I did it again this morning–the 5 minute morning exercise routine. I even did it pre-coffee, which is extremely bold for me, as it means I wasn’t even conscious yet. At first, it felt bad. I was in my pajamas doing standing push-ups off my countertop thinking that a minute has never felt so long in my life. Next thing I know I’m running in place, my heart rate starts climbing, and my dog is jumping up and down around me thinking it’s play time. By the time I was on my last minute of jumping jacks, I felt kinda awesome.
I took a few steps out of my small apartment kitchen where I did the workout while watching my microwave clock, and immediately felt the adrenaline running through me. It’s crazy that all you need is 5 short minutes of activity to activate your mind and body. For a second I thought I didn’t even need coffee I felt so good… but then I realized that was crazy talk and made myself a breakfast of an oatmeal pancake + 2 cups of coffee .
Getting real about putting too much pressure on myself.
Dave and I had a very interesting conversation the other day. If you’ve been a Mel Runs reader for a while, you know that Dave likes to keep our apartment clean. I’m all for it–who wouldn’t want their apartment clean? But it was noticable to me how often he was vacuuming vs. how often I was NOT vacuuming. This of course amounted to a few heated discussions over time about our different perspectives–my thinking he cleans too often, and his thinking that I don’t clean enough. We realized that we just have different tolerance levels and expectations, resolved it, and moved on.
It got us thinking though, everyone is a little neurotic about something. Dave likes things clean, some people can’t handle the idea of germs, and some people are very particular about what they eat and how it’s prepared. There’s a MILLION things that can be on that list, but what is it that makes ME neurotic? I don’t really care about dirt, germs don’t freak me out, I like to eat healthy but I’m not particularly neurotic about my food. Then we realized, I’m neurotic about myself and my achievements. This is actually a little hard for me to write, but it feels good to write it.
The reason why I don’t care too much about all those small details around me is that I’m 100% focused on driving forward initiatives I’m working on that have my name on it. This includes, but is not limited to, building my own company, the work I do at my ad agency, my physical self, etc. . I want to be almost perfect at everything or do them really, really, really (really) well. Down to the point where I send emails to people and question the way I worded it (I mean, not all the time, I’m not totally cray, but often enough). And while it’s great to have such high aspirations, it’s sometimes wayyy to much pressure to put on myself. I mean, who is perfect at everything? No one, because perfect is relative. The way I structure my business may not be the way someone else does, and the way I want to look is a picture I made up in my own head.
Okay, I’m ranting.
But realizing this helped me calm things down a bit, and stop to enjoy the things around me vs. throw all my energy into the future of what I want to achieve. It’s really easy to get caught in this slippery slope of over-analyzing everything and self-manufacturing pressure that isn’t really there. I snatched up a magazine at the store the other day that had some stress-breaking tips, and here are 3 that I found easy and helpful for people like me who need help slowing down:
1. Take 3 really deep, long breaths. It will force your heart to slow down, and you to mellow out.
2. Get up and take a walk when a particular issue or project is hard to solve. A small break will allow you to pull your thoughts together and reunite your mind and body to the bigger picture around you.
3. Remember that there is a support network around you who can vent to. Verbalizing things really helps get the weight off your chest. (I called my mom this morning and vented. Thanks mom!).
Bonus #4! I remind myself of this and it helps:
4. The only way to learn and grow is to be uncomfortable. If you’re not uncomfortable, you’re not growing. It’s okay to not always know what you’re doing. (this is a big one!)
What are you neurotic about? How do you keep calm and carry on?