I’ve amazed myself by actually sticking to my New Year’s goal of being more active and prioritising a work/life balance. We are 5 months in and I’m looking forward to carrying on and seeing where this takes me.
I have been going to the gym regularly (3+ times a week), hooked on Body Combat classes and gotten back into doing (almost) daily yoga. It has been a slow process in terms of seeing changes in my body shape but I know I just need to stick with it and that changes will happen naturally.
I have so much more energy on a evening. Instead of lounging on the couch for hours watching mindless TV, going to the gym has given me somewhere to be, improved my sleep quality and I feel more alive and less on auto-pilot. Basically, all the positives that exercise can give you.
The biggest hurdle was starting. That first exercise video. That first gym class. But it was worth it and it got easier when I got into the flow.
I have been working hard recently on my yoga goals of headstand and crow pose which require a certain amount of upper body and core strength. Poses I find challenging which I haven’t been able to progress in for years. Thanks to the classes at the gym that are toning all the right areas, I’m really starting to reap the benefits and see some serious progress.
Things which are keeping me going:
1. Having an accountability partner. My housemate and I agreed we would workout together. I don’t think I could have done it without her. We have really cheered each other on and it has been the best thing.
2. It’s okay to not always be motivated to go to the gym. I used to always feel bad for lacking motivation, but feeling bad doesn’t make it better. Exercise at home, do a little in the gym anyway. I may feel better after – I always do.
3. Do a little something every day. Be it 10 mins yoga on the living room floor or a 5 min arm workout. It will help. It doesn’t have to be a long exercise.
4. Exercise is not a punishment. Do it because you want to feel good, not just for an end goal. If you keep coming back because you enjoy it, you’ll get there eventually. If it becomes a chore then you are not going to want to keep going.
5. Allow yourself treats and lazy days. Don’t beat yourself up for having them, work for them.
Trying to approach a healthier lifestyle more positively and be less self-critical is something I’m still working on. I’m learning a lot.
This has been such a challenging year for me at work due to many circumstances. I have come out stronger, more experienced and sadly quite disillusioned with the world of teaching. I love my job and my students but I do wonder what I got myself in for sometimes. Looking after myself is such a priority otherwise I would easily burn out.
Making better work/life balance decisions:
- Being confident enough to say ‘no’ when you can’t do something – I used to always be a ‘yes’ person, not anymore.
- Reaching out for help when you need it. It’s okay to admit you’re finding things challenging and seeking support.
- Not planning lessons at home. Only marking at home when absolutely necessary. This has been a big one – it has opened up my evenings and weekends to focus my energy on looking after myself!
So, that’s just a reflection of where I am right now. Looking forward to checking back in with this in the next few months and seeing what’s new!
On a side-note: I just saw that the countdown for our trip to Shetland is only 25 days away! So excited for this but didn’t realise how soon it is :)!