So I don’t know about you, but there are at least four things that I promised myself I would start up this year that I haven’t quite got off the ground yet. The planned easing into the new year turned into a whirlwind and now the Spring bulbs are popping up already!
If this sounds familiar, don’t resign yourself to another year of manic schedule, minimal time for yourself and certainly don’t forget all the things you’d love to do. Get going now. So it’s no longer January, but your dreams have no deadline. Pull out that journal and start writing, dust off your trainers and get out the front door, sign up for that class you’ve been thinking of taking.
When the blues start setting in, the first thing I do is get active. It’s amazing how a spot of physical activity boosts your energy, gets the heart rate up, the blood pumping and all this makes you immediately feel better about yourself. Exercise is a mood regulator. There is plenty of research out there listing the endless benefits of exercise and the link with self-esteem, but the bottom line is the more you move, the better you feel. The better you feel, the more you are able to achieve. So you move even more. And so on.
And the manic schedule? Before it gets worse year on year, there is plenty that you can do to get ahead of the madness. My mum always told me in times of stress to be kind to myself. Be gentle. Pilates is my refuge and for so many reasons. The things I love most about it are the gentle, flowing movements, the breathing and mostly the fact that you cannot think about anything else for that time. Don’t get me wrong, you can still break a sweat on the mat but it somehow feels more sustainable and, therefore, more rewarding.
Being gentle with yourself isn’t limited to booking a spa retreat or taking a Pilates class. Keep things simple, make small changes to your week. There is a host of ways to streamline and organise your admin. Book in time to relax, exercise and spend time with loved ones. Turn off the tech at least one night a week. Read more, stretch more, breathe more. Be more aware. Rekindle your love of the simple things: a bunch of flowers, a hot shower, a fresh brewed coffee. Whatever it takes.
Start now, be gentle, move more, take care. Of yourself, your body and your mind.