Be Fit. Feel Good. Have Fun

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carole@enjoytraining.co.uk

You can’t pour from an empty cup

I featured in the spring edition of the Tunbridge Wells Parents Directory.  This is a great local directory, with useful articles for parents.  As a busy personal trainer and a mum of two, I was pleased to offer some practical tips, I hope you find them useful.

Does this phrase resonate with you?  It does with me.  In fact, it reminds me of why I help people to improve their wellbeing.  Life can be pressurised and demanding.  If we allow ourselves to become empty and drained, like that cup, we feel bad and struggle to be a positive force on those around us.  But if we reflect on and nurture our own wellbeing, we will keep our cup topped-up, feeling better ourselves and relating more positively to others.

Many studies have shown that good mental and physical wellbeing lead to better health, better success (however you choose to define it), and in fact 40% of our happiness is within our control. We have the power to change it (Sonja Lyubomirsky).

Taking care of ourselves in this way IS NOT an indulgence.  It is an investment in health and happiness, for ourselves, friends, family and colleagues. Big differences can come from small every day changes.

Start small, take action, achieve, enjoy, feel the difference and build better habits.  I am not just talking about physical activity by the way.  I believe that lasting, positive, sustainable changes to wellbeing happen when mind and body and spirit are equally balanced and energised.

Here are some practical ideas, scientifically proven, to have a positive impact on your wellbeing.

Shine your beam of light in just one direction

Constant demands and distractions are a part of modern life.  Of course, I’m not suggesting you can completely eliminate these from your life.  However, shutting down such distractions for only 5 minutes a day and focusing instead on being in the moment, does wonders for our wellbeing.  Our phones and tablets are the biggest culprit.  75% of adults not only take their phones to the loo, but also use them once they’re in there, and 95% of adults look at their phones within the hour before bed.

One thing you can control is your relationship with your phone.  Take control and see if you feel any difference:

  • Turn off app or social media alerts.
  • Have a ‘devices’ box in the house where all phones get placed – out of sight is out of mind. Try this for a few minutes each day or after a certain time each evening.
  • Buy an alarm clock and do not take your phone into the bedroom.

 The great outdoors

We are mammals and evolved in a natural environment.  Yet modern life, for most of us, involves spending a lot of time in artificial environments.  A University of Exeter study (2010), found that time spent outside significantly elevates mood.  So factor a little outdoor activity in your day.  Get outside, see the sky, breath the air.  According to the study, even 5 minutes of doing this can have a positive impact.   So:

  • Schedule in a moving meeting.
  • Have lunch in the park not at your desk.
  • Take a 10-minute jog round the block before picking the kids up from school.
  • Just get outside and look up!

We are lucky to have a lot of green spaces in Tunbridge Wells and the surrounding areas so get out and explore.  My favourites are:

http://www.tunbridgewells.gov.uk/residents/parks-and-play-areas/dunorlan-park

https://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/reserves-a-z/broadwater-warren/

Do what you enjoy

The emerging and exciting science of Positive Psychology is built on the premise that happiness leads to success.  If we are in a happy, positive place, then we will be more emotionally resilient and better able to deal with the challenges that life throws at us.   Do something every day that makes you feel good!  Don’t seek to justify it beyond that.  To repeat, this is not an indulgence, it is an investment.  Try these ideas for putting yourself in a happy place and feel the positive impact that it has on your general wellbeing:

  • Start your day mindfully with a quiet 10 minutes and your favourite drink.
  • Do a good deed for someone and see how that lifts your vibe.
  • Find 10 minutes out of your day to do something that is purely intended to give you pleasure.

These suggestions are all based on well-researched effects.  So, I challenge you to try it for yourself. Give yourself one week.  Make one small change to improve your mind, your body and your spirit, and see the positive impact it has on other areas of your life.

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