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Stop “Shoulding” Yourself During COVID-19

We had another meeting with our coach last week and thank the good lord for that. Anyone else find themselves not wanting to do the things that you know you need the most? Ugh…I don’t feel like taking a shower…but my hair could literally pass as a bird’s nest. So I should.  I reallllly don’t want to work out…but I’ve been sitting here all day getting squishier by the second and I know it’ll help my stress. So I should. My car is a total disaster area and could quite possibly have small furry animals taking up residence in there feasting on the food the kids most likely left pre-quarantine…and that is super gross. So I should really go do it….tomorrow. And then a hundred million other thoughts racing through my head about what I should be doing.  

What I want to share about today is not “shoulding” ourselves to death. I definitely cannot take credit for this because I have been “shoulding” to the extreme since we closed Peak Physique Fitness on 3/16/2020. I could sit in a chair in the sun all day long thinking about all the things that should get done.  And then not do them. I believe the most frustrating and infuriating part is that I absolutely know I’m doing it to myself. Every Monday I start out pretty well; I feel motivated and at peace with my situation. For example, here I am on a Monday morning writing this blog while sitting in the sun drinking some ice water. My goal is that by Thursday I’ll not be blubbering and crying while carrying around a wine glass all day feeling like this will never end.  

So how am I going to do it if I haven’t managed it yet? The first rule, I’m going to be kind to myself. I’m going to let go of all of my “shoulds”. I have no room in my life for my shoulds or the guilt those damn “shoulds” have been layering on me. It doesn’t help me, my husband, my kids, or my business. In fact, the guilt is stopping me from moving forward with anything at all. If I sit and feel guilty for not writing workouts not only is the work not being completed but I’m also not enjoying my family. I’m missing out on all the beautiful little moments that are happening around me. I’ll miss the small acts of kindness and genuine goodness happening all around us and buried under our stress and anxiety. I want to remember the good exhibited by those in my home, the hospitals, the essential businesses….and those become stuck behind the misery and sadness. In order to be able to see the good, I’m letting go of my “shoulds” and my guilt. I’m giving myself a nice big welcome back hug. 

Secondly, I’m ready to accept living in my now. Anyone else find themselves daydreaming about the old days an entire 2 months ago. The days when you thought you were stressed? Remember those? So far I’ve managed to find some time each day to pout about the fact that life isn’t like it was before because gosh darn it, I liked my life. I miss my life. I miss my family. I miss my job. I miss my friends. I miss complaining about setting my alarm for the next morning and dragging my exhausted butt out of bed. Remind me I said this in six months but I even miss dragging the kids’ butts out of bed and getting them ready for school in the morning. It took me a while to figure this out but guess what guys; wishing life was different doesn’t make it so.  We will return to normal life someday? Honestly, I don’t think it will be exactly the same and maybe that’s ok in some aspects. And until this virus is under control and it’s safe and we are ready to face our new normal I’ve decided I need to live in this life and live it fully instead of wishing for an old one that cannot return.  

The last rule I’m making for myself (and if I break it I must be kind to myself-see my first rule) is that I will live day to day. However, that day must be scheduled and I need something to look forward to each day. It’s an absolute must. And if you’re a momma and you’re reading this please for the love of everything holy schedule yourself a few minutes. Sit in the closet with a glass of wine (or bottle) and a book, take a 30-minute scalding shower to ease your tension, make what YOU want to eat for dinner and wear earplugs so you can’t hear any complaining, schedule a workout (my personal favorite-well maybe, I like wine too)…do what makes YOU feel ok. I’m not even saying that you’re going to feel great but ok is better than how I’ve spent a few days during our quarantine. So maybe what I need to do is live day to the next day. The point being I cannot figure out next month or next week but what I can do is control my own little world for a few days at a time and I CAN feel ok. I can make sure to take a few minutes to myself so that I’m able to listen to my four years repeat the same sentence over and over, or listen to my husband sing all the wrong words to a song, or listen to my daughters bicker over something that seems so silly at the moment, and allow me take a deep breath and not stress out that my teenager is sleeping more than I used to in a week. It’s really all ok guys, we just have to get there.  One or two days at a time while following some pretty badass rules.

Lissa Pietrykowski

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