Practice: Finding your Rhythm

Hi loves! A couple of months back, I posted about featuring a blog post written by another like minded yogi/human. I am honored to have had a few of you write to me and this month I am featuring Shiela Olson, a personal trainer who believes the best way to achieve physical fitness and good health is to set and tackle small goals. She encourages her clients to stay positive and incorporates mindfulness and practices for reducing negative talk into her sessions. She created FitSheila.com to spread the word about her fitness philosophy.  Thank you, Sheila! Please read below as Sheila elaborates on the practice of finding your own rhythm.... 

Life has a rhythm. Summer leads to fall, winter leads to spring, and day leads to night and back again. Your body has rhythms, too. It tells you when to eat (you feel hungry), when to sleep (you feel sleepy), and when something feels good and when it doesn’t. In today’s world of nonstop information, sometimes we forget to listen  to our natural rhythms, or we can’t hear them over the noise in our lives. We need to take a step back and figure out how to focus on ourselves and our health, in order to be the best we can truly be.

We have all heard suggestions for being healthy: eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep. Turns out, those are not all inclusive. You may do all three and still not take good care of yourself. Don’t get me wrong; that’s a good start! If you have little ones at home, you’re lucky if you can do two out of three. Here are some thoughts on how you can develop self-care in order to live your best life.

Exercise is a huge part of being healthy. You may not need to exercise every day, though certainly getting up and moving around is crucial to your vitality. Just like eating healthy foods and getting enough sleep give you energy for daily tasks, exercise gives you strength. More than that, exercise can help you feel good emotionally. By listening to your body, you can get in tune with what makes it feel better and what makes it feel worse.

The big picture with self-care is figuring out what makes you feel better and focusing on that, not in doing a specified number of things. Look at your whole day and what you eat, rather than counting every calorie that enters your body. Are you exercising and eating well generally? Then you can treat yourself to a less healthy snack or occasional dessert. Are you sitting all day? Then eat food that gives you energy and take walking breaks where you get up and move around.

Being mindful of your food intake (what and how much you eat, as well as how it makes you feel) and your energy output (opportunities to exercise and add movement to your day) helps you to think about what you should focus on. Keep a journal to write about what you liked about your day and what you’d like to change for the better. Write at least three things each day that you’re thankful for. Soon enough, you’ll be seeing the world in a positive light and thinking about how you can improve yourself little by little.

Know that if you’re recovering from addiction , “doing what feels good” might be a double-edged sword. If you were abusing a substance to avoid issues in your life, exercise is a great way to think more positively  about what you can control and what to do about what you can’t. Exercise also releases endorphins in the body, which give you a natural “high,” so it can be a good way to replace chemically induced feelings of euphoria. Just be sure that you’re not replacing one addiction with another. And if you’re just starting an exercise regimen, be sure not to overdo it in the beginning.  

We make choices daily, and you can choose to be good to yourself and take care of yourself. Only then can you be at your best for family and friends. Self-care means finding the balance between what you must do to get through each day and what you choose to do to live your best life. Choose wisely and live well.

Emily Tully