I remember the first time I tried lifting weights. I was a kid and my dad had some weights stored near my toys. I thought it looked fun. My sister and I asked my dad if we could try. Despite our objections, my dad removed the stacks of weight on each side of the barbell. He told us to start with just the bar. We rolled our eyes at his suggestion. Just the bar? Really? That sounded like baby stuff.
Well, to an experienced weight lifter, yes, just a bar is baby stuff. However, to two elementary school girls, it was not baby stuff. We were able to lift the bar...a couple times. A few lifts and we were done. Exhausted. Wiped. Compared to our dad, we were weak. We wondered how we could ever lift weights like him.
Ever been there? Realizing you're a lot weaker than you think? Thinking you'll never be able obtain a goal you desire?
I'll be honest, I still can't lift weight like my dad. Not even close. I can lift a lot more than just the bar though. How did that happen? Obviously more developed muscles don't hurt, but there were a few other steps:
1. Work. Becoming stronger requires endurance, perseverance, and sweat. A person can't just take a magic pill and be strong. It takes little steps of lifting more and more weight, eventually building up to large amounts of weight. Similarly, a person can't just snap his or her fingers and acquire emotional and mental strength. While this may not include literal sweating, it will likely include hours of challenging self-reflection and developing new habits.
2. Rest. Muscles need rest. To help muscles grow, a proper amount of rest is necessary. They can't heal without it. In the midst of mental and emotional growth, rest is also necessary. Without rest, there's only so far a person can go. Old habits and difficult processing don't take place where rest is absent.
3. Consistency. Lifting weights for a few weeks and then stopping doesn't work well for resistance training. It doesn't take long to have to start from scratch. Similarly, a lack of consistency with mental and emotional training means a lack of progress. Long term results requires consistency.
Mental and emotional strength is a lot like physical strength. It requires the same kind of resistance training. It takes work, rest, and consistency to build the kind of strength to obtain the goals we desire.
Why not start today? I bet there's a bar out there somewhere you can lift.
I remember the first time the holidays didn't feel quite so merry. It was the year after my uncle died when I was nine. Sure, I remember presents galore, great food, and a lot of smiles, but there was something missing. Not just something, someone. There wasn't the happy-go-lucky guy that used to sneak my sister and I across the street to play on the playground. There wasn't my aunt or my cousin to laugh and play with. There wasn't the vegetarian option that he always required. In other words, there was a hole. Chances are you too have some mixed emotions around holidays and the hole I experienced after my uncle died. Each year brings new changes. Some of those changes are mostly sweet, some are mostly bitter, and some are a mix, but all require some of that tough adjustment I remember so well when I lost my uncle. It seems like holidays bring up those emotions more than any time of year.
Did you know that the holidays aren't the only reason that the fall and winter can be sad? There's actually a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) that sometimes causes these feelings to be worse. Simply being away from the sun for too long or not going outside enough is enough to increase your risk of experiencing SAD this fall/winter. Below is an infographic I made to help explain SAD. I hope it will help you prepare for the colder months of the year.
If you or a loved one may be experiencing SAD, talk to your primary care physician today about getting some help. Counseling may also be a good option for you during this season. That's where I can help. Give me a call about some a possible appointment at 405-664-3960.
In the meantime, you may be able to take some preventative steps. Here are a few ideas:
Happy fall! May this fall and winter be less SAD than every before!