How can having the right mindset lead to living a healthy lifestyle?
Mental and physical wellbeing is really important to me and it’s taken me a while to really appreciate what that means and get into a good practice. With the world being in such a challenging place right now, I know that it’s much more important that I take care of myself. But don’t just take my word for it.
I’d like to introduce you to Heather Keats who is an amazing fitness trainer and mum. To use Heather’s words, she is ‘on a mission to inspire mums to realise that in order to create a truly healthy lifestyle for the longer term, you’ve got to tune in and develop an understanding of what fuel your body needs to get it through its busy day; whether that be a nutritious breakfast, a hike in nature, or even an early night’.
Here’s Heather’s advice
What if I were to say to you that exercise, healthy eating and an early night were the true activities of self care? Part of you would probably think, ‘Yeah yeah, tell me something I don’t know, but I just don’t have time.’
Well, nor do I. As a mum with two young children – flexi schooling (currently fully homeschooling like the rest of the world) and running my own health and fitness for busy mums, I seriously don’t have time, or the energy, or wherewithal many days to focus on me and my health. It’s enough just to keep everyone fed, washed and walked, right?
Wrong, because there’s a secret to living a healthier lifestyle.
And that is mindset.
Not the kind of Bootcamp mindset you see in big bold writing at the gym, ‘No pain no gain!’, or as a tag line to a sports brand, ‘Just do it!’ But the kind of subtle mindset shift that takes time to nurture and develop and when you do, you can’t help but move more and eat better because you know that THIS is true self care. THIS is how to love ourselves and our children. THIS is how to focus more at work and relax more at home.
And guess what. Lockdown gives you the PERFECT opportunity to develop some new habits. To take on the challenges that this new way of life brings and say, ‘Enough! Enough busy-ness, enough mindless, endless tasks and trips and chores and activities. I’m going to do what I need to do for myself FIRST!’ And the rest, well, you may have to let go of some of the rest.
So here are my top 3 mindset shifts for making exercise, healthy eating and ‘me time’ the new and true self-care.
Reward Versus Punishment
Ditch the idea that you ought to exercise to stay slim and eating carbs will make you happy. That’s clearly a seriously negative cycle to get into and yet for many women, it’s the honest truth. A lot of people seem to use exercise more as punishment, ‘I should go out for a run, ‘I really must go to the gym’ instead of what it is – a way to feel really good – mentally as well as physically. So instead, play around with viewing your workout as your ‘treat’. I know, it sounds laughable at first but over time, this can become your new reality and you’ll start actually craving the exercise. Trust me, I’ve seen it happen time and again.
Knowledge is Power
When you begin to learn about what food actually fuels you and gives you enough energy to enjoy playtime with the kids, keep your cool during meltdowns and concentrate at work it becomes a lot easier to make the healthier choice. The same goes for other lifestyle habits like an early night, regular breaks, exercise and just any way of connecting to yourself and your own needs again. Now, you can read about this to your heart’s content, you all already know it in fact, so now you need to create your own evidence. Start making small changes and begin to notice how much better you feel when you’ve had enough sleep, done your workout, eaten better etc. Then use that knowledge to keep you going.
Progress not Perfection
Ok, this is a biggie. Many women are afraid to start a new thing, say a healthier diet or fitness programme, or even simple meditation, because they might fail. Or just because it feels too hard. This often manifests in excuses like, ‘I don’t have the right trainers’ (by the way, I mostly train barefoot and often in my PJs) or, ‘I’ll start after the …holiday, birthday party, when the youngest starts sleeping through.’ No, no, NO! Why are you delaying your health, your happiness? The only time you have is NOW! It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be a step – any step, no matter how small – in a different direction. Notice I didn’t say ‘right direction.’ There is rarely a right.
Well, that’s it. I hope you found that helpful and start using these tips to make a different choice in some way today. Tune in, notice how it feels, learn and move on.
And if you’d like to take one of those steps with me, join me live in my FB group, @Halt the Hustle , every Saturday morning during lockdown for a Movement and Mindfulness workout, only for mums.
You can also find me at www.heatherkeats.co.uk
Wishing you health & happiness,
Thanks to Heather for sharing her knowledge and expertise.
Are you ready to change your mindset?
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