Do you find it hard to switch off? Constantly thinking about your to-do list? Always striving to do that bit more?
Guilty. I do.
My head is constantly buzzing. Constantly. What do I need to do to be ready for training tomorrow? What posts do I need to schedule for KimFit? When can I work on my sponsor proposal? How am I going to get clients for KimFit? How am I going to afford a, b, c? The problem here is that all this fretting isn’t actually helpful, reflecting on the past or thinking forward to the future takes you away from the now. A much better technique is to manage your time and allocate tasks to days/times and attend to them in their allowed time. Leaving the rest of the time to switch off, or enjoy the moment.
I have never pretended that this wasn’t a problem for me. If my head isn’t switched off by 9pm of an evening I’ll struggle to fall asleep guaranteed. The problem is I like to be busy and I try to be efficient; to make the most of the time I have. This was highlighted recently when I was in physio with needles (for acupuncture) in both my wrists, disabling my ability to hold my phone. Acupuncture takes around 25-30 minutes so I’d planned to get a blog drafted on my phone; making good use of the time! I was gutted and literally didn’t know what to do with myself and ended up simply sitting with my eyes closed.
In this time I practised a technique I have been working on; mindfulness. When I was working full-time and training in the evenings plus travelling all over I’d quite frequently run myself into the ground; only stopping when my body forced me to i.e. I got ill. Familiar? Sleeping was an issue because I never gave myself enough time to switch off. So I started using the app Headspace after a recommendation from a friend and sport psychologist.
HeadSpace teaches mindfulness. This form of meditation, helps you stay in the present via 10-20 min sessions which teach you techniques such as breathing and visualisation. If you check out their website you can see the impact this practise can have on anxiety, stress, worry, creativity and relationships. Initially, it helped me to fall asleep; but I really had to (and still do) work on remaining in the present, listening to the audio. But practise makes perfect, I rarely get more than a weeks run but the audio now acts as a cue to switch off. So for me it has helped significantly. I also use it if at any point in the day I just get overwhelmed; there are SOS sessions which are 10 min sessions designed to reset and calm you.
So, let’s stop zooming about at 100 mph. Whether or not you fancy having a go at mindfulness lets agree to schedule in some time to just breathe. Work, family, friends, that wedding, that job are all important; but we’re no use to anyone if we’re too frazzled to enjoy anything. I can put my hand up and say that I’m rubbish company when I can’t stay in the moment because my mind is on something else. Check your time management; don’t just make a to do list. Pop things in the dairy when you’re going to do them, then that’s that. You can keep your mind on the task in hand until it’s time to address that ‘to do’.
Get Real with Kimberley and KimFit is more than personal training. It’s about learning to be all-round healthy; mind, body and soul. Wellness is a huge buzz word these days but think what does that mean to you? What do you want to be able to do? Decide how long is enough on the laptop of an evening, make a curfew. And stick to it. Prioritise which events you can attend, go and enjoy them. Try not to be lured in by FOMO (fear of missing out). A combination of exercise, happiness, and nourishing food will do you wonders. It’s all about balance; and never be afraid to say no or to allow yourself an early night if you know you need it. Listen to your body; it’s a genius.