I’m in a slump. A funk. A I just wanna curl up on the couch in a snuggly blanket mood.
I think it’s somewhat universal, at least up here in Portland. We’ve had maybe a few days of sunshine in months, let alone a warm and beautiful spring season. It’s hard to maintain a bright and chipper demeanor when it’s been raining nearly nonstop for months.
Not to mention Mercury was in retrograde last week, again, and it was a full moon. All the crazy, emotional cycles in the world were linked up.
I don’t have time to deal with all that s***! Without going into my to-do list and inserting my schedule, everything I need to do is demanding of my time, focus, and energy. I can’t exactly show up to teach yoga morose, or plan all of the amazing events we have coming up without excitement.
Seriously, ain’t nobody got time for that!
So when things are sad, stressful, lacking energy, or when I just don’t wanna, what do I do to get motivated?
Turn that frown upside down!
I truly believe we have a reasonable amount of control over our energy level and happiness. Not because bad things don’t happen or stress doesn’t exist, but because of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
They say that if you smile, even if it’s forced, it can increase genuine happiness and decrease stress. In my line of work, I pretty much always have to be happy and energetic. Not that I can’t have my bad days and be authentic with that. But overall, teaching power vinyasa yoga and working in the fitness industry, I spend my days motivating people. That can be a pretty damn hard job, even on the best of days, but especially when my RBF feels like it’s been carved by Michelangelo himself.
So sometimes I paste that smile on and wait for my brain to catch up. Sometimes I literally shift everything upside down. By kicking up into handstand even for a moment, I get that head rush and get the blood pumping in a way that only inversions can. I lift back up out of it with a feeling of freshnenss and rejuvination.
My closet is in a desperate way. Things are generally where they need to be, but a purge is SO necessary! Things are piled and wedged and layered such that I end up wearing the top layer over and over once it’s been laundered and have completely forgotten about the hidden items underneath. I know minimalism and purging is kind of all the rage right there. There are so many theories out there for organizing and weeding through objects. I haven’t yet developed a strategy of balancing holding onto nostalgic items and purging unneeded things that don’t actually serve a purpose or make me happy.
It seems that this need to organize and purge is part of a general sense of spring cleaning! My #sweatpink sister Katie is on board the anti-hoarder train. Becky, as usual, is pretty much the most organized soul I know. Not only is that motivation enough, but she reminds me that after ruthlessly spring cleaning and purging, you usually get to go shopping! Alyse reminded me today that the general shelf life of a sports bra is 12 months, which for most of us means we need to purge all those old items we hang on to for dear life. I have SO many old pieces of activewear that are lying around, unneeded might I add. Why would I need to hold on to an old sports bra that no longer ever supports the girls when I have AWESOME new bras from lulu, prAna, Handful, and more! (Obviously I don’t need to hang on to these old things at all!)
Great minds think alike.
Nothing makes me feel better about my weird moods than knowing I’m not alone. Luckily I’m surrounded by likeminded people, GSD, motivated, ladybosses that have Superwoman Syndrome and want to do everything they possibly can to the best of their ability. My PIC Nic and I work side by side on most things. She co-manages Flex & Flow with me and we work on many projects together. When one of us feels harried and stressed, the other will look at her with a matching “holy shit” facial expression. My bosses/colleagues/friends/general ladyboss inspirations Jamie, Alyse, and Becky all somehow balance every possible thing in life and manage to do it all gracefully (and sweatily). Starting, owning, and growing thriving businesses (note that that’s plural); marriage; babies; law school; travel; rocking out all things sweaty… When Becky was in a similar “holy shit how do I do it” place, she opened up about how she gets motivated to be the “doer” that she is, including outlining to-do’s, setting and sharing goals, surrounding yourself with an amazing community, and sweating!
Set little goals.
I’m a big fan of to-do lists. Of writing things down that I need to do, and even the tasks that I’ve already done. We get a sense of fulfillment by accomplishing tasks and crossing them off the list when we do.
