I invite you take these steps to “coach” yourself.
- Practice Self-Compassion. Self-Compassion is the strategy of meeting yourself with kindness. Why? Because that inner voice of criticism is not only hurtful, it’s not helping! Self-Criticism in inversely related with self-efficacy (read: your belief in your capability to be successful). What does this mean? If you’re a jerk to yourself your motivation and confidence go out the window. So while it seems counterintuitive, the best step you can take when you hear that inner mean-girl dial up the volume – is to greet her with kindness. The first step in Self-Compassion is mindfulness. We have to notice what is happening before we can do anything about it. Once we notice it, we can acknowledge our suffering. By acknowledging our suffering we acknowledge we’re not alone. This piece of “common humanity” can make all the difference in how we relate to our suffering. When we feel like we’re all alone in our suffering it can feel insurmountable. Sometimes just knowing we’re not the only ones feeling this way – goes a long way! Finally, we can meet ourselves with kindness. We can speak to ourselves in a way we’d speak to our loved one. Offering ourselves the same grace we extend to others. This space and grace and acknowledgement that we’re a human having a human experience – can go a long way to helping us move through the struggle.
- Shift your lens. Some of the dialogue I’m hearing from clients is this notion that they’ll get back to their health habits and routines “when things settle down” or “after” the pandemic. That they’ll go “back” later, at some time in the future. Consider this: what if going “back” isn’t the best direction? What if “back” wasn’t the resilient lifestyle you need to get through difficult times? While I’d agree – these are extraordinary times that are likely once in a lifetime, the bottom line is that this period of pandemic we’re in is not likely to be short lived. That we’ll be “in this” for a while. And even once we’re not, we don’t really know what our “new normal” will look like. So, with that in mind, what if NOW is an opportunity to create an entirely NEW approach to health + fitness. One that works with your (real) life right now….and moving forward especially during times of peak stress)? What would it look like if you re-imagined your health + fitness right now. In a way that truly served and supported you now? Because here’s the thing, while we’re in extraordinary times experiencing a pandemic, life (invariably) throws curveballs. What if your healthy lifestyle could be resilient to these “plot twists?” What would your “health” look like (how would you define it) if you used this new lens of resilience? Do you think it could be more sustainable and potentially more functional? Get curious and consider what “health” really means to you – and what your health and fitness habits, routines and practices might look like with this “lens” on.
- Create a NEW (and realistic) health zone. From this space of grace, kindness and permission to change – now we can look at re-building your health zone. By building your health zone during this period of struggle – you’re building a foundation on real life. What does that look like? Click here to circle back to this blog on building your Health
What is a Health Zone?
The Health Zone (in short) is about creating a range of health habits. Instead of viewing your health as a binary state you’re either “in” or “not” (read: on or off that blessed health wagon), the Health Zone has you view your health as an evolving continuum or zone of habits and routines. And as long as you’re living each day within your defined “zone” you my friend are ROCKING your health – your way! By getting rid of black and white quotas and hard and fast rules – we offer ourselves more freedom to – work with the curveballs. Whether that’s a pandemic, a work deadline or a sick kid (#reallife).
How do I build my Health Zone?
Once you’re clear on how you define health (hint: your definition will be as unique as you are), then we can break it down into tactics by exploring the 3 components of health: body, mind and spirit.
- Body: These are the practices, habits and routines that support the health of your physical body. I generally classify these into movement (physical activity and/or exercise), nutrition (how you nourish your body), and sleep (sleep is one of the unsung heroes of health!)
- Mind: These are the practices, habits and routines that support your mental and emotional health. They might be practices like meditation or gratitude, writing a journal or speaking with a counsellor or coach.
- Spirit: These are the practices, habits and routines that support your connection to your deeper values. They might be practices like getting out in nature or praying.
Within each of these categories you want to consider both the lower limit of your Health Zone and your upper limit.
The lower limit habits, routines and practices are the things you can commit to doing no matter what. Like, in the middle of a pandemic, or when you’ve got a crazy work deadline, or a sick kid (aka. when real life is throwing you curveballs). It’s important to be incredibly realistic with these. View them as complete “non-negotiable” habits like brushing your teeth. Choose things that seem easy to make happen (espeically now).
Once you’ve established your lower limits, take a step back and ask yourself: could you do these NO MATTER WHAT!? If the answer is NO – back to the drawing board. Adjust.
Now we can look to your upper limits. These should stretch you (just a bit) – but not too much. They should push you to grow, but still feel reachable. Caveat: they should feel “reachable” within the structures of your real life (not unicorns and rainbows non-existent dreamworld life). I know, I get it, I’ve been there. When we get all dreamy and vision-boardy and we really want to….but it’s just not gonna happen. Be realistic – with a pinch of dreamy.
Ask yourself, do these upper limits stretch me, just a bit? If I imagine a real week in my “normal” life – could this all happen? If the answer is YES – awesome. If not….time to tweak.
Fiddle around until you “get it.” And….know you have full permission to change these. Any. Time. You need to. This is the beauty of your Health Zone. It’s yours! Tweak, adjust, revamp or release the things that don’t work. In fact, I recommend doing this once per week for the first bit until you fine tune it. I also recommend tweaking any time you hit a bump, roadblock, or life change (read: right now in a Pandemic).
Not sure where to go from here?
These ideas (including Self-Compassion, shifting your lens and the Health Zone) are two of the key components of the conversation in the Super You Studio. The StudioCrew is a group coaching community that gives you access to me as your coach as well as resources, tools and strategies to help you bring your unique vision of health to life. You can purchase content in the Studio a la carte, or you can become a member for the full coaching and community experience. You can learn more here.
If you’re feeling a bit more private, I’m also offering a sliding scale for one-to-one coaching and would love to chat with you.