This morning, after multiple toddler night wakings, I just couldn’t get out of bed. I have one of those sweet alarm clocks that gradually lightens the room (my husband is less keen on this, as it means he has to pull the comforter over his head to keep sleeping), so I was able to cut the audio alarm and just lay there with the light brightening in my face. Instead of wrenching myself out of bed, I decided I would give myself five more minutes. In just five minutes, i went from total obstinance to acceptance. I just needed to wait.
I am often tempted to force my way through resistance, mine or others. If I had pushed really hard, berated myself a little, then I might have begrudgingly gotten up five minutes earlier. But by relaxing for just a moment, I was able to let myself come around to the idea instead of twisting my arm into submission.
So the next time you notice you are about to bully yourself into submission, see if you can back off for a moment. Is there a way to get where you need to go without force? Can you Take Five and gently re-invite yourself back to the task at hand?
(Also, I can’t recommend enough a light therapy alarm clock. And no, no one is sponsoring me to say so.)