January is that time of year. We over-indulged over the holidays leaving me feeling blah in the dead of winter. If you live in a climit of lake effect clouds and no sun in the winter months. Although it can be beautiful, winter is more work than normal having to deal with the extra clothes, snow boots, shoveling, shivering and winter driving. On top of that taxes and holiday credit card bills are due.
Depressing? Maybe not.
Jumping on the diet and exercise wagon or going head on with one's new year's resolution is doomed to fail with the use of will power. Work and social obligations begin to take over, our mind is on over drive and we are left right back where we were (relapse).
I learned recently about what is called riding the urge wave. It is related to mindfulness and is designed to help us not relapse into our old ways. In other words, not making the important changes that we say that we want. For example, let's use food. We plan to eat less, and healthier food. This is going good for a while. Then we are exposed to the yummy food that we are trying to aviod. We eat it. Then we negatively judge ourselves. We give up. So much for will power.
Instead, we can ride out the urge wave. Think of waves that have high points and low points. The high point is when the urge is the strongest to eat the bad stuff. The low point is when we are eating good and feel like we are in control. Neither of these points last forever. They are transient. And don't expect perfect still water either, life doesn't work that way. First be aware of the urge without becoming the urge. Second focus on your breath, both the in-breath and the out-breath. This connects the mind to the body. Let the urge come and go - ride the wave. If you become the wave and give into its urges, do it without negative self-judgement. Return to focus your breathing and try again when the next urge wave comes.
Live in the present moment without judgement. For more information learn about mindfulness and meditations for stress and anxiety relief find a mindful counselor/psychotherapist in your area. Recommended books: Minfdul Therapy and Living the Full Catastropghy. This stuff really works!