Active: not only am I doing my online classes and a daily walk, I’m also hauling out all my old equipment and getting back on the mini trampoline, taking up skipping again, lifting free weights and failing miserably with the hula hoop!
Creative: writing all my ideas down in one of my many notebooks and keeping up with my bullet journal. I’m writing health education lesson plans and designing a new fitted wardrobe.
Calm: two things here. Firstly, cleaning: I’m not much of a fan but some vigorous scrubbing, fast-paced wiping, pottering and tidying help me feel better. Secondly, and to actually stop and relax, I’m using the Insight Timer app. And napping helps me too.
Connected: daily phone calls, messages, and e-mails; and Zoom has been a new addition to the arsenal for keeping in touch.
Positive: sunshine and fresh air, watching at least one funny thing every day, making things (crucial items like a cotton bag for the onions!), and having a break from travelling all add to my sense of positivity.
How about you? Share what works!
What to say this week…? I’ve been thinking about planning. For someone who loves to plan well in advance, taking each day as it comes at the moment is unusual and unsettling… but not insurmountable. It takes a different mindset. And I’m reminded of times in the past when things were uncertain and uncomfortable and most things worked out in the end. It will take time. Planning is still possible – just on a shorter timescale. And being reactive rather than proactive might be the way to go at present.
It’s Sport Relief week already here in the UK and I’m gearing up for Saturday’s Fitness Fling. My colleague Katie and I run this event every year: we both love what we do and want to raise money at the same time, and this year we’re supporting Sport Relief. Over four hours, we teach eight different exercise classes and invite people to come along to as many sessions as they like – to have a ‘fling’ with fitness.
You are very welcome to join us on Saturday 14th March, 9am to 1pm, at Caversham Heath Golf Course, Mapledurham, Reading RG4 7UT (free parking on site). We ask for a minimum donation of £10 to attend for as long as you like. No need to book – just turn up and join in!
If you can’t make it, you can still support us by clicking on this link and giving money that way: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/fitness-fling. Thank you!
Here’s a run-down of what the Fling looks like:
9.00: Tabata HIIT (high-intensity interval training)
9.30: Old-school aerobics
10.00: Grid set (whole body and balance)
10.30: LIIT (low-intensity interval training)
11.00: Giant 30 (for strength and CV fitness)
11.30: Dance mix
12.00: Tone up (for strength)
12.30: Fusion (Yoga/Pilates) and cool down
See you there! Bring your family and friends too.
So often, I hear people complain about how the ‘nanny state’ is at work, telling people what to do and what not to do (don’t eat too much salt, exercise more, or drink less alcohol). And my response is always the same: we often ignore the things we don’t want to hear or think about, yet if we aren’t ever informed about how to be healthier, we might have even more to grumble about…
It’s a fine line to strike and sometimes doesn’t work for everyone. And while it remains our responsibility to take care of ourselves, sometimes it’s useful to be reminded of why, how and what we can do to make the best of things.
Mostly, I write this blog because I have something that I think is vaguely useful to share with others. Occasionally, I write it as a stern reminder to myself. This week is one of those times: I am really struggling to rest enough. It’s a common problem for many people, so nothing special about my case there. Yet for someone whose livelihood is based on well-being and health, it feels a bit disingenuous.
At times like this, I return to this quote from The Book of Life:
"It can feel like an insult to our rational, adult dignity to think that our sense of gloom might in the end stem, centrally, from exhaustion. We’d sooner identify ourselves as up against an existential or socio-cultural crisis than see ourselves as sleep-deprived."
I will consider this my severe talking-to!
If you’re really busy, it can be difficult to find time to exercise, so how about fitting it in to everyday things? Here are my favourite ideas:
Sometimes, it can feel like you are not only spinning plates, but that there are just too many plates spinning. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, or know someone who is, try one of these ideas to help manage things:
Whether you subscribe to the notion that ‘you are what you think’ or not, there is something to be said for your thoughts having an effect on you. And if you harness the power of your thoughts by thinking ‘big’, amazing things can happen. You can rise above the little things too. No more keeping yourself small (and perhaps insignificant…).
It’s not only about thinking big either – you can believe big, act big, dream big, work big, give big, forgive big, laugh big, imagine big, love big, live big (are your eyes going funny because they’ve seen the word big too much?!). Take on this list of ‘big’ and you'll probably start feeling bigger. Be a believer in big and see where it takes you. An awfully big adventure awaits!
