Ice cream for dinner? When to be hard or nice to yourself

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The last month or more I have been constantly on the road, giving one or two presentation and motivational talks every day. I love my job and it gives me a lot of joy, but it’s also very challenging.

To be able to do my job and prepare for upcoming expeditions it’s extremely important that I take well care of myself (or – isn’t it important anyway?)
It’s important because it’s not only for me. I get very honored, almost brought to tears sometimes when I meet hundreds of people who took their evening time to travel and listen to me and buy my book. It’s for them I also need to take care of myself, so I can give them my best. It’s important for me to live as I learn. I need to eat well, sleep well and train well.

What is ”well” is different from day to day. Some days I’m just down and after work don’t have any physical or mental energy for the interval running or weight lifting session I planned. Then I cancel it and do yoga, take a walk or talk to a friend. I ask myself what I want for dinner and the only thing I really want is Ben & Jerry’s ice cream with cookie dough chunks. I’m nice to myself those days. I eat the ice cream without guilt. If I just can’t focus on my computerwork, I take a break and read a book or go kayaking. The days when I have migraine attacks, I do as little as possible. I do my work as well as I can on my medication, but I don’t do anything extra as writing a blog text, or do my book keeping business.

The trick is to deeply know it’s it’s ”real” or if you are just lazy. Don’t lie to yourself.
Sometimes you should to do things even when you are not ”in the mood”. Just to prove yourself – to yourself.

Then I might finally have a long night’s good sleep. I had decided to get up at 5 to do a long distance running. As the alarm rings I might not really feel like getting up for a run in the cold rain. But I feel good and there are no real excuses. I simply don’t give myself the option to stay in bed. I get out and do my run. 5 minutes into the run I’m loving it, feeling the raindrops and smell of autumn and thinking about the upcoming expedition where we will have to trek 110 km one way up the mountain. I’m nice to myself by running for 2 hours. It increases my chances of summiting and being safe on the mountain. It’s a sort of self discipline, or motivation. But not with the intention to be hard on myself. I do it because I have motivation and commitment.

What is your motivation and commitment?

Sometimes being ”hard” on yourself is actually being nice. When you have to do something difficult it can be with others, you own well being and future in mind. It might feel ”hard” to sit down and plan for what you want to do in life and what you want to make out of something –  if you really want to succeed, that’s is being nice to yourself – and to your surroundings.

I don’t think there is no rule that goes for all situations. Apart from ”be kind” maybe, and – get to know yourself.

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