The Importance of Self Care!
I have noticed over the past decade of working with people who want to improve their own health and wellness, that 99% of those people are either: naturally restful but sometimes lethargic and need motivating to do more or naturally do too much and need reassurance to do less. I don’t see this as two categories but more of a spectrum and the further you are at either end of the spectrum, the more external support you need to find your balance.
Interestingly enough, one would expect that a Personal Trainer would see more of the former but I actually meet more of the latter! It is less surprising when you consider that people who seek training help have been motivated enough to get in touch and organise sessions, have already analysed and seen that the fitness area of their lifestyle needs outsourcing and done the work to make that happen. I am also a “naturally do and take on too much” kinda person. I went into the fitness industry as a rebellion against any kind of stationary 9-5pm office work, fearing that the routine would kill me and it made sense, after all, how could I sit still for so long?!
Do You Ever Feel Totally Exhausted?
So I started Personal Training and soon after qualifying I thought I needed to be fitter and lose some weight if I wanted to be successful (nothing like that kind of pressure to motivate yourself eh?) and so I started embarking on huge heavy training programs as my PT timetable started to quite quickly fill up. PT sessions were going great and I was joining in with all my clients to inspire them and it was a bonus to burn some extra calories whilst working. But energy management became a huge problem and sometimes by 10am having already trained myself and started with some clients, I would feel totally wiped. I kept having episodes of exhaustion where I would sometimes be in bed or wiped out with any kind of bug for days on end.
This was how I came to yoga! I knew I needed to balance out my life and I heard that yoga gives you some kind of magical energy gift so I thought I best get in line for that! Being the kind of person that I am and loving the sweat, the work and the fast pace of life, I was drawn to Ashtanga and fast Vinyasa Flow. This style of yoga is energising but it isn’t restorative and is probably not far off the energy output of a workout in the gym. Funny how the things we are naturally drawn to, aren’t necessarily what is best for us! People who naturally give out high amounts of energy will feel huge benefit from calming and restorative activities…all of which, have never much appealed to me.
When I did my first lot of yoga training, my teacher was actually a trained yoga therapist who knew a great deal about Ayurveda. My first experience of meditation resulted in nothing but rage at how cold the room was and how bored I was to not be moving. When I explained honestly how I felt to this yoga teacher, she nodded without looking surprised at all. Later on she said to me, “do you do high intensity exercise?” (yes) “do you eat at regular intervals?” (no – I eat when I can) “do you eat nourishing hot food when you eat?” (no – I eat what I can get) and then finally “do you suffer from anxiety?” I admitted to her that I did and that anxiety has always been a battle for me since childhood. She said, you are anxious because you are not balanced. Your dosha combination (natural energy combination) needs you to not exercise at high intensities but to do yin yoga or low intensity cardio activity for no more than 30 minutes, you need to eat regularly and eat hot nutritious food.
Along Came Baby........
Since this point, I have been better. I do still over do it and need to take the odd day to completely rest but the 3 or 4 day bed rest is a thing of the past. I still have such a way to go but I am more aware and connected to what my body needs than I ever have been before. At least, that is what I felt before I became a mother twelve months ago. When motherhood arrived, it was like my primary brain connection pipe that connects me to what I need was disconnected and attached instead to the needs of my new-born. In the first few days, I waddled around feeling like my organs had been in battered, I was beyond tired but carried by the relief and new found love for my baby. As the weeks roll on, you adjust to the intensity in which your child needs you whilst both their capacity for independence and demands on you increase. I have worked with many women who state that they want to be as fit as they were before they had children and when I ask them how old their children reply, they say 5 or 6. This is often because often women don’t even have the space to connect back to what they need for years after they have had a baby!
Do you ever feel like you just dont have time?
I completely understand this. Here I sit, with some frozen peas down my trousers, popping ibuprofen writing this when I should be getting the hall ready for my yoga class that was supposed to start in 20 minutes. I put a bowl in the dishwasher this morning before feeling a ginormous shooting pain across my back as my back went into spasm, taking my breath away. I have lost count how many times I have been ill since my little one started at nursery three months ago. But as Mums, our days can start at 4 or 5am after several wake ups during the night and then it is non-stop all day long. Add on to that, the housework and then doing other part of full time jobs – it is no wonder that our immune system is at an all time low. I stopped breastfeeding at 7 months because I was feeling so drained. You cannot do everything and your body can only give so much.
Prioritise Self Care!!!
So I have been told I am doing too much. So I need to look at my self-care: I have successfully rehabbed bicep tendonitis with physiotherapist, strength training, chiropractor appointments and sports massages. But I have stopped my own yoga practice: the time when I can just think about me, and what I need both emotionally and physically. It hasn’t been a conscious choice but more that everything has been so stretched since my boy was born with my wife and I juggling two jobs that there hasn’t felt space to consider it. But I am going to see this back episode as my body calling for it and me recognising that teaching yoga isn’t doing yoga – physically going through the movements is not internally doing the work.
You need to prioritise self-care so you can care for other people, so you can do daily tasks without pain and so you can make the most of the only life you have. You totally deserve it, do not wait until it is too late.
What Do We Think at Free Spirit Fitness?
We are a team that believe that we need to be constantly evolving as individuals, furthering our skills and expertise so that we can offer you the best variety of training possible. We have the toolbox to help you live your best life – the better you feel in your body and the better it works for you, the easier focusing on the bigger things is.
We support you in chasing your dreams – whether that is being able to run with the kids, walking the great wall of china or being able to comfortably wear those jeans you really love. It is not easy to get fit, stay fit and maintain a healthy weight in modern life. Often, our jobs and life obligations means that we are sedentary and tired so that we feel we don’t have the time to regularly exercise or that we are too tired to do anything when the opportunity does arise. Here at Freespirit, we actually make that exercise routine happen! Like you make your dentist appointments, you will make your fitness appointments. You don’t need to think about when you need to do it or feel bad for not doing it. We book the sessions and let the good times roll! Book yourself a FREE CONSULTATION today, contact us.
Take great care! With Lots of Self Care!!
Wishing you all a fun week ahead!
Let Us Help!
If you would like any help or support getting started or staying motivated with Yoga or Fitness then let us know. We help people all over Warwickshire get motivated and STAY motivated. Working out consistently over time is the only thing that works so it is important that you enjoy what you do and have fun on your fitness journey!
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” I train with Victoria regularly and because she knows my strengths and weaknesses, I felt that she was able to focus on the parts of my body that needed it most. I am now 1 stone lighter, 20 times stronger and 100 times happier after 12 months with Free Spirit Fitness! “