3 things I'm doing this May for a healthier mind and body
Before beginning a list like this, the first thing you have to do is decide on how you define a 'better' mind and body. Do you want to focus on healthier habits? Are you more interested in performance, perhaps improving your ability to focus or running your first 10km? Maybe your goal is to dedicate one month to recovery, where you de-stress your mind and nurture your body?
I started putting my list together last Sunday morning after a particularly demanding week at work. I felt like work was eating away out my life and, if I didn't set boundaries for some gold old-fashioned me time, then it would soon take over! I am so excited about this list and can't wait to build these three things into my week.
Wake up early to meditate, read and run
I hear it everywhere: waking up early is the single change that you need to kickstart a hundred other small changes. These accumulate and bham! you wake up one morning with the body of Lara Croft and the mind of Sherlock.
Okay maybe not, but you share one thing with each person you have ever admired to aspired to be: twenty-four hours in a day. Time is our biggest excuse - and our most precious asset. Waking up early and dedicating one hour towards a goal we want to achieve is the best way to focus your priorities and take action. Two of my fundamental personal goals are to read more and have a healthy, capable body. My goal for May is to wake up one hour early to meditate, read and work out each morning.
Not convinced on the merits of waking up early? Watch this motivational video and if that doesn't have you up at the crack of dawn working on your dreams, nothing will (I listen to it on the treadmill!).
Wind down each evening with a relaxing and productive nighttime routine
No matter how good my intentions are when leaving the office, somewhere along the commute all willpower goes out the window and I spend my evenings watching Friends while browsing Instagram and munching on vanilla fudge bars. My willpower is usually running on empty by this point and so any hope of preparing tomorrow's lunch, doing a few chores or enjoying some creative time is out the window.
The solution is to make a productive and relaxing nighttime routine second-nature, so that you ease into the next phase of winding down to get a good night's sleep on autopilot. The easiest way to achieve this is by habit stacking: adopting a trigger habit and eventually building on it so that you create a habit flow.
Having a great start to my day relies heavily on what I have managed to prepare the night before, so my objective for May is to dedicate evenings, when I tend to be a bit more tired, to easy tasks like doing a quick tidy, laying out clothes for the next day, and making homemade lunch. I also want to get more consistent with an evening skincare routine and winding down with stretches and tea.
Dedicate a weekday night for hobbies
This month I plan on having weekly dates with…myself. Back in primary school I was known for my impressive list of after-school activities. My Mum would bundle me into the car and drive me all around town (thanks Mum!) to violin, rock-climbing, tap-dancing, horse-riding and more. My childhood was one exciting adventure after the other and I was challenged, fulfilled, and exposed to so many wonderful things.
It's time to fit a primary school schedule into adult living! While my violin days are long gone (anyone within earshot can breathe a sigh of relief), I am a strong believer in hobbies and trying new things. Last year, my friend Hannah and I started packing our weeks with dance class, yoga and sports classes - and I am determined to pick some of it up again this month. I think the best mix is to start some hobbies you can do at home (cue evenings spent YouTubing 'watercolouring for beginners') and classes (to make sure you don't neglect it). This month I plan to start taking mid-week music classes, as well as spend time getting creative with a sketchbook and paints.
Any tips on starting music or other hobbies as an adult? What do you do for me-time?