At the start of the year I shared how I wasn’t getting into new year resolutions, but instead had set two vision words… those words were POWER and PLAY. They came after a couple hectic years in small biz and the #newmammabubble. At the start of this year I was feeling ready to step back into my POWER, and wanting to PLAY for fun, challenge and adventure again. In the spirit of this vision, I honed in on health habits that would help strike a better balance between powering up for life’s demands and finding joy in playful moments. Here are five things that have helped power me up, whilst also allowing me to revel in the simple, playful joys of life this year.
Focusing On Strength Training
Strength training has always been apart of my training but has not always been a focus of mine, or my fav way to train. I’d describe myself as sporty before I’d describe myself as strong. But there has been times in my life strength training has taken more of a priority over cardio (or playing sport) – like when I tore my ACL, when I was pregnant and when I was returning to exercise post-natally. This year I made it a priority again and I’ve truly enjoyed it, have felt better for it, and have even been more consistent with my exercise habits because of it. Unlucky for me a did a knee injury at netball mid-way through the year and my training has taken a bit of a frustrating detour. Right now my focus is (re)building a strong and powerful body. The resilient mindset that is fostered through strength training is certainly helping me do just that.
Read more about why midlife women should prioritise strength training here.
Prioritizing Kid-Free Dates
Amid the hustle and monotony of life, dedicating time to nurture the foundation of our family – the relationship between husband and I – has been instrumental. Monthly kid-free dates have provided us the opportunity to reconnect, communicate and foster a deeper understanding of each other. Plus, it’s been a lot of fun to hang out together like we used to BC (before children). A nice way to enjoy each others company, break up those ground hog day feels and talk about things other than our kids (though this did take a bit of getting used to. For the first few months the majority of our convos were about our kids haha).
Three of our fav kid-free date ideas: (1) Breakfast or brunch (2) Beach, Bush or River walk (3) Picnic in the park
Sunrise Alarm Clock
The simple act of investing in a sunrise alarm clock has helped bring more peace to my mornings and playful energy to my days. It’s a much less jarring way to wake up as the clock gradually lights up in a colour of my choosing, and with a sound of my choosing. It has positively influenced my mood and energy levels – upon waking, and throughout the day. I especially appreciate this gentler alarm clock on the super early mornings I head to Say Yes workouts – particularly during the dark winter months! Something else I did in conjunction with this was move my phone charging station out of arms reach to decrease nighttime social media scrolling. These couple of small changes to my sleep hygiene have led to an increase in sleep quality and in turn profoundly impacted my overall well-being.
Read more about why sleep is your superpower here.
This is the Sunrise Alarm Clock I purchased.
Mindful Cycle Tracking
Understanding and tracking my menstrual cycle has been super insightful and empowering. It has allowed me to anticipate and manage hormonal fluctuations, and provided valuable insights into my health – both physically and mentally. I can more readily predict times hormones will influence my mood, energy, appetite, body image, confidence and more – and plan for this.
For example at certain days of the month I feel clear and confident AF. At this time I hone in on my to-do-list with lazer focus; i declutter tasks that aren’t priority; And I get sh*t done.Other days I’m more likely to feel ovewhelmed and get stuck in a negative comparisontis spiral. At this time, I bring things back to basics; I back off on big or difficult tasks; And I amp up the compassionate self care strategies.
Learning when these hormonal and mood changes happen has been a valuable piece of information to help me understand the rhythm of my cycle – and how I can better support myself through it.
I highly recommend learning more about how you can harness the power of your cycle via this podcast by Lucy Peach.
I also recommend peri-menopausal women track changes to their menstrual cycle, and common symptoms they are experiencing via a health journal.
I track my cycle and symptoms in my Say Yes 12 Week Journal/Planner.
Weekly Gratitude Practice
The science is clear – there are many great benefits to practicing gratitude but feeling grateful is a learned skill and takes practice. Hence gratitude practice has become a weekly ritual for myself and my family. Most Sundays as we sit down to family dinner we take it in turns to answer the following question “What was your favourite part of the weekend/week?”. Its a super simple conversation starter that often leads to more fun and playful conversations from there. On top of this, most Fridays I allocate time to write a personal gratitude entry in my Health Journal/Planner. Weekly practices such as these can help strengthened family bonds, contribute to a more optimistic outlook on life, and foster mental and emotional resilience.
Check out these kid friendly gratitude prompts.
I journal weekly gratitudes in my Say Yes 12 Week Journal/Planner.
What has helped you live more aligned with your VISION this year? Have you started to think about what VISION you have for 2024?
READY TO SAY YES TO YOURSELF AND YOUR HEALTH? OUR YES-2-YOU OFFER IS A GREAT PLACE TO START (or re-start)!