Often times my to-do list is overwhelming, and I sit staring at it not knowing where to start. Or I start doing everything else first before the few tasks that really need to get done and I just don’t wanna. Luckily I’m not alone in that overwhelmed procrastination. Alyse and Autumn at A Whole Story recently talked about the mental games we can play with ourselves to increase productivity. A few standouts:
“I cannot watch another episode of Gilmore Girls till I write for 10 minutes.”
“Must respond to two emails before I mindlessly scroll FB and IG for an hour.”
Alyse even rewarded herself with cheese for writing that very blog post! Takeaway? That cheese is a worthy goal for humans and lab rats alike, yes. AND that we all struggle with productivity, but there are little mental games and reward systems we can use to counteract that.
Set BIG goals!
I love having goals to work towards! It helps motivate me to put one foot in front of the other, even when I don’t want to. One of the big goals right now is that I have signed up for my first trail half marathon, the Molalla River Trail Race in September. I’m a little nervous because it will be right after I will be at the beach for a few weeks. But I have some awesome steps in place to help me train for it:
- Flex & Flow Run Club – This group of people pushes and inspires me when we’re out for miles so much! I don’t know if I’d be able to do this without them!
- HIIT Yoga – pretty much the best cross training cardio workout EVER
- EMPOWER Race Series – We’re putting on this awesome weekend of running and yoga in August. It will be an awesome boost in sweat and motivation with some amazing people gathering in San Francisco!
- Summer Sweat Series – We’re hosting an amazing, sweaty, rigorous training schedule over the summer at Flex & Flow, including many amazing bootcamp sessions with Tasha and fun summertime events to gear up for these races!
Never stop learning.
Jamie ruminates on one of my favorite topics today on her blog: the benefits of getting outside of your comfort zone. Doing so means that we’re learning, growing, experiencing new things. Too often we give into the sense of discomfort when it comes to learning new things, and we chicken out and choose to stick with what we know. To me, that just sounds like a quick recipe for getting into a rut. We have to keep challenging ourselves in order to grow and continue to feel fulfilled.
I was lucky enough to take Alissa‘s Hands On Assists workshop last weekend. It was a small group of teachers and advanced practitioners that came together to discuss and practice, well, touching each other. Some of the assists were ones that I knew (in my comfort zone) and some were new that I got to practice on bodies. Taking part in new activities and further education trainings like this is a great way continue to grow.
HIIT it to win it!
Monday morning, I walked in to teach the 7:30am HIIT Yoga class at Flex & Flow. I was tired, lethargic, low energy, and only wanting to be curled back up in bed. But I turned it on, motivated by the amazing crew that showed up ready to go hard. After an hour of flowing, breathing, and sweating like whoa, my I’m-a-high-energy-yoga-teacher smile and demeanor was a legit sweaty grin! Ian teaches the class before and after me on Mondays. He told me that he loves seeing the change in my energy on Monday mornings, like a light switch. The endorphins, the sweat, the movement, the community all works together to kick my Monday off in the best way possible.
We’re so excited to get things turnt up and HIIT it this weekend! We’ll be getting sweaty and learning all the HIIT Yoga things with amazing people all weekend long. Doesn’t that just sound like the best recipe for a great time? There’s no way we won’t be leaving the studio after the weekend not feeling motivated and all kinds of yoga high!
You can still join in! Use the code LASTCHANCEFFY, you’ll get 15% off this week’s HIIT Yoga Teacher Training (Expires Friday 4/28).
Onwards and upwards
I love hearing astrological explanations for weird phenomenon and emotional trends. Like Mercury being in retrograde (doesn’t it seem like it always is though??). I took class this morning with Alissa, who is in touch with astrology and energies. She informed me that today marks the new moon in Taurus, which has a fixed quality, grounding energy. It is a moon ruled by Venus, bringing in lightness, happiness, and sensuality. In theory it’s a great time to be setting intentions and making plans.
So how am I going to motivate myself to do the opposite of what I feel like doing?
- Just start smiling. My brain will catch up.
- Set dates with friends for work and sweat. And wine.
- Share how I’m feeling with those close to me.
- Prioritize my to-do list.
- Just start chipping away.
- Set up my reward system to increase productivity.
What are you working on right now? What are your tips for revving your lackluster motors?