What if you slowed down to go faster?
While being driven, motivated and out there chasing your dreams is amazing, what if you were actually taking one step forward and two steps back? After all, we can only go go go until we can’t go anymore.
Have you ever worked really hard or over trained and just found yourself getting nowhere? After a while, the enjoyment that you used to feel turns into ‘just turning up and getting the job done’ in the gym or at work and one day you wake up and notice that the love is gone, you just don’t want to do it anymore!
You’ve become stuck in the daily grind. You most likely haven’t been taking time out for yourself to rest and repair your body and mind and keep your vision alive.
If this is you, something needs to change! Here are my top tips for taking some me time.
MAKE TIME TO SLEEP
Try to get into a sleep cycle where you fall asleep and wake up at the same time every day. Turn your phone off for 30 minutes before sleeping, the LED light interferes your melatonin production (the hormone that controls sleep).
When we don’t get enough sleep, we don’t produce Human Growth hormone efficiently. HGH is ESSENTIAL for repairing the damage caused by the world we live in.
Believe it or not, basically everything is against you, from stress, to the environment, to that makeup we use to enhance our naturally gorgeous selves. These and so many more are known as free radicals, and one of their jobs is to break down your collagen (which we need to look young and fab, but also all of our tissues and organs require collagen for support).
According to sleep expert Phil Gehrman, ‘It’s during deep sleep, what we call slow-wave sleep, that growth hormone is released. It seems to be part of normal tissue repair, patching the wear and tear of our daily lives.
Furthermore, in a 2005 American study on sleep, people who were diagnosed with depression or anxiety were more likely to sleep less than six hours at night.
A lack of rest can cause irritability, lack of passion, burnout and potentially weight gain!
When we don’t get enough sleep, we lack production of a peptide/hormone called Leptin, which is required to give us the feeling of 'fullness' when we eat. When we don’t have enough of this little guy, we overeat and snack more throughout the day, so keep that in mind next time you have a poor night sleep and try to avoid the additional snacks.
Also, another fun fact is, it’s not when you are in the gym that your body is undergoing change. While in the gym, your body undergoes trauma and it isn’t until when we sleep that changes start to occur, making sleep even more of a priority for people with #bodygoals.
MAKE TIME TO RECOVER AND NUTURE YOUR BODY
So you work 9 hour days, you get up at 6am every morning to complete a HIIT session and finish each day with a 10 km run, followed by spending 30minutes + in the kitchen cooking dinner, 20 minutes+ catching up with friends and family be it in person or on the phone (or scrolling), plus extra time working on your passion projects. Before you know it, you’ve missed your usual bedtime so tonight you will only get to fit in a few hours of sleep and then you are up again starting from the beginning.
While some of these tasks are non-negotiable, you are giving away a lot of your energy. Remember that your body is like your bank account. Whatever you take from it needs to be given back.
Rather than smashing yourself in the gym 5, 6, 7 days a week, why don’t you choose 3-4 days that you train at intensity, and then spend the other days doing yoga, a stretching session, an ocean swim or a nature walk. These activities will allow you to still be active, but you will also be giving something back to your body, allowing yourself time to recover, giving yourself a chance to think and potentially come back stronger than before. Sometimes we need to slow down, before we can move ahead.
HAVE A NOTE BOOK OR JOURNAL HANDY
Life gets busy and obligations get in the way, it’s a fact of life that may leave you feeling contemptuous towards the things that are taking your time away from your goals. That’s why I think it’s important to keep a journal or a notebook handy so you can write down your goals, your thoughts and your ideas.
Remember that you don’t need to wait for the New Year to make a resolution.
While that’s a great time of year for change (because you’ve generally had some time away from the stresses of work life to think) you can take time out for yourself anytime to help you reset and get back on track.
The beauty of keeping a journal is that when you finally get a chance to make that time to reassess, your notes will help you jog your memory as to your great ideas which in turn will prevent you from having to start from square one each time.
TAKE TIME TO BE WITH NATURE
Whether you go for a trail run/ walk, take the dog to the park or just simply want to sit by the water and reflect, it’s important to take some time out for you, away from distractions to enjoy what naturally belongs on this earth. It’s soothing and calming.
Turn your phone on silent and go somewhere where it would be unlikely that you will bump into people. This time is about you, not anyone else. If possible, go barefoot. This is known as earthing, your ions can connect with the earths and in turn have an amazing grounding effect.