I don’t really live in the past too much. The future seems always to hold ambition, something to aspire to achieve that has not yet arrived; perhaps a skill, a piece to be made, an idea for something future-born.
What is it that motivates our rising to get up from our beds when we wake each day? It can indeed be something as simple as making that first coffee of the day, something which somehow expands from there. The issue for many is what is worth doing and what will you do when you do get up? It’s important for all of us to have something to get up for first of all. It’s all too easy for any one of us to just slide into a non-motivational life without noticing. We have seen this happen to people as we never expected the pandemic to come and infect us in so many ways. Those who were used to having people surrounding them suddenly found themselves alone for days, weeks and months on end. Worse still, it’s not always easy for us to find the grace to escape from lacking motivation, and especially is this so if we are isolated, whether intentionally or not! Even so, for those who find depression at their door, just waking up and getting up is as good a start to realise that the very realness of waking is the motivating force that helps us to escape without resorting to escapism. Our waking is well worth living for and if we have a plan before we actually go to sleep our minds will spin on this axis and we will wake with a drive to drive ourselves out of bed.
Depression is incredibly debilitating. But others too can be debilitating and depressing too. Experience working with disabilities tells me that sometimes, more often than we think, others around us can disable our disabilities more than the disability itself does. dismiss those who try to dissuade you from going and doing. You don’t need that and neither do you need the voices in your head saying why this and why that. I motivate my self on a cold and frosty morning by riding when everything in me says, ‘Oh no! I can’t be bothered!‘ Even a short ride, run and walk is better than none, and I have found that once I am out there in the zone my legs, my emotions and my self-motivational powers somehow take over and I am warm and increasingly warming to the task of starting into my day! By that I mean I am fully engaged and warm to the task and with all the joy mixed in there too!
My favourite breakfasts are the ones I made and cooked myself. I salivate as I slice the onions and the courgettes. And cook the tomatoes and mushrooms in olive oil. How many times do we so easily think breakfast is two slices of toast or making breakfast is nothing more than pouring cerial from a thin cardboard box and adding some milk, a few nuts, and some seeds from other containers. Bagels and doughnuts too are very sweet, sticky and, to me at least, very boring day after day. Also, as a long-term diabetic, these things are not just bad for me but they are not my idea of ‘making’ breakfast!
Oh, you don’t have time! Well, I understand this too and with a family, this can seem an impossible change to make, but for those who can and who might lack motivation, it is important to make shifts that can create time we thought we didn’t have. Things like go to bed earlier so you can get up just a little earlier. COVID isolationism may change with the new vaccines rolling out but COVID may not be the reason for non-motivation. I take 30 minutes every morning to make my breakfast. I cycle first, straight out of bed and onto my bike. That was a gamechanger for me when I broke the morning cycle of tea in bed followed by breakfast coffee and toast followed by a car drive into work. I reversed it. Bike, breakfast for me begins the day best!
There may well be days when we, a few here and there, feel less inclined and even disinclined to get up and go altogether. This is the most difficult time and the one that is so easy to give in to. I try to disallow such days by reasoning things out with myself because whereas a day here and there will be okay, it is easy for a single day to become days and days to increase the more. I know this myself and it is all too easy not to be disciplined. It can happen the more when we fail to see the essentiality of scheduling things into our day. I have learned in everything I do day to day that I must set myself realistic goals to work towards because without them I rarely achieve anything at all. When no schedule exists it is best to create one, even just a mental one, even if at first we see no need for such a schedule to our lives. Okay, you are retired, tied down by self-isolating, things like that. This in and of itself can be especially debilitating. Better to work out the goals and then create a plan I call a scope and sequence. This what I do for all my projects and even the start for my day. For instance, nowadays, due to long term exercising, I can easily cycle for a continuous one-hour ride. I might plan to push myself a little harder at different points by selecting different gear choices or extending the length of the ride if time permits. But then too I might schedule three rides into my day of a shorter duration but I will still get my hour in and sometimes, often, more. There are of course other exercises to do too. Even two minutes of bench presses at my workbench come in on the hour every hour. My working is my exercise as many actions are high demand anyway.
Try your best to exercise, cook and work the making of things into your day. You may need to be alone for extended periods but wherever possible break the longer periods by taking walks, power walks, bike rides and quick-burst rides and by breaking up long work sessions; this is exercising your needs and rights to take explicit care of yourself; it isall inclusive of every part of your being, so mental, emotional and physical care interplays throughout the whole of your being. Remember that gardening is excellent exercise too, especially digging. Those who write me and told me of non-dig gardening left out the two realities! One, I love the exercise of actual deep digging and tilling and, two the exercise of all the body parts including the psychology of brain power are all good for me.
I am thinking this week and especially today of those who live with no one near enough and close-to to make a difference. What I am speaking of breaks the fatiguing influence caused by isolation. Also, don’t believe the lie that others don’t want to hear from you via phone, text or email, etc. I have made that mistake many times myself and found myself making a call that was so transformative it completely changed the course of the day. Of course, others need your phone call too because of their personal isolation feelings. Rarely is it one way. Of those of us who find themselves self-isolating without intending to or even when and where no rules exist, it can be difficult because we are the type that don’t want to ‘impose‘ ourselves on others in the first place. In this newest of years, we can all “Reach out and touch somebody’s hand. Make this world a better place, if you can!”
Keep going everybody! We can get through this!