Last week, we talked about the 5 foolproof and practical tips to achieving your health goals. Sticking to a lifestyle of health and wellness can be an ambitious feat. We juggle a lot at once! We…
Follow challenging fitness plans…
Make nutritious meal choices…
Maintain a healthy mindset…
Monitor our toxic load…
And do it all while taking care of our families and work responsibilities.
With time, practice, coaching, and the right resources, we can all learn how to juggle these things…
But sometimes, a wrench is occasionally thrown into the mix – something we couldn’t have planned for or expected.
Right now, many of us are experiencing major changes in our normal routines as a result of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Our gyms and yoga studios are closed, in-person social activities and faith services have come to a halt, our children are home during the day, and our work is being conducted remotely or not at all. So much unexpected change all at once can lead to a great deal of stress and impact our health goals.
Juggling just became a whole lot more difficult.
If you’ve dropped the ball on some of your health and wellness practices, don’t let it stay on the floor! In this blog, I’m going to tell you about 3 simple ways to stop sabotaging your health goals – no matter what life throws at you (even a pandemic).
3 Simple Ways To Stop Sabotaging Your Health Goals
In times of stress, it’s very easy to overlook the things that are sabotaging your health goals. Here are 3 simple ways to avoid setting yourself back.
1. Stop Ignoring Yourself
The most important thing that so many people forget during their health and wellness journeys is themselves. Yes, that’s right! People leave themselves out of the equation. When was the last time you turned off auto-pilot to evaluate your mindset or tune into your body’s signals?
As you might already know if you’ve read my blog about stress, it can weaken your body’s immune system and disrupt your normal sleeping behavior. If you ignore your body’s stress signals, you are creating major limitations for yourself; you may find that you don’t have enough energy to complete your normal workouts or that you can’t get enough rest for recovery.
Instead of ignoring your feelings and hoping they will go away on their own, acknowledge them, adapt. This will allow you to begin counteracting their negative effects through nutrition or mindfulness practices.
Rather listen to an 8 minute video with the same information?
Use The Mind-Body Connection
Sometimes, the best way to stop ignoring yourself is to start talking to yourself. Okay – maybe not out loud if you’re in a public place. But this pandemic has created an incredible opportunity for you to retreat and rest.. Everything that we think, feel, and believe can affect our body’s biological health. This is called the mind-body connection. In this way, speaking negatively to ourselves can have a negative biological impact.
Instead, take full advantage of the way that your brain and body share a common chemical language by encouraging yourself to take an optimistic outlook mentally. This will foster energy from inside to reclaim your physical health. I’ve worked with many clients over the years to improve their mindsets and help them reach their visions of health and wellness using this approach.
Make Time For Wellness
When you’re focused on everything you can’t control, it is easy to forget the one thing that you can control: yourself.
For many around the world, we now have Stay-At-Home orders (or at least recommendations for social distancing). You can spend that extra time that you would otherwise by commuting or working and watch that TV series you’ve been meaning to watch. But after a few days of missing your regular exercise, your body will begin to express its needs to you. You may start to feel sluggish or tense. Don’t ignore it.
Here are a couple tips to make time for wellness (especially during this season):
Take Supplements Every Single Day
Take supplements everyday. Make it part of your routine, just like your morning cup of coffee. If you need help figuring out what your body needs, I can help direct you.
Eat Whole Foods. Use the time you would be commuting to cook your meals at home. You’ve been gifted this large amount of time to focus on you.
Implement More Movement
Implement more movement into your daily schedule. If you typically walk or bike to work and now you have been told not to commute in, this is something you don’t have control over. If you normally go to the gym before or after work and it’s now closed, the same is true. Try walking up and down your stairs if the weather is bad. See how many times you can climb them! Have your kids or spouse join you as you “climb the mountain”. Access tons of at-home workouts (many of which have been made free due to COVID-19). Take your conference calls on a walk (Zoom is available on mobile).
