How to come back from the dead

motivation Back from dead wellbeingI’ve been meaning to write this post for a couple of weeks. But I’ve been busy. Dead busy. Then bloody Leo from Zen Habits beat me to it again with his ‘motivation after vacation’ post. He’s always doing everything before me. Better than me. But that’s another post… Back to me.

Over the past 3 weeks I’ve had a few drinks. I’ve smoked a few ciggies. I’ve stopped the daily meditation practice. I haven’t been to yoga. I’ve stressed about money. Yelled at my kids. Worked day and night. Cried over work. Let sleep suffer. Eaten shit food. Lacked motivation.

The ‘me’ I want to be through this blog died for a while.

But now she’s been given the chance at a fresh start. So I’m trying to resurrect her.

When you’ve fallen off the wellbeing wagon — whether it’s through a life challenge or a holiday — it can be bumpy as shit when you get back on. So here’s a sneak peek into how I’m trying to bring Wellbeing Bites Bec back from the brink of death.

1. Go easy on yourself
The ‘life challenge’ that threw me off course felt all consuming. I was really really unhappy. I tried my usual tricks to deal with it. They didn’t work. So I wallowed for a few weeks. But I’m not going to beat myself up over it any more. If your mum, brother, friend or partner fell off the wagon, would you kick them while they lay in the dirt? No? Then don’t be an arsehole to yourself. It’s not helpful.

2. Hold yourself accountable
You fell of the wagon. It’s no one else’s fault. I’ve blamed a number of others for my recent brush with wellbeing death, but I’ve realised that blame only serves to give my power away. Take responsibility. Forgive yourself. Then move on.

3. Be accountable to someone else
In my other life as a freelance writer I have clients that I have weekly commitments to. I would never deliver late or sub-standard work. I’ve realised that I need to make the same commitment to myself, and to this blog — for my readers and for myself. So I’m using Wunderlist to schedule Wellbeing bites posts and I’ve told my husband that he will receive a draft every Tuesday evening. He’ll relish the opportunity to ‘remind’ me if I fail to deliver…

4. Start back small to prevent overwhelm
If I try to get back to my wellbeing peak without giving my body and mind fair warning, I’ll fall off that wobbly-as-fuck wagon again in no time. So I’m starting small. Commit to my weekly blog post, get to bed by 11pm and meditate for 10 minutes a day. Start back with 2 or 3 easy-to-achieve tasks, celebrate your achievements and build from there.

5. Squash negative self-talk
You will have days where you don’t feel like meditating/writing/exercising. When nothing seems to flow and you feel like you’re moving backwards. Your mind will say “too hard”. Be aware of its chatter, but don’t listen. Talk yourself into things instead. Say “I can do this. I am epic.” It might feel like self-delusion at first, but be persistent and your positive self-talk will start to ring true.

I’m thinking of my recovery as more of a slow rehabilitation than a full-blown back-to-life miracle. But every word I write, every meditation session I show up for, every time I stop to think before I yell — each of these moments is a tiny victory.

I’m not exactly back to Bec, but I’m breathing again.

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