This time of year becomes a challenging time for many people. Between the crazy schedules, family and friend gatherings, work deadlines and everything else in between we often tend to put our own priorities on the back burner. With such a giving and thankful time of year it is easy to put yourself last. No matter what you celebrate it is important to remember that when our glass is empty we do not have much to give to those around us. This is a time to be full and enjoy everything around us. Here are a few tips to beat the season of feeling guilty, distracted or derailed from your usual schedule over the next few months.
Newton’s 1st Law: “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion”
AKA: Keep moving! It’s science people -A body in motion stays in motion. It is so easy to make excuses for yourself or put your health to the side. But allowing yourself to get that physical and mental release is proven to keep you energized and going longer. If your schedule is always go, go, go the couch may seem like the most comforting option. But if that becomes and everyday occurrence how does that leave you feeling afterwards? Now I am not saying that taking the time to rest is bad, it may be necessary to refuel. Just be aware of how often this may occur and continue to put one foot in front of the other, literally.
Simply put: Allow yourself to indulge and enjoy but not for the entire season. We are all human, life does not function well without a little balance. Do not punish yourself for being human! Much like the tip above, a once in a while treat is much different than a complete halt. Moderation may also mean giving up some time you spend on daily routines to spend with those loved ones or friends you do not normally get to see. Oh - and moderation doesn’t exist when it comes to hydration. Water, electrolytes, and more water!
Create a Plan
Having a plan for the day is a great way to stay on task and make sure you stay focused. I’m a huge sticky note gal, in fact I have about 3 going at one time. I’m also a self proclaimed (and appointed by many colleagues and friends) bag lady. Before each workday I pack about 3 outfits, my laptop, everything I can possibly think of into my Mary Poppins bag. That is my plan, it just works for me. Knowing I have an outfit to workout in or go to yoga in creates a schedule for me that I need to keep. But be sure to define a plan to keep the ball rolling.
Do Not Get Attached to Your Plan
As we all know days rarely go as planned. Let it happen. If not everything gets done on your list do not beat yourself up about it. Create a more positive outlook on how you can accomplish what you need to. Is there a way to make the exercise class you had to miss into a 20 minute home workout? Do you tell yourself you have to eat all the leftovers in a week just to make sure they don’t go to waste? Perhaps try freezing them and eating them slowly over the season. There is no need to generate negative energy for it will only become more of a roadblock to what needs to get done. Expect the unexpected and create an opportunity out of it.
And more importantly, technology and distractions can wait; your health and loved ones may not always be there.
Ah, sleep. What a magnificent thing...when you actually get it. Depending on what your job is, if you have kids, how much your mind runs, and the list goes on, this may be an extremely challenging task. I know first hand this is a struggle of mine. Yet once again, science has proven its benefits (Refer to Rob’s blog on page 3 of our Blog pages). Try using tip #2 and incorporate sleep into your plan. Let’s catch those Z’s.
Identify the Problem
Is there something always taking you away from your plan or health? First identify if this is a positive or negative. Could it be the constant distraction of checking your phone too often, self expectations or stresses, other individuals? Once you narrow it down, you may be able to accomplish more than what you had planned for. I just recently read that certain studies show the average human's attention span (social media is mostly to thank) is 8 seconds. 8 SECONDS. Say whattt. However, if you take away technology and distractions it can change instantly. I have been playing around with this and continue to put my phone away when I want to accomplish a task. I noticed a completely positive result -things that used to take me up to an hour because I had to respond to a text, answer that email, etc now only takes me 20 minutes. And more importantly, technology and distractions can wait; your health and loved ones may not always be there.
All in all, while these may appear to be simple tasks they are easy to skip over. I can not tell you how many times I have heard “I really should trigger point more” (myself included). Literally, it can take 10 minutes of your day, yet it is more of a rarity for us than it is commonality. I encourage you to take five minutes out of your day to reflect on how often you have consciously performed or executed these tasks. Don’t wait until the New Year to come around. As a community let’s commit to creating the time to stay active, hold ourselves accountable, and conquer this season together!