The Dallas/Fort Worth area has been blanketed in ice, snow and general winter misery. Well, at least to me it’s miserable. To know me personally is to know that I am Ms. Productive. I don’t sit around easily or frequently. I enjoy staying busy with activities that keep me entertained and very seldom do I ever experience boredom. It’s just how I am hard-wired.
So, what happens when the temperatures plummet, the roadways are treacherous (by Texas standards) and basically everything shuts down for a few days? We all become PJ wearing, sweet treat baking, lazy bums! For the first 12 hours, I was thrilled to be housebound and had no one expecting anything different from me. As the cold temps lingered for days and more ice, sleet and eventually snow arrived to the region, I felt something strange and not very pleasant come upon me. I slowly became unmotivated and when I heard myself say “I’ll get to that later,” I knew I was getting into a loop of laziness.
In the days of ice and snow, I had lost count of the number of cat naps I took. It seemed to become a perpetual cycle of television, eating and sleeping. The more time that went by that I did nothing productive, the more I didn’t want to do anything productive. I normally enjoy exercise and since I had not done so in many days, with a lot of sitting around happening, my entire body started to ache and that made me not want to move at all. What was happening to me?! Again, this is so radically out of character, that it really caught my attention and started me thinking about the cycles that we each can fall into without even noticing it.
Finally by day three of the winter mix, the roads cleared enough for me to venture back out into the world and return to my normal vibrant life pace. I felt fabulous moving again and no longer was my body full of soreness and my mind falling into perpetual procrastination mode. I was very happy to quickly shake off the cabin fever and get back to my normal self. In doing so, I went back to work and it’s funny how many folks I spoke with that had noticed themselves being a dysfunctional looping or cycle of some kind.
Sometimes our cycles look like lack of productivity and the less we do, the less we have energy to do. Maybe our cycles are related to food. The more we eat and fill ourselves with bad food choices, the more bogged down we feel and the less motivated we are to get to the gym or make healthy choices. Perhaps we feel anxious and we overindulge in alcohol but because alcohol is a depressant, our anxiety symptoms worsen so we drink more and there goes the never ending cycle.
If you find yourself in a loop or cycle that you recognize as unhealthy, my suggestion is to detox from whatever it is that has you in a vicious loop. If it’s not being productive, turn off the computer, turn off the television or whatever else is distracting you and get moving. Make a list of the things that need to get done and go do them. Period. No excuses. Just get them done. Detox from those things that distract you and commit to taking a 24, 48 or 72 hour break just to get out of the trap of the cycle.
Same suggestion goes for any other cycle that you find yourself in. Over eating? Go on a clean eating plan for three days and break out of the loop. Over indulging in alcohol? Stop drinking for three days and see how you feel. Let yourself detox a little and you might be surprised to see what the experience is like for you.
If you find yourself not able to stick to walking away from the television, computer, over-sleeping, eating or drinking, let that serve as a red flag that you might have developed an unhealthy dependency. These are the times when meeting with a professional counselor comes in handy. We are trained to help people break life style habits that are no longer serving them in a positive way.
Are you in a never ending cycle that you want to change?