Each year, my fabulous colleague Katie (from Tilehurst Runs Together) and I run a charity event called the Fitness Fling. We both love what we do and want to raise money at the same time, and this year we’re supporting Sport Relief. Over four hours, we teach eight different exercise classes and invite people to come along to as many sessions as they like – to have a ‘fling’ with fitness.
This year’s event is on Saturday 14th March, 9am to 1pm, at Caversham Heath Golf Course, Mapledurham, Reading RG4 7UT (free parking on site). We ask for a minimum donation of £10 to attend for as long as you like. No need to book – just turn up and join in!
If you can’t make it, you can still support us by clicking on this link and giving money that way: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/fitness-fling.
Let us know if you have any questions. Thank you!
I’ve written many times about being busy and how it can take hold of your life, your thoughts and actions. I’ve been in the grip of ‘busy-ness’ so many times, I’ve lost track. And the conclusion I have come to? I have to choose to be less busy. I have to get off the busy-treadmill, the busy-hamster wheel, and decide it’s not for me. The world still turns regardless of how I operate.
Brené Brown sums it up beautifully:
“’Crazy-busy’ is a great armor, it’s a great way for numbing. What a lot of us do is that we stay so busy and so out in front of our life, that the truth of how we’re feeling and what we really need can’t catch up with us.”
It might not be easy, but I’m trying to stay alongside my life, rather than out in front, so I can catch up with myself. And this means I have to plan well and let some ‘vital’ things pass me by…
At this time of year, lots of people take up or resume exercise – whether that’s the Couch to 5K, joining a gym, or just trying to move around more. To help keep everyone motivated, here are some interesting facts about the benefits of exercise that aren’t only to do with the usual stuff (with thanks to Diana, one of my clients, for sending the article from The Times to me).
Whilst I love this time of year, I realise that not many other people do. The gloom, the dreariness, the aftermath of festivities, the general overwhelm…
So, for this week’s blog, how about finding pleasure in the small things? If that feels like a bit of a struggle, here are some starting ideas:
What are your small things? I’d love to hear!
I post something like this every year at this time, when I am winding down for some time off and time away from 'normal' life. It’s a time when I can focus even more on my well-being, so here are a few ideas of things you can do over the holidays to boost yours.
1. Catch up on sleep at night
2. Gaze at a fire (a candle flame will do)
3. Breathe in the smell of pine or cinnamon
4. Have a day (or more) without alcohol
5. Get outside during daylight hours and walk
6. Take a screen break every day
7. Enjoy a lie-down during the day
8. Listen or watch something completely different to broaden your mind
9. Keep hydrated with water
10. Enjoy your food more by eating slowly
11. Help someone else out
12. Do what works best for you and do more of it
Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!
(PS There is no blog for the next two weeks as I'm taking a proper break. I’m back on 8th January 2020.)
My mum has been saying for years that the quickest way to unhappiness is to compare yourself to others. It’s so true: comparing yourself with others will leave you feeling one of three things – inferior, superior or impressed. All three of these states are tricky because they all disregard the underlying principle of our true connection with each other - mutual love and positive regard, based on independently-generated self-esteem.
What to do? Be pleased for someone else and who they are/what they can do, and recognise all that you are/what you can do too. Being grateful for what you are and what you have is a great place to start. And if you must compare yourself to someone, try comparing yourself now to who you used to be – and see how far you have come!
After a particularly busy November, I’m now relishing a slightly less frenetic December, and with it comes the recognition of silence again. The modern world can feel loud: constant beeps, pings and other alerts, the chatter and the clatter, and the hum of electrical equipment. It’s why, for so many people, silence is the most sought-after experience. Even Jane Austen was said to have written: "Let us have the luxury of silence."
Here's a few ideas of how you might like to carve out some time to experience silence, every day.
• Try immersing in the stillness of an early morning, or late at night, with no one else around
• Aim to still your attention for a few minutes in the middle of your day
• Process your day and quiet your mind before bed, to aid sleep.
Of course, some might say that you don’t need actual silence to experience peace and quiet, and if that works for you, it’s an added bonus. Focusing on a quiet mind and a still body can manifest the benefits of actual silence, wherever you are, whenever you like.
Hi, I'm Joanna from Clean Well-Being.
|Fitness and well-being provider||
Clean Well-being ramblings