How Do I Fit Everything In?
Have you ever had a list of things that you want and should do and yet struggle to find the time to fit it all in between everything else going on in your world?
Do you find yourself repeating this same answer to yourself and others “I would but I can’t find the time”?
You are not alone.
Since opening the studio we have heard this comment so often by people who have such great intentions and become confused by perceived decisions they need to make. Is the question about making choices or do we need to reassess what we need at this time?
Is it really an all or nothing approach? Today we have a plethora of choices to tantalise our senses and take a share of our hard earned money through clever marketing, peer pressure and social standards which hit us between the eyes every waking minute. How can we possibly manage personal development, professional learning, earning a decent income, saving for a rainy retirement day, preparing and eating incredibly nutritional meals, being the ideal partner, parent, child, sibling and friend, meditation, relaxation, strength training, cardio and be up to date on the latest in MAFS or MKR?
Do I really have to say yes to everything all at once or is that how I interpret the choices and challenges put forward continually?
I recall a conversation with a friend a couple of years ago when we were discussing this very thing. At the time she had 3 young children under 4 and another one on the way. She loved to run and train with weights in the gym as well as work part time, manage the house and being part of a big family; she had a large social network to maintain. My friend decided to assess her outputs over a period of a week rather than each day and so it went something like this;
Run 10 kms
30 minutes weight session in the gym
Eat a big salad
Meditate for 10 minutes
Get out of my pjs before 9.30am
Phone a friend
Clean the house and wash clothes
These were her tasks to complete over a week and considered massive high five moments. Note that my friend didn’t set herself the impossible task of doing everything everyday although before children she would run more than 4 times per week and the same for the gym. Her whole life was centred around her needs for work, exercise, shopping and meal preparation and then time with friends and family. Things change and so should our priority list without throwing out of the window those things which we enjoy and are good for us. If we continue to squeeze more in something will eventually give way and its usually us; we end up exhausted, injured, disappointed.
What am I hanging on to and what no longer serves me? Sometimes we have been doing activities for so long that we forget why and become so resistant to change that we simply can’t let go or alternatively we let go of everything which can often be damaging to our health and wellbeing.
How often have we continued to hang around with negative people who judge us, are naysayers and keep us doing the same thing? Do you ever change the way you drive to a regular destination to experience things from a different perspective or try a food you have never sampled before.?
The same can be with our exercise routine when suddenly we realise we have attended the same pump class or run the identical run path for the last 4 years and start to wonder why nothing much changes. Even our love of what we do somehow wanes over time for most of us and yet we are so reluctant to make even small alterations to try and test other things.
Something else to consider is the fact we are always getting older and our needs change particularly if we have always participated in high impact and high intensity activities. Often our bodies are trying to tell us; they give us messages, but we choose to ignore these because that might be a little confronting if need to let go or adapt our approach until the inevitable happens with sickness, injury or other challenges that force us to change.
I’m not suggesting that you should stop doing what you are used to doing but to take some time to assess what you need right now to achieve your goals or respond to the messages your body is sending or even the changes confronting you at work or home. Take some time to really map this out and then go easy on yourself while you create a new plan to try out. If you really need some de-stress time and Yoga is calling you it doesn’t mean you have to cancel your membership at the gym, F45 or stop running or cycling because now you ‘do yoga’. Just simply try other things not everything.
Introducing Pilates into your routine as an intelligent, injury preventive method of working your body can be as simple as booking a session once each week. Meditation can be introduced for 2 minutes a day or 10 minutes every Wednesday. What is important is giving yourself permission to change it up and let go or ease back off other activities while you find the new blend of working out and working in to help you be the best version of you.
There has never been a time of greater choice for the discerning customer and you don’t have to be attached to one service or product. Just think how our television viewing has changed and the choices available to us now with Foxtel, Netflix and Stan to name a couple. The way we listen to music is diverse with some preferring the traditional records/CD’s while other select Spotify, Pandora, Apple music and so on. The way we purchase and consume is constantly changing and with this comes options.
Start to think about carefully selecting activities which your body needs from you right now. If you are working long hours, have a young family or other responsibilities what do you need to maintain or regain health and vitality?
If you sit all day do you really need to cycle for activity? If you feel tired and stressed should you add more stress to this overflowing cup by high intensity activity or would a Yin Yoga practice be just what the doctor ordered?
Never before have we led such busy lives. Everywhere we turn there is something to do, distract and demand our attention with solutions for every conceivable problem a human might encounter. Before you add yet another thing to your list of things to do here are a few prompts to make sure you don’t just cram in everything;
Ask yourself how are you feeling right now?
Do you feel tired, lethargic or do you leap out of bed before the alarm ready to start your day?
Are you feeling on top of things and in control or are you overwhelmed and distracted?
Do you feel you never have enough time to spend with your partner, kids, friends, pets?
Write your feelings down be honest
How do you want to feel?
Note the word feel here. Try NOT to answer this with what you want to do i.e.; lose weight, be promoted or help my kid through VCE.
Describe your ideal feeling - empowered, vibrant, energetic etc.
What are you cramming into your day?
List these things and include sleep, time to eat, travel etc.
Take a look at this list and assess how these things make you feel. Are some the things you are doing counterproductive to how you ideally want to feel?
Is it any wonder you might feel as if you cannot possibly fit another thing in in fact you may feel right now that some things will need to drop? Take care here that you prioritise you first ‘think air travel instructions to put your own oxygen mask on first in order to help others’.
If your health and wellbeing is important to you then make sure that you have the related activities at the top of your list. If your health and wellbeing is not important to you then think again or place doctors, hospital and time recovering from sickness at the top of your list because this will eventually happen if you don’t take care.
Make your list and then think about the activities which are less important to your health and vitality and move them down the order of priority. If vacuuming the carpet and clearing the dishes gets in the way of a quite cup of tea or a few minutes in meditation, then maybe try and switch this and watch the change in how you feel.
If you usually run to the gym, stopping off at the supermarket quickly before squeezing in a class right on time for picking the kids up from whatever they are doing then observe what you are benefiting from this type of go go go life. Are you always wired, ticking off tasks and then drop on the couch at 8pm with no energy left to speak to your loved ones or mindfully eat a nutritious meal? Re assess and encourage yourself to make some small changes which make you feel great. Remember we don’t have to keep adding more things but in the simple act of seeking to listen to what our body needs from us we learn to nurture and nourish – thriving and full of vitality.