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It's OK to Not be OK

"There will be times when your best isn't good enough. There can be many reasons for this, but as long as you give your best you'll be ok." ~Robert De Niro

2020. What a freaking year...am I right?! We are all struggling in some sort of way right now. This is certainly the year of mental and emotional strength and nobody has it together. Homeschooling my 3 kids full time, cancelling plans/family trips, social distancing, and readjusting our lives has been beyond difficult. Along with all of this, trying to stay motivated with working out and nutrition has become that much more difficult. I'll be the first to step up and say I've indulged in way too many cocktails and french fries, turned my alarm clock off and skipped that early morning workout too many times to count, and have let my laundry sit in on the laundry room floor a little too long. I'm not my best self right now. None of us are. Instead of beating ourselves up though, let's allow a little grace and be kind to ourselves. This time in life is unnatural, a little scary and unpredictable. We are doing the best with what we've got, and that is good enough.

In all of this though, there are things that I've found that helps me to stay on track when I feel like I've fallen off the wagon (which has been a lot here lately). 1. Make a list-write it down. Write down your to-do list for the day. Things that need to get done around the house, your projected exercise workout for the day and meals that you plan to cook. I find that being organized and writing everything down makes me feel more in control and helps me get stuff done. 2. Allow time in your day to relax without feeling guilty. Heck, if that means locking yourself in your bathroom with a glass of wine and taking a bubble bath-DO IT! We're all stressed out right now and making time for yourself is really important. 3. Stop beating yourself up! So you picked at your kid's leftover nuggets and drank an extra glass of wine last night-it's OK! Making yourself feel bad about these things only stresses you out more and it becomes a nasty unhealthy vicious cycle. Use the next day to start fresh and get back on track. Stressful, unnatural situations sometimes knock us out of our rhythm- remember that this time is temporary and it won't always be this way. 4. Exercise releases endorphins and helps to relieve stress. BUT-if it's stressing you out to get certain runs or workouts in, that's not very helpful either. Don't overload your schedule with crazy workouts that you know you're not up to doing. This will cause another guilty cycle that you certainly don't need right now! I was supposed to be training for The Chicago Marathon right now, but since it's cancelled I have nothing to train for. I'm just not going to kill myself with crazy workouts right now...I'm choosing to run for enjoyment and for my mental/emotional health. Also, filling your days with family hikes, lake swims and a game of tag with the kids still counts as exercising and can be more enjoyable! 5. Social media can be a wonderful thing, but it can also cause extra stress. Stop scrolling, comparing, and getting worked up-most of what you are seeing is a facade. Let's be honest, we all are struggling in some shape of form right now!

Let's all be kind to ourselves and one another. Reach out to people who seem to be having a hard time AND even the people who seem like they have it together (because, let's be honest-they probably don't). Just like training for a big race, there are growing pains to make you better-same with our situation now. These hard times will only make us better and stronger. We've got this.

Sending big hugs and much love to you guys!

Until next time,

Stephanie

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