The title could be used in a number of ways and could mean a number of things to different people; the first thing you thought of when you read the title probably says a great deal about your general outlook on life…
We hear versions of the above all the time in every day life and more often than not, people are referring to the pace of something; after a quick burst of energy, speaking too fast, not breathing correctly when exercising (girls, you know who you are!) or if something is simply too much, like relationship problems or burning the candle at both ends.
It’s a phrase I have been told on a weekly basis for a long time now; I do too much, I need to slow down, I need to have me time, I need to learn to say NO!
It just isn’t in my nature. I like to be busy and helpful and more mindful of others than myself. I’ve always been like that.
But maybe they were right
At one point, I was getting into my new content role, had started studying and working towards a Digital Marketing diploma, running classes and training myself for the IFC, meaning I had no evenings free in the week and maybe a few hours on a Sunday to myself. Even my one hour lunch breaks were spent sweating it out on the cross trainer…
I wasn’t unhappy with this though, like I said, I like to be busy! But perhaps that pushed it a bit far?!
At the start of the year when I set my goals to achieve in 2016, one was to do at least 15 minutes of yoga 3 times a week; almost a way of saying to myself to slow down and breathe. Stop doing the cardio 5 times a week. Stop saying yes to everything and everyone and burning myself out.
I wanted, and very much needed, time to sit and reflect, work on myself. A time where I wouldn’t be Franki the Content Editor, Franki the Coach, Franki the competitor, just me.
Yoga has really helped me find this balance.
I started off twice a week with Alice and Clare, two of my colleagues who were keen to try yoga. So we downloaded The Yoga Studio app and now every Tuesday and Friday, we spend 15-30 minutes working on our balance, flexibility and relaxation ability. It’s a lot harder to switch off than I realised.
Something valuable that I’ve gained from this was the ability to sleep a bit better – If I’m having trouble with my Endo pains or, as with a lot of women, my head is spinning with to-do lists and general worries, I practice my breathing techniques and start a relaxation process to help me drift off – so it has multiple benefits!
I’ve been suffering with really tight glutes which has caused me immense back pain, so I have spent the last few weeks slowing things down, switching up my training sessions and focussing on bodyweight / calisthenic training alongside my yoga and light strength work. I’m finding it tough, but rewarding – but I miss my squat rack!
Plenty of stretching and Lacrosse Ball rolling at my desk has been required lately!
It’s ok to be selfish
I’m feeling a lot happier in myself and my training now I have taken some time back to focus on me. I always feel guilty for doing things for myself as I feel I should be doing something of more value for others or setting an example. Competing in your chosen discipline is a big decision to make as it requires a lot of dedication, time and patience, which for me, started to suck the fun out of training. Maybe this is due to my own demons that I am now coming to terms with…!
“You gotta find your balance, what works for you and what makes you happy.”
What I’ve come to realise is that taking some time out for some yoga / stretching / painting my nails / reading a book is what it’s about. I missed a few sessions last week because I needed sleep more than I needed to train – I didn’t allow myself to feel guilty, punish my body through food deprivation or train extra hard for 3 hours to make up for it. Your body needs to heal to work optimally! Nourish your body, listen to it. Most importantly, learn to love it! You’ll be more motivated to improve it if you don’t hate what you see in the mirror….trust me. I used to think the opposite, but hating the reflection just made me want to hide away and not train and carry on eating chocolate….
This is applicable to anyone – not just the ladies! I’d highly recommend anyone to try some form of yoga to compliment your flexibility and for those that strength train, it can be a huge help for the tight backs and stiff shoulders that training can cause. Be it a local class or a tutorial app like the one I mentioned above so you can do it ion the privacy of your living room! I’d also recommend following a few of my favourite Instgrammers, such as Kerri Verna, Kino MacGregor and Nicola Jane Hobbs for further inspiration. They even run monthly challenges to help you improve your yoga. Those that follow my Instagram probably remember I did a few of these last year…maybe it’s time to do a new one?!
Try it out and let me know how you get on. It’s good to have “Me Time” – make sure you get some over this next week!
P.S. Keep an eye out for one of my next blogs in which I’ll introduce you to Clare and Alice to discuss our yoga journey and the benefits they have seen from it, too! (And my first collab, as they are keen bloggers)