Busy days and even more hectic schedules bring you to think of some of the things that you’re not doing or perhaps missing out on. Top of the list is exercising. On regular days, this thought would be so foreign that you would even doubt its existence. But my crazy busy life, working, being a mom, blogging and trying to maintain a seemingly social life, gets me thinking of finding a time to actually take care of myself.
I do exercise, rarely, just to prove to myself that I’m doing the effort. But I have recently come across a new way of exercising, or better put, taking care of myself. My aim is not to lose weight… but to feel fresh, almost spirited, if it makes any sense.
When trying to schedule this, I came to realize that it’s a two-sided street: spirit and body. I’m sure we all read about the complimentary duality between them and how you’re truly – incomplete – until you balance both. But it’s something else to actually feel it. One cannot exist without the other, at least if I’m really aiming to take care of myself. So, I came up with two plans, one to feed my soul, and the other to feed my body. They don’t all revolve around food; but a big portion of it does.
Here are my simple to-do lists for each; hopefully it’ll help you too to find the right balance in your life. You’ll be surprised of how similar they are… Not too much of something, not too little of the other… but some mix of tangible good, buckle of emotions, good healthy meals and some hard-core business. This is where you will find yourself, not in some extreme diet or in-silence personal reflection, but in experiencing what the world has to offer, the right way!
Let me know what you think!
For the soul
Start by asking the right question: what makes me happy?
Then, take it to the next level by adding to it what you think is good for you. Basically what you really like to do. Some readings, a bit of daily news with some entertainment and sports tidbits, maybe?
- Exercising: running in open air or simply taking a 10 min swim every couple of days? Remember, you’re not trying to slim down your thoughts but to enrich them by doing more of what makes you happy, helps you breathe.
- Sleep: make sure you’re getting enough mind-rest. I don’t mean actual sleep, but turn your mind off. Unplug, maybe watch the sunset, lay down in stillness. Just be there, in that specific moment where your mind goes, blank. If you’ve never tried it before, seriously work on it. Listen to your breath, helps you focus on nothing!
- Eat: Yes, actual food for the soul. Believe it or not, there is “Happy Food”. You know how your gym partner has the whole food mixology figured out? You need to do the same for your spirit. Some time this entails a burger… Yes go crazy there – don’t make it a daily habit. Good food and a small quantity of alcohol is good too!
- Let loose: Your thoughts should be motivational, not obstructing. Yes, happy-places, but it’s more than this. It’s an inner dialogue between the emotional you and the rational you. A tête-à-tête that leads you to find what best works for you and that mostly leaves you at the end of the day, excited and motivated to pursue a specific idea. You might have this conversation while shopping. The important thing is to have it!
- Work: you need a purpose, we all do. Find it, create it and then pursue it!
For the body
This is a bit trickier because the weight that you actually put on, sometimes is a bit more difficult to get rid off. So here it goes.
Start your day by drinking water and lemon in the morning. No questions needed.
- Eat: Go off onto a really yummy/healthy lunch. It’s not diet, it’s serious energy, salad, steak, chicken, fish… something that would satisfy your appetite but not make you sleepy. Especially if you’re sitting behind a desk… gets challenging after a heavy lunch. Key here is to get nutriments, energy and goodness. Same thing goes to dinner and snacks. Don’t stop eating; just eat healthy. Yes you can accompany it with alcohol – not at work, and in limited quantity. Always good for you.
- Exercising: I’m not really going to send you off with a challenging do-it-at-home schedule, but do at least move around for 20 minutes. This is not an advice on how to get fitter abs or lose 10 kg… moving helps your metabolism and mood. Just do something that awakes your muscles. Here are some workouts that can help you.
- Sleeping: Contrary to the soul, you body needs to get some sleep. And unplugging here means sleeping. Turn off music, and TV; put your phone on silent – those small albeit almost silent beepings disrupt your sleep and believe it or not will throw you into “I didn’t sleep very well – not sure why” mode.
- Let loose: this is a bit tricky. What works for me might not work for you, but find something where you unleash the dormant energy in you. It’s a trust exercise that you go about between you and yourself. It helps you reveal an inner level or thought that might have been away for a while. You feel liberated once you let it out, you get this twinkling feeling in your stomach. This is freshness; this is like rebooting, all over again.
- Work: sleep early and head to work even earlier than usual. Give yourself those 15 minutes of “the office is mine” with coffee and news. Catch up on some reading. Start your day, stress-free.