We've all experienced this. We set out to make new habits. Maybe it's making healthy food choices. Maybe it's starting a new exercise routine. It could even be wanting to implement a new morning routine of meditation. We are doing well for the first week or so and then bam! we are sidelined with either getting sick, getting injured or life throws us a curve ball.
It can be so discouraging and frustrating. You are trying so darn hard! Doesn't the universe know this? How do we not give up? The answer I have found is in the word Resilience.
Resilience is the ability to overcome adversity. The five most common factors of resilient people (according to Brené Brown's research in The Gifts of Imperfection):
1. They are resourceful and have good problem-solving skills.
2. They are more likely to seek help.
3. They hold the belief that they can do something that will help them to manage their feelings and to cope.
4. They have social support available to them.
5. They are connected with others, such as family or friends.
You know what I hear in those words? I hear vulnerability, hope, support, and connectedness. You don't have to do this alone. I have found that having an accountability partner to reach out to when things get hard has made a huge difference. But choose a friend that meets you with compassion and empathy. No shame allowed.
I have been there. I have had to stop and heal from injuries. I have had a medical diagnosis of conditions that needed to be treated. I have caught a stupid cold just when I was getting into a new rhythm of routine. It is frustrating. BUT when I meet myself with compassion and understanding and cultivate the HOPE that I will return to that new habit, indeed I do. I reach out to trusted friends and acknowledge the pain and disappointment. Sometimes I do some art journaling. I repeat the mantra, "Progress, not Perfection." Check your self-talk. Are you meeting yourself with compassion?
So that is the emotional/mental/spiritual side of things. What about some physical, practical things I can do to give myself the best chance at staying healthy?
I eat a low inflammation diet of meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts & seeds. I have eliminated almost all added sugar. I have eliminated grains. When lowering the chronic inflammation caused by food, my immune system is not as hampered. I find that if I catch a cold, I get over it much quicker. My body is better able to recover. I also have increased energy.
I also focus on adding some "Super Foods" like elderberry juice for fighting off colds and bone broth to nourish my joints and skin. I have my teas with echinacea and my ginseng tincture. Food truly is my medicine. I take my vitamins. I have seen it work time and time again. Yet to be perfectly honest, I don't know how well these super foods would work if I didn't have the foundation of a low inflammation diet.
Allowing myself to sleep and rest is another important way to recover and repair, but that's worthy of another post.
Remember you are not alone in experiencing setbacks. Two steps forward and one step back is still moving forward. Be kind to yourself and let go of comparison to others that look like they've got it all together. Find gratitude for the present situation. We're in this together.