Your goal is to lose weight and to feel fitter, more energetic and youthful. So what’s stopping you? Perhaps, as we often hear in our clinics, it’s the fact that you seem to reacting to a never-ending loop of tasks and responsibilities? Demands from other people – people that you love and want to help – but which leave you with litle or nothing for yourself.
Time to Daydream
Let me ask you this…what would you do if you had a whole day, or even half a day to yourself? You don’t know? You can barely think of one thing? Don’t worry, this is common, especially if you’re a caregiver, such as a parent, or someone looking after elderly parents.
Basically, living in a culture where we are expected to be ‘always on’, we seem to have lost the art of how to relax, have fun and ‘just be’. This sometimes becomes obvious at the weekend or on holidays, when we realise just how hard we find it to switch off. As a result, some of us can suffer from a loss in confidence, energy, or enthusiasm. In effect, you’ve lost your mojo.
Sound familiar? Then read our 4 tips to get your mojo back and to finally raise your head above water.
1) Start by Spend Time with Yourself (even 10 minutes counts)
Go to a park or to the seaside (or some other body of water) and sit – even if it’s just for 10 minutes. Take a look around and see what’s going on in the world. Then check in with yourself – how do you feel now, compared with before? Sometimes we have to ‘re-learn’ how to rest. We have become so ‘automatic’ and ‘on the go’, that we need to get back in touch with the childlike habit of just being in the moment. In order to get real rest, we need to remove distractions. That means anything that prevents you spending time with yourself – your boss, your phone, your partner or children.
Just spend ten minutes observing nature, or just sitting still in your living room. It’s about giving yourself permission to forget everything and everyone else and spend time with yourself. Find out how ‘me time’ can actually help you lose weight here.
2) Take a Step Back from Goals (just for a few days)
We all have goals and dreams, and we champion goals every day in Motivation. But we sometimes also find that people become too single-minded, which can lead to burnout. If you are driven in an unhealthy way, it means that you feel trapped. You can’t see any alternatives. If it feels too tough, then maybe there’s another route that you haven’t yet considered.
Also, a useful exercise to do is to ‘release the outcome’ off your dreams and goals. In other words, stop focusing solely on the end result but, instead, try to enjoy the journey and the process. It’s great to have a goal, a dream or an aspiration, but not if it weighs you down. Instead, try to start telling yourself, “If I don’t achieve this, I’ll still be okay.” Then, ironically, the thing that you desire can often move closer, with less effort. You are good enough as you are – today.
3) Now it’s Time to Set Boundaries
For many of us – particularly women, but also some men – the worries and stresses of other people somehow become our worries and stresses, a tendency now known as ‘emotional labour’. But nothing is more draining than trying to make everyone around us happy while we tend to their every need. I know this, first hand, as I used to be someone who had few boundaries. I struggled to say the word ‘no’, often just agreed or ‘went along’ with things that I didn’t want to, while running around after my young family, only then to suffer from exhaustion. We need to remember that we are all responsible for our own happiness at the end of the day. It’s wonderful to care for others, of course, but we cannot control their moods, their happiness or their enjoyment. That’s up to them. We need to take responsibility for ourselves and sometimes that means putting down a boundary.
Read more about boundaries here.
4) Remember What Brings You Joy
‘Joy’, you say – what’s that? Joy is what you experienced as a child. Joy is what we feel when we are enjoying ourselves so much that we get ‘lost’ in the moment. Just look at young children playing and there is pure joy. Someone who spontaneously dances, runs or skips – they are joyful people (even someone in their seventies or eighties can be like this). Reconnect with that part of you. It could be as simple as a good book or a movie, a walk in your favourite place, a family trip or a hobby that involves meticulous skill or concentration. Just rediscover it. When we are without joy, we have no energy for anything, let alone our weight loss goals or healthy eating programme. Joy helps to lead us to feeling our own power and abilities. It even taps into our own creativity, meanign we can devise our own solutions to some of the ‘blocks’ we may face. Start the process of recapturing joby by answering these simple questions;
- List 5 hobbies or classes that sound fun
- List 4 skills that would be fun to have
- List 5 things you used to enjoy doing
- List 5 silly things you would like to try once
I’d like you to keep this list somewhere close, like beside your bed or in the top drawer at work, and to regularly read it over the next few days. Is there just one thing that you could try this month? Or even two? They don’t have to be big, grand gestures. They can be simple things such as singing karaoke with your teenager or trying a new dance class or taking a golf lesson. The trick is in rediscovering joy in its many forms. I think you’ll agree…you deserve it.
(The questions above were taken from The Artist’s Way, a Course in Discovering and Recovering your Creative Self, by Julia Cameron)
Read: our blog that offers 14 tips to slow down and regain time
Watch: this youtube video on the benefits of being ‘healthy selfish’
Read: Take your Time: The Wisdom of Slowing Down by spiritual teacher Eknath Easwaran.