There’s a yoga instructor on YouTube who has so many followers and so many hits that it’s impossible not to find her when you search for anything yoga related. Last night I searched for “bedtime yoga” and she came up. She is hard to dislike but at the same time on the verge of being very irritating. I persevered nevertheless and I did enjoy listening to her and following her workout – as do over 5.5million other people around the world, so she must be doing something right! One of her catch phrases is, “find what feels good”.
Yesterday it felt good to crawl into bed at the end of the day and it felt good to eat half a packet of biscuits just before that. Last night, for various reasons, I was having a tiring evening. It left me feeling very flat and so in realising that was how I felt, I did what I often do and sought out sugar. It did feel good. It gave me a little, much needed energy boost. For a bit.
It doesn’t always feel good to exercise. Sometimes before I exercise I feel like exercise will probably make my day worse. It will mean I have to shower again and it means I won’t have time for something else on the neverending to-do list. Especially now I am having to wait for the weekend to run in daylight and the slightly warmer air of the daytime. So sometimes, at the moment, the thought of fitting in an exercise DVD or a class does not feel good.
And then there is the exercise itself. It is not always the case that I enjoy the actual exercise – it’s hard work and sometimes it hurts and I get sweaty and out of breath and my face resembles a stop traffic light – bright red and unwanted. So when I was told to, “find what feels good” it was hard not to immediately quit. Yesterday evening, very little felt good and I just wanted the day to end so I could wake up less grumpy. I am lucky that I don’t often feel like this and if I do it can normally always be attributed to a heady mix of hormones and lack of sleep.
This morning I did a boxercise workout followed by aerobics. I didn’t particularly enjoy them. I didn’t experience a natural high whilst I star jumped or a rush of endorphins as I lunged. But here’s the thing I know I need to remember – after I’d finished, I felt good.
Sometimes to find what feels good you have to do the bit that doesn’t feel that good. Because yesterday evening I wanted to give up on the day and tonight I am bouncing around and getting things done. I’m feeling empowered and enthusiastic and motivated. And this afternoon I didn’t eat 15 Jaffa Cakes, I took our toddler and baby out to look around the garden centre Christmas displays and I had a lovely afternoon. I felt good and I know that feeling originated from completing those workouts.
When I don’t want to exercise or I am exercising and not particularly enjoying it, this is the feeling I want to remember. The feeling of having more energy and motivation for the day. The feeling of being more in control. The feeling that I can take on the day and anything it throws at me and not only succeed but feel positive and productive alongside. Because I have found what feels good and during a low moment I can harness this memory and feel good again.