Recently I took a Reset Week, and I’m feeling equally recharged & inspired!
Early in the week I got to enjoy moments and days of moving slowly and appreciating more space, quiet and time to reflect and dream. I disconnected from social media. I folded laundry without doing anything else. I went to a movie with my Mum. I journaled. I took some long walks…
Then I got to finish the week with a bang as Kylie (from Salt Psychology) and I ran a very special Mama Retreat in Angourie. We spent the weekend with a beautiful group of Mums, watching them connect, relax, share their challenges and add some extra tools to their parenting & emotional regulation ‘toolbox’.
During the retreat, I chatted to the Mums about physical self care and its role in our ability to manage our emotions and the demands of parenting. The thing is, most of us know that things like rest, diet and exercise are all foundational to our emotional and mental resilience. We know we ‘should’ be getting 7-9 hours sleep a night, eating a diet of nutrient-dense foods and moving our bodies most days…
So why then do we struggle so much to prioritise this stuff? (And then beat ourselves up when we don’t!?)
In my experience working with women, I have found it often comes down to these reasons:
1. We aren’t clear on our WHY
2. We don’t enjoy it or don’t experience an immediate benefit
3. We don’t have a plan
You and exercise
So when a woman I am treating in clinic is struggling to prioritise exercise for example, I might ask:
1. WHY is it important to you?
And I don’t just mean why is exercise in general good for your body. I mean why is it important to YOU? Is it because it boosts your mood? Is it so that you can be fit enough to play with your kids? Or to feel confident in how your body looks & feels?
My WHY for exercise is so that I can stay strong & functional enough to enjoy all of the adventures with my kids and hopefully eventually my grandkids. So that I can model a healthy attitude to movement for my kids. And because regular exercise makes me feel good and more like myself than anything else.
2. Do you enjoy it?
So many women I see have a core belief that exercise should be hard and uncomfortable to be effective. But exercise doesn’t have to feel like a chore. If you love walking, why are you making yourself run? And if you hate HIIT sessions, why are you still doing them?? If you suspect this is you, maybe it is worth examining this belief a bit more closely…where does it come from? Is it true?
My ideal weekly exercise includes 2-3 long walks and 2-3 strength training sessions. This fills my cup & feels good on my body. I used to run and do HIIT sessions but I don’t enjoy them anymore!
3. What is your plan?
A lack of plan or a too complicated / optimistic plan are the most common reasons I see women failing to prioritise exercise. Do you plan your exercise for the week ahead, accounting for all of the other commitments you have? And if you have this all sorted, have you actually communicated this plan to your family to limit obstacles that might pop up?
I plan my exercise for the week on a Sunday evening. I let Cormac know my plan and make sure he’s on board. And I try to plan for sessions early in the day rather than late where possible, because I know I’m more likely to do them!
Are you struggling to make time for regular exercise at the moment? Try asking yourself these three questions. Even better, write the answers down or share your answers with me! It’s amazing the clarity that can come just from putting this stuff on paper.