“We are what we repeatedly do”
Yesterday, I found myself doing squats and stretches outside my car while waiting for a very late school bus. One of the things I have trained myself to do is to make the best use of any situation. So rather than sitting in the car scrolling through Facebook while waiting, I chose to exercise.
After all, it is the little things you do that make all the difference.
In reality, what is life other than the sum of all the little things we do each day, our habits, our routine?
Life can very quickly get overwhelming and busy. We all go through periods in our lives where it feels like everything is just chaotic. Personally I’m in the midst of exactly such a period in my own life. Combining two homes and blending families, illness in the family and some other unexpected events are most definitely causing a disruption in everyday life.
The fact is that any disruption to your routine causes stress.
Even a good disruption can cause stress. And what suffers most when you go through periods of intense stress is your HEALTH.
Habits are easy to break but hard to make.
During times of stress and disruption, it can be very difficult to maintain the discipline to stick to a regular eating and exercise routine or anything else for that matter.
However, you ALWAYS have choices.
Recently I have been unable to carve out the time to do formal exercise. I am missing it immensely but rather than worrying about it I am focusing on doing the best I can in the situation. So if I have to do squats wearing my jeans and silk blouse by the car, that’s exactly what I’m going to do!
Just because my kitchen is still in disarray and I don’t have access to my cutting boards to do my regular food preparation, I can still make healthier choices and minimally impact my nutrition.
The key is to do the best you can with what you have from where you are.
The biggest mistake people make is thinking that the choice you make in the moment doesn’t matter.
It all MATTERS.
It’s actually the little things that matter MORE over time than occasional splurges.
This is true about everything in life, not just health and fitness.
So, if you have been working hard on improving your habits and your lifestyle and don’t want all your hard work to be wasted when chaos ensues, here are my top five tips to help you withstand those tumultuous events that are inevitable when you are LIVING YOUR LIFE TO THE FULLEST!
1) DO SOMETHING ~ Realize that it doesn’t always have to be ALL or NOTHING. Do SOMETHING. Something is always better than nothing. Don’t have time for the gym? Go for a walk! Don’t have time for a walk? Do five minutes of yoga before bed. Too tired to work out after work? Wake up 10 minutes earlier and dance to your favorite song or do jumping jacks!
2) CHOOSE ~ Make the BETTER choice. Even when we are feeling overwhelmed, we have choices. You could CHOOSE to go through the drive thru OR you could choose to pick up a roast chicken from the local grocery store and have it with a pre-made salad. Both take about the same time, one is better than the other. You could choose to eat a greasy breakfast sandwich from the drive thru, OR you could have a banana and a yogurt instead. It doesn’t have to be more complicated than this. The better choice is going to help you so much in the long run as well as keeping you healthy during the times you need it the most.
3) FOCUS ~ On one task at a time. Under normal circumstances, many of us multitask with ease (cook, answer the phone, deal with the kids anyone?). BUT during times of pressure and chaos, it is really important to simplify as much as possible. Aim to complete a task before starting another or risk getting very little accomplished.
4) STOP ~ This becomes even more important when you are super busy. Stop to BREATHE and regain your focus. Even if it means you have to go hide in the restroom for a few minutes! Let the to do list and all the thoughts that bombard you in the moment pass through your mind without paying attention to them and focus only on your breath. Doing this a couple of times a day is worth the effort as it will clear the clutter from your mind and help you regain perspective and focus.
5) COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS ~ It can be hard to see the blessings when all appears chaotic on the surface of your life. There is ALWAYS something to be grateful for. Taking the time to focus on those blessings helps keep you grounded and keeps your attitude and outlook positive.
Often the most chaotic times come right before a major shift in our lives. Learning to embrace the changes and challenges will allow you to not only get through these but to THRIVE and use this time to GROW towards being a better version of you!
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