With Summer coming to an end and Fall close at hand, it’s a time of change for most of us. New routines and schedules replace those of the past couple of months and are often very hectic. With family, work and school obligations, it can feel like our lives our beyond our control, at the mercy of teachers, coaches, bosses, co-workers and more. It’s very easy to allow our own health and wellness to fall through the cracks. We all WANT to be healthier, eat better, exercise more and have more energy, but it can seem like an insurmountable task to take action toward these lifestyle changes.
Our yoga practice helps us be good with who we are, right here, right now, full of flaws and imperfections. However, it also allows us to unearth the unhealthy patterns and places where we feel “stuck” in our lives, our bodies and our minds, so that we can strive to be the best version of ourselves. This means we need to make our health a top priority.
As we move into this next season, I’d like to offer some suggestions as to how you can break some old habits and make healthy choices for you and your family.
- Schedule Your Exercise: Many of us take time on Sundays to review the upcoming week’s schedule. Use this opportunity to carve out times for fitness…a walk, a class at the studio or gym, a few minutes in your basement….whatever. Just put it on the calendar or sign up on Mind Body and honor the commitment as if it were any other one in your life. Having a fitness partner is a motivator for some….text him or her on Sunday and coordinate a few times.
- Eliminate Soda From Your Diet: As a former 1-can-of-Coke-a-day girl, I know this can be hard, but it’s necessary. You say, “But I need caffeine to wake me up or help me through the mid-afternoon slump”… then choose unsweetened tea or coffee or even some dark chocolate. And do not keep soda in your house for your kids. I realize there are other opportunities for them to have it, but keeping it out of your fridge is a huge step.
- Move. Move. Move. Take the stairs. Park in the back of the parking lot. Stand at your desk (standing workstations are great, but even just placing your keyboard on a yoga block works too). When your child’s team is warming up for their game, or you are waiting for them to finish practice, throw on your gym shoes and go for a walk (keep a pair in your car so they are always with you).
- Meditate. I know, I know; it’s hard; too many thoughts to distract you. Try it anyway. The point of meditation is not to eliminate your thoughts, rather to not get attached to them. Allow them to exit your mind just as easily as they entered. When all else fails, simply focus on your breath and return to it every time you notice you’ve become distracted.
- PUT. THE. PHONE. DOWN. Rather than focusing on what other people are doing in their spare time, fill yours will things that enrich your quality of life. It’s up to you to figure out what that is, but I’m guessing you have a few ideas! Remember too that your kids are watching your example: so if they see you unplugging from technology, they are more likely to do the same.
Of course, we all slip up, make mistakes and revert back into former patterns. That’s normal! When this happens to you, it doesn’t mean you are a failure; it just means you need to hit the pause button for a moment and re-commit to you. Know too that I am here to lend an ear or support you in your journey. Feel free to reach out to me.
Understands the “beautifully imperfect” lifestyles of her students. She encourages self-exploration and self-compassion, she provides students opportunities for challenges on and off the mat. She would love to support you as you make positive changes in your life.