Hi everyone, Ash here!
Christmas is over and we are in to that strange week where you aren't quite sure what the date or day is... or even if we are in 2019 yet! It's often a week that can cause dramatic mood shifts, irritability and deep reflective thoughts. We can get stuck in memories of the past year or fantasies of what the coming year will look like. Quite quickly we can go from being optimistic to pessimistic and this can be draining - for our bodies and, more importantly, our minds!
So, here are 7 top tips to help gain a bit more strength, stamina and clarity over the coming days...
1. Under no circumstances should you chastise yourself for whatever has happened over the past week. It doesn't matter how little you moved, how much you ate, how much drink you consumed - at that moment in time you were doing exactly what you were supposed to be doing so DO NOT berate yourself. When you find yourself being unkind to the most important person in your world - you! - ask yourself how you would respond if a best friend spoke to you like that...
2. Ok, so you know you indulged at Christmas. So what?! You had fun and that's important for mental health. You spent time with loved ones and that's also important for mental health. You rested and 'switched off' for a few days - that's vitally important for mental health. So, look at the past few days as a reset. A time to recharge. A holiday. You spent your time wisely!
Alright, now it's that funny week. What can we do to bring some balance back to our lives?
3. Move a little. This could be doing some housework, going for a walk or putting on the trainers again and hitting the gym for a class or a light workout. Just ease yourself back in to it by not going too crazy. Look after your body, you have got stronger by giving it some much needed rest but you still need to treat it with respect and love. Just like your mind.
4. Drink more water. For most of us, we drink a lot more alcohol or soft drinks over the Christmas period and maybe not as much water as we would normally. Just increasing our water intake again can have a massive impact on our wellbeing! And on this note, in case any of you are thinking of going on a 'juice detox' over the coming weeks, remember that our kidneys and liver do a great job of that already. If you are following a reasonably balanced diet then detoxes are normally a waste of time (and could even result in missing out on other vital nutrients). Just drink more water!
5. We are about to talk food here so if this is a trigger for you, go straight to point 6. Keep food choices balanced. Sam and I are not nutritionists so we can not comment on individual diet choices, but as fitness professionals with years of experience, we both know that the secret to any diet choice is balance. It's about consuming lots of whole foods and keeping processed food to a smaller amount. It's about treating yourself and having no guilt when you do. It's about getting as much colour on to your plate as possible! It's about not becoming obsessed with food but understanding that nutrition is important in helping you feel healthier and happier because those nutrients from better choices really do nourish the soul! So, if you have consumed a lot of treats over Christmas (99% of us, right?!), introduce more fruit and vegetables back on to your plate this week. Please do not throw food away! If you have treats left over, keep them for the next few weeks or months. Food should not be wasted so allow yourself the opportunity to delight in them with a more balanced approach. If you really don't want them in the house then why not take them to work for the team to have? Or help the less fortunate and take leftover, unopened food to the local food bank.
6. Make space for stillness in the mind. If you aren't meditating yet, now is a great time to start. I have a big meditation milestone coming up next week, which I will share more with you then! I promise you that you will feel awesome by taking some time to sit still and allow your mind to switch off and be present. Start off with just two minutes if you can and focus on your breath. Think about how we end every SMASH class and stand in that strong mountain pose if it helps. Focus on your breath, your heart. Focus on you.
7. Write down all the things you need to do over the coming weeks! That way you should feel less stressed and overwhelmed when January hits and we have to wake up pretty quickly! I am naturally not very good at doing this but it's something I have got better at, thanks to Sam, and I know it works!
I hope the above has helped in some way. I understand that for some of you Christmas was another day and normal week, and not much changed, so keep doing your thing! However, for most of us, I'm sure we are all feeling pretty similar right now so know that we are all in this together. I don't like to say 'we're getting back on track' because I don't think we really went 'off track'. We just slowed the pace down for a while and sometimes that gives us opportunity to reflect and prepare for when our pace picks up again. So, when you find yourself asking 'What day is it?' this week, remember it's another day where we choose to treat ourselves kindly, offer ourselves the respect we deserve and smile because we know we have much to be grateful for...and to look forward to
Don't forget, the January and February dates are out for SMASH Discovery and SMASHcamp!
Saturday 12th Jan SMASHcamp
Saturday 19th Jan SMASH Discovery
Saturday 26th Jan SMASHcamp
Saturday 16th February SMASH Discovery
Saturday 23rd February SMASHcamp
SMASH Discovery is a SMASH class, 10 minute meditation and 30 minute workshop on how to improve mental health and general wellbeing. SMASHcamp is our version of an 85 minute Bootcamp session where you will be challenged physically and mentally and leave knowing you accomplished something - suitable for all levels! Each session starts at 9am and the cost is £10 per person, open to non members too. You can also purchase 3 sessions for £20! Please confirm your attendance with us via email or direct message on Instagram.
Have an amazing weekend and make the most of this 'strange' week!
Sam and Ash