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A well-being to-do list

We are resetting our minds and bodies, dedicating more time to prioritise our health, and allowing greater flexibility to focus on what truly matters. Our fitness expert, Alex, emphasises the significance of self-care and self-respect.

Photographs: Pexels

Text: Alexandra Beck

It seems like the Covid lockdown days are so far behind us! Working from home, away from in-person meetings and larger social gatherings, was a way of life that prevented us from doing so many things yet enabled us to reset.

Now slowly but surely, the old habits are poking us - and it seems fair to stay in the office later, accept all the meetings regardless of the time of day, fill the weekends with every single family and friend gathering, book the kids into every sports camp, art class and choir, then get back into our complaints about how little time we have to eat a healthy meal and get to the gym twice a week.

Extremes are trendy. But keeping up with this latest trend may sooner or later backfire and land us in the stress pit.

The biggest reasons for postponing exercise are stated above. I bet you can recognise yourself in one or more: late meetings, kids to be picked all over the city, long-lost friend gatherings and family trips that cannot wait.

So, this is your reminder that work will always be there. Social gatherings will always be there. You will not miss out, nor will anyone scold you for taking an hour or two for yourself a couple of times a week because you know what won’t always be there if you don’t - your health.

Being a parent myself and having had a busy corporate life before changing careers, I know how hard it is to say no, to counter-propose dates and to want my daughter to have all the playdates and activities that exist. Thankfully, some things helped me set my health and fitness back on track while balancing my work and personal life.

1. Blocking my calendar

Making 2-3 hours weekly is non-negotiable, non-movable, important, and urgent. Mostly the same days/times each week, which over time created a pattern not only for myself but for my co-workers who knew that I might be unreachable during those times but that I would gladly pick up any work-related matters once I was back from my class.

2. Sharing kid pick-ups and playdates

It would be unfair if you were the only parent picking up all the kids for playdates at your house. Coordinating playdates, pick-ups and football games with other parents can relieve you of a few hours here and there - a plan so that you can meet your class times and help other parents when they need a break. It’s nice to attend your kid’s games, but your kids will also thank you for taking time for yourself to be a better cheerleader for them.

3. Getting your friends/colleagues involved

Combining your workouts with social interactions - make workout dates, and follow on with a coffee or dinner. You could even take colleagues with you to your favourite classes so that they better understand the feeling post-exercise and how it positively impacts your work. And on hectic days, you could even brainstorm on the treadmill or walk around the office block.

4. Respect your body and its needs

This is probably the most essential thing you must remember now and forever. If you keep postponing your health, your health will postpone you.

I’m sure you already know most of what I keep rambling on about, but as a health professional, I truly believe that I must remind you that moving is an essential part of life - and it’s great to encourage your children to be active. Still, the best way to do that is to be active yourself. Staying strong and active will ensure that you stay mobile, flexible and able for the longest time and who doesn’t want that?

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