checked off my to-do list.
It’s okay to put off writing a blog post if I don’t have the energy for it right now. It’s okay to put book reading on hold and just unwind with my favorite Kdramas (I love my Kdramas! lol).
It’s okay if I don’t feel like cooking big dinners and just have cereal or eggs for dinner.
It’s okay. Just do your best. I am doing my best.
FEBRUARY’S FOCUS: LISTEN TO WHAT I NEED AND RESPECT MY BODY’S SPEED LIMIT
So, now that February is here, I’ve been thinking about what I’d like to focus on this month.
Continuing to listen to what I need. This is important to me. “Listen to what I need” is my New Year’s goal for 2023, and I’m trying hard to keep that the main focus of my daily life.
Whenever I feel down, overwhelmed, or just having a tough time, I say to myself: “listen to what you need.”
It’s been helpful for me, so far.
In February, I’m also focusing on respecting my body’s speed limit.
It’s a phrase I recently learned from a book I’m reading– Why We Meditate: The Science and Practice of Clarity and Compassion by Daniel Goleman and Tsoknyi Rinpoche.
I really loved this passage Buddhist teacher Tsoknyi Rinpoche wrote in the second chapter of the book.
But one day I decided to challenge myself. I would start to respect my body’s speed limit, its natural speed, instead of listening to the stubborn distorted speedy energy. I said to myself, I will just do everything normally, at the right pace. Whenever I reach my office, I reach my office. I won’t let the restless energy push me.
I went through my morning relaxed, moving at a pace that suited me. I stretched in bed before getting up. I brushed my teeth properly, taking enough time to do it right. When the speedy energy tried to push me– Go faster, get there now! Grab something for breakfast and eat it in the car!– I didn’t listen.
I was respecting my body’s speed limit. Sitting down for breakfast, I chewed properly, tasting my meal. I drove at the appropriate speed, without a sense of rush. I even enjoyed the drive. Whenever the speedy energy told me to go faster– Just get there– I smiled and shook my head.Tsoknyi Rinpoche, Nepalese Tibetan Buddhist Teacher and Author
I found this passage helpful for me because I deal with a lot of restless energy. My “distorted speedy energy” makes me feel overwhelmed and often triggers my anxiety.
Just like Tsoknyi Rinpoche, I want to respect my body’s speed limit, take things at a slower more manageable pace, and listen to what I need.
I pray February is much kinder to me than January was!
What are you focusing on in February? I hope you are feeling well and taking time for yourself! xoxo
All photographs are courtesy of J. Hamra for Good Life Detroit. The photos were taken February 2022 in Corktown, Detroit.