These past few months I have been slowly adapting to my new life style of part time yoga teaching, part time personal training, part time government work and full time school. Oh goodness when it is all written up like that it seems a little overwhelming, and at times it feels that completely overwhelming. During this change in my life and my routine I have been struggling with finding a balance and finding a way to commit to my workouts and my yoga practices.
Luckily (sometimes I think not so luckily) two of my jobs are personal training and teaching yoga so making time to get to the gym or get on my mat is not only good for my personal well being it is good for business so to speak. But when there is such an easy overlap sometimes it can take away from my “me time” that which is normally what my gym/yoga time is.
So all of this being said how do you keep motivated at reaching/ surpassing your personal goals, while lowering or maintaining stress levels? Unfortunately, I don’t have any 100% works all the time fix but the following tips have helped me out more than once, and to be honest are helping me out right now (I have slipped and have been a little less productive with my goals than I would like, but that is part of the journey).
1. Consider taking a break. Now I don’t recommend this often, but if your stress levels are through the roof working out and physically stressing your body out can actually put you in a worse off position. The best way to explain this is that we all have a bucket and this bucket collects “stress”. It doesn’t care if it is emotional, physical, mental or environmental the bucket just collects it all. If you are on the brink of having a full bucket have a big project due, are putting over time at work and have a heavy lifting session followed by some cardio it is quite possible that your bucket will overflow. So maybe instead of hitting the gym as hard as you normally would consider taking a restorative yoga class, reading a book in a nice bubble bath, go on a walk with a friend, get out in nature. Don’t write the day off do something just listen to your body and take it down a notch if you need to.
2. Focus on what you are putting in your mouth. This one has been extremely challenging for me lately. We all have different responses to stress, some of us might want to run miles, stuff food in our faces or maybe sleeping all day long and avoiding the problem is more your jam. I am a mix between wanting to run for miles and stuffing my face, and unfortunately for my waist line I have been nursing a running injury so face stuffing has been front and centre. I understand that I am going to trip up every now and then and that is just part of life, I also know that taking the care to put food in your body that has been lovingly grown and prepared will do me better than any bag of chips ever will. Although I have had a bit of a hiccup it is important to get yourself back on track and move forward. Cooking with a friend and pre-making your food for the week is a splendid way to remove excuses and fill your fridge with easy, healthy and loving food.
3. Schedule it. I am sure we have all heard this at some point in our goals building a healthy life style, but it is so important especially in times of stress. We tend to make room in our lives for our work, our homework, cleaning, friends and family but it is just as important to make time for ourselves and our well-being. So schedule in your workout, schedule in your yoga practice, bring your runners to work and head out at lunch, encourage your family to come with you, do what you need to so that your health and fitness is just as important (if not more) than all the other items on your to do list. Also having it scheduled will help to remove the “how am I ever going to fit this in stress” because you have already thought of that and it is planned out all you have to do is get there.
4. Timed Goals. This might sound like a bad idea but it helps me out every time. I love running but when I have a reason to run, like a race, I am more likely to lace up when I really don’t want to. Setting well structured and time limited goals are great motivators to get your revved up and excited to take care of your physical and mental body. When I am having a particularly rough time I try and set weekly goals so I can feel that satisfaction of accomplishing something no matter how chaotic my life feels at the time.
I hope these tips help you get back on track if you have also taking a bit of a detour.
Happy Tuesday everyone!