YOUR PANDEMIC HEALTH AND WELLNESS ROUTINE
How to stay on top of your fitness game OR get back up to speed during the lock-down.
So, the pandemic throw you off-track?!
You are not alone my friend, you are not alone...
Today I am here to share my (so far, but I will keep you updated) best practices with you for the times when it feels like staying fit, healthy and happy is harder than ever.
First, let's just agree that not being able to keep up to the same workout and nutrition standards as during ''normal times'' is NOT YOUR FAULT. But! (sorry...we've got to face the facts) it is YOUR responsibility to do something about it.
Now, having said that, if you are READY, keep reading and do it for you, do it now! If you aren't ready, it is totally fine, take the time you need to find your way back to YOU.
THE REAL REASONS WHY WE FELL OFF- TRACK
Ok, so we can all agree, that 2020 seems to be behind many (if not all) of our failed efforts, but what is it about 2020 that hit us, our motivation, our goals, our discipline so hard?
Based on some reading, many many client check-ins and personal failed attempts to maintain my fitness routine during the lock-down I narrowed my list down to these three:
You (we) are mentally and emotionally drained
There is only so many decisions our brain can handle before failing us
Our actions depend on habits and our habits depend on anchoring habits (stay with me, it will make sense!)
We are mentally and emotionally exhausted whether we admit it or not. Uncertainty takes a toll on everybody and every body making it a gazillion times more difficult to do the things right and to do the right things. In uncertainty like this one all of a sudden everything can seem pointless and stop us from planning forward and marching forward. There are people who handle situations like this unbelievable well, but most of us need to buckle up!
Decisions, decisions, decisions... You might not even realize how many of them you are making in a day. Most of them are totally automated by now , they are actions that turned into habits. You will most likely have less trouble keeping these up. Making your bed and brushing your teeth are hopefully two of them by now. Then there are other things like getting dressed even if not leaving the house. Some of us might already ask; why would I do that if I am just staying home all day? Because you need to set your environment up for success, but we will get back to this later.
Your brain makes a ton of decisions during the day and has little to no capacity to keep trying to convince your stubborn ass to choose something healthier, to stop snacking, to get that workout in and to get some fresh air.
And then we have habits. The good ones are difficult to build and the bad ones are difficult to lose. What a deal! It is what it is though, so we are better of focusing on what we can do to maintain the good ones we have left and build more of them! Anchor habits come into the picture here. Those are the habits or little actions that enable you to actually do the thing you want to do. Rolling your yoga mat out in the middle of your apartment before going to bed can be an anchor habit for you to do your workout first thing in the morning. If you need to sleep in your gym clothes to get started, but hey, whatever works for you!
WHAT CAN WE DO NOW?
We cannot just unplug ourselves and then plug back in, but there are a number of things we can do to set ourselves up for success.
The first one, or more like the buy-in; is to acknowledge and accept the importance of planning.
"Failing to plan is planning to fail-as the smart ones say. I am not ok failing at something that helps me live my happiest and healthiest life. What about you?
Here's how you will gain back your power:
# 1 REASSESS YOUR GOALS
Take a step back before you march forward. When was the last time you took a good look at your own goals? Are they still accurate? Do you want the journey too? You cannot have the goal without the journey, so you've got to want that too. Identify your current goals
# 2 DEFINE YOUR ACTION GOALS AND ROUTINE
Forget about your old routine for now, we need to define a new one for the current situation.
I want you to identify target goals / action goals that will allow you to be your healthiest and happiest self. Make sure to think of actions towards not only your physical health but mental and emotional too.
Once you have a number of action goals in mind, identify your minimum and maximum efforts.
Here's my example:
minimal effort: daily walk, 1 salad a day
maximum effort: sticking to my workout and nutrition routine I plan over the weekends
minimal effort: light a candle and drink a tea in the morning
maximum effort: a complete morning or evening routine with journaling, music and stretching
Emotional/ Relational/Environmental/Existential Health
minimum effort: reaching out to 1 loved (old friends, new friends, family...) one a week
maximum effort: regularly connecting with friends, keeping the apartment tidy, finding ways to help others
Once you have your minimum and maximum targets, you navigate between. There will be awesome days, when you can hit your max in each area, there will be days when you don't even do your minimum. That is fine, you cannot mess this up as long as you keep trying.
# 3 BUILD YOUR NEW SYSTEMS
Last, but definitely not least we will need to define your anchor habits or other tricks that help you stick to your new routine. Anchor habits are the habits that help you hit your target goals.
Leaving a glass of water next to your bed at night can be an anchor habit that helps you drink a glass of water first thing in the morning. Buying fruit or veggies for breakfast fresh every morning can help you get some steps in early.
So many of us were dreaming about all the benefits of working from home when it was not possible and now we tend to only see the drawbacks of it. Be creative! You do not have more time, but you have a bit more freedom to spend it differently! You do not have to work longer, cook more, train more especially if you don't want to. In fact, you can always choose what you do with your time, so you might as well use it for your own benefit.
You cannot seem to find a long enough slot for all your exercise? Workout first thing in the morning ( I feel like this is the safest way of not skipping it after a stressful day anyway...), stretch in your lunch break and go for a walk immediately after your work hours are over. Cannot get yourself to run outside? Me neither. I am not sure what's gotten into the ones running outside in the miserable weather that is, but I am not quite there yet (nor emotionally, mentally or physically).Running is NOT superior to any movement you do. Not for health and not for when it comes to weight management. There are plenty of affordable workout apps, totally free really awesome YouTube videos from strength to dance anything you want... Stressing about the type of workout you do is worse than not doing any.
Cannot bother cooking daily? Spend a bit more time over the weekend planning your meals, preparing your grocery list and preparing as many of the meals or at least the ingredients as possible. You will thank yourself during the week! Ordering groceries is one of my favorite ways to save time on yet not ruin my nutrition.
KEEP YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE TO YOUR NEW SYSTEMS:
Plan but at least draft your weekly and your daily schedule over the weekend
Set your environment up for success. Check out my grocery planning below or in my latest YouTube video here.
Set reminders! Phones are great accountability partners. They deliver the nagging and won't get offended if you talk back.
Support group-get your friends and family on board, or connect with like-minded people online and keep each other accountable.
These were all my best tips for you to stay on top of your fitness, nutrition and overall health game.
Before you go, just remember;
A healthy lifestyle is sustainable, not effortless. Everything is hard before it gets easy.
Waiting for motivation is bullshit. Start with your actions, feel the benefits and it will keep you motivated.
We always have a choice. Do and be more of what you want to be, because you attract more of what you do and what you are.
Most of us know what we need to do, we just cannot seem to get it done > Build your systems to succeed!
Watch my latest YouTube video on this topic, where I show how I do my planning during my Reset Sunday Routine and browse the website for meal-prep friendly delicious recipes, like this slightly addictive Bircher Müsli, or this flavor bomb Mediterranean Salad.
Stay home and stay healthy!