Life isn’t perfect. Nobody’s life is perfect. Regardless of what somebody’s Instagram feed might tell you, or despite how you might feel after reading a tabloid article about a Victoria’s Secret model, you can’t believe everything you see or read. Seemingly perfect or not, we all feel challenged or unhappy at times. Life isn’t simple either, juggling work, family commitments, exercising, eating well and looking after yourself is a guaranteed busy schedule. We’ve all felt overwhelmed before too. Heck, it’s easy to get caught up in your responsibilities and never take any time out to just stop and do nothing.
Now, this isn’t supposed to be a pitiful piece of writing about how life’s hard and won’t get any easier. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Why? Because I’d like to point out that you are in control. You choose everything that you do and when you do it.
Do you ever think about that? I feel like I’ve only just started to realise that feeling guilty for not being as productive as I could have in any given day, or not spending some time stretching before bed is completely on me. Regardless of the fact that making dinner for the family or taking the dog for a walk felt just as important at the time, if at the end of the day you feel guilty or overwhelmed, perhaps you didn’t listen to yourself carefully enough. Perhaps you didn’t plan your day or week quite as well as you could have. Perhaps you didn’t give yourself enough time to relax and reflect.
Finding ‘you time’ is hard. We lead busy lives and often it feels as though there are certain things that must be done before we can justify sitting down and enjoying a book, or a good long shower. That list of ‘things that need to be done’ is usually never ending, so you’re better off pacing yourself, feeling comfortable with that pace and enjoying your days. I’ve found that lately, allowing time for myself is exactly what I need to be more productive. Although, recognising the need to stop and do something completely for you is one thing, following through with it is another.
Exercise is a great place to start because it feels productive anyway. You might set out on a walk or run with the intention of toning your legs, or just lasting 30 minutes. Once you commit to it though, you might realise that during exercise, your mind relaxes– you stop thinking about your busy schedule, and start to make sense of things clearly and logically. On your return, you become more productive.
Setting the time to do exercise can sometimes be challenging. It’s all well and good to make a plan in your head to do something physical, but if you’re not already into exercising regularly, realistically how often do you actually follow through with it? Finding an exercise class you like and sticking to it is a great way to ensure you’ll do exercise. Classes help you commit, inspire you to set goals and ensure that you stay present. I often tell myself that I’ll lay out my yoga mat at home and self-instruct the sun salutations I know off-by-heart, but I’ll also make excuses. In my head I’ll say, “It’s too cold to move during winter” when in reality, if I just did move I’d feel warmer.
Though life isn’t perfect and there are always things to do, you can make life easier by prioritising you. Remember that you are in control of your own happiness – allow yourself some time to keep things in perspective and stay present. Remember to take some time out, simply because you can.
Written by Kate Levins (Adv Dip Nutrition). Kate is a holistic nutirtionist with a passion for wholefood cooking. Clinically her areas of interest are women’s health, skin health, specialised dietary support and whole body wellbeing.