Spend Time In Nature
Get outside and spend time in nature. Lately, I’ve been focused on getting outside and in some sunlight. It’s amazing the healing properties that nature has. In fact, it boosts your immune system for up to 30 days. Take a walk or bike ride outside during the time you would normally be commuting to work. Your body will thank you.
Focus On Your Mindset
Meditate, breathe, and pray. Calm the nervous system by introducing rhythmic breathing and focusing on what the Lord is teaching you in this season.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Phillippians 4:6-7
No matter what life throws at you, you can always make time to take care of yourself. Energy is always present – don’t sabotage your wellness by letting it go to waste!
2. Avoid Comparing Yourself To Others
In times of uncertainty, many people turn to health and wellness experts on social media to see what they are doing to stay on track. They start comparing their own workouts, meal plans, sleep schedule, or supplements to those of others; however, this could sabotage your path to wellness.
How? Well comparison isn’t just the thief of joy; it can also be a major roadblock to reaching your wellness goals because what works for others, isn’t going to work the same way for you. One approach can bring phenomenal results for one person, while the same exact approach may not work at all on the next person. This is true particularly in regard to nutrition.
Not convinced? Let’s talk about exactly why comparing yourself to others is not a beneficial use of your time and energy…
Understand We Are All Built Differently
When it comes to everything from our muscle fibers and nutritional needs to our stressors and preferences, we are all different. This is why abiding by a one-size-fits-all plan will eventually lead you to a dead end.
Believe me! I’ve tried them all.
The truth is, we don’t all have the same genetics, body composition, environment, or disease processes. Because of this, building a health plan is a lot like cooking from a recipe. To make the best meal, you don’t always follow the recipe exactly to a “T”. Instead, the ingredients need to be adjusted to satisfy whoever you’re serving.
You wouldn’t give your lactose-intolerant friend your smoothie recipe that includes yogurt. No matter how delicious it is to you, it would cause them major discomfort. Instead, you substitute yogurt for something their body can easily digest, like almond milk.
The same is true when it comes to following a wellness plan. You don’t need an expert’s meal plan filled with a variety of boxed foods; their workout plan also may not be right for your body. These things will not serve you to the fullest capacity. In fact, it might even do more harm than good.
Instead, stop sabotaging your health goals by focusing on your own personalized approach to wellness.
3. Don’t Push Off Your Priorities
Now, breaking free of the comparison trap to focus on yourself doesn’t mean that you have to walk down your path to wellness all on your own! In fact, you should do your best to surround yourself with others that will hold you accountable.
Why is accountability so important? It is one of the most essential ways to help us avoid pushing off our health priorities.
When we set SMART goals for ourselves (check out #1 on last month’s blog post for how to set SMART goals!) and then life throws something unexpected our way, it is only natural for us to want to postpone our initial timeline for reaching that goal. Sometimes, this can’t be helped. But other times, we just need a friendly reminder to prioritize what is most important: our wellness.
“Be stubborn about your goals, and flexible about your methods”
Sticking to your priorities doesn’t mean that you have to carry out the plan exactly as you initially intended. But it does mean getting them done – one way or another. Releasing yourself from an all-or-nothing mentality will ensure you’re not stagnant in your progress towards wellness.
It is harder to let ourselves down when we know others are rooting for us too.
If you are having trouble finding others to foster accountability with in-person because of social-distancing or other circumstances, there are several other approaches you can take. For example, you can start a virtual accountability group with family or friends online with daily, weekly, or monthly check-ins.
Another great way to stay accountable is through having a health and wellness expert like myself coach you through your journey. I found this to be incredibly useful in my own journey, and that is why I am so excited to be a source of accountability for others like you. It makes all the difference.
I don’t say this to scare you, but COVID-19 won’t be the last illness that sweeps the world. Are you ready to step up and take care of your body, so you don’t have to worry about the next pandemic coming around (at least as much)? Fill out a discovery call form here if you’re ready to talk more with me about holding yourself accountable to your health goals and protecting your future.
P.S. Over the last couple days, I’ve been posting a lot of COVID-19 related things on my social media accounts to reduce stress and improve your immune system. Are you following me?