Upsetting the balance

Posted by in Blogs

It happened people. Eight months in, my mind and body decided enough was enough last week.

Fast forward through a few days of sleep, reading, painting, baking, catching up with friends and going home to my parents’ house and I’ve had a bit of a revelation.

It transpires that, though my fitness is better than it has ever been, my overall health is pretty poor.

Rush rush rush

Rushing around trying to cram everything in, not sleeping enough, eating whatever is most convenient is a quick way to a pretty anxious way of living. Adrenaline has kept me strong and free from illness but not in a sustainable way.

Sustainability

My eXerK 52in52 project is pitched at playing around with how to make life, with all its fun and pressures, sustainable. Living with energy, not plodding through routine. Finding the fun in being active, rather than escaping through sofa slumped movies.
 
We are treading on fragile ground. The FOMO (fear of missing out) culture we are embracing and, with being busy seen as something we seem to be proud of will break us all soon. 

Switching off

As I pondered in the blog about achieving our goals, there is always more we could be doing. The problem is that we also need to know when to take a step back to relax, reflect and check in with ourselves.
 
If not, cue feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and frustrated. Efforts are so scattered that nothing gets our full attention. On top of that we have no concept of which actions added value to our lives, and which were futile and could be eliminated.
 
Or is that just me?!

I can do anything but not everything
 
Only a few things matter. Taking time to work out what those few things truly are is vital.

I have experienced a huge variety of new things this year that wouldn't have happened if I hadn't embarked on this eXerK journey. The joy in the journey - I am truly grateful. There has been so much doing though, that I have had very little time to think, let alone feel. 
 
Interestingly, the first thing that crumbled wasn’t my body, but my mind. My mood wasn’t as happy, creative and hyperactive as usual and I just couldn’t get my brain to properly engage!!
 
As per the art of Essentialism (a book I started reading this week), I’m consciously and deliberately going to go beyond just exploring. Evaluate, eliminate and execute are the next steps that keep life lean. This will, theoretically, allow me to get the right things done, to a higher quality.

I hope. Essentialism is so far away from the way I have lived life thus far that we'll see if I achieve it.

Have you tried to spring clean your life? Any tips?

Sleep
 
Setting aside time to rest is so important. With the super speedy pace we all live in London, you’d think we would desire even more sleep. But we don’t - time is a limiting factor and we fill to the brim.
 
I'm hoping the focusing exercise described above will leave me more time to sleep.

Right now I can't work out what can give though. Exercising in the early morning, working all day, catching up with friends in the evening, getting home and working on eXerK… the cycle keeps going and I like all of it.

What do you do to make sure you get enough zzzz time?
 

Eating
 
Most of us are aware of good and bad nutrition. Cravings and convenience get the better of us though. Particularly when we are tired, we seek out artificial energy. 
impulse confectionary to postI’m a big believer in trying to avoid quick release sugary foods. The energy spike it gives you, followed by insulin induced lows, making you crave the sugar hit again is a cycle many of us are in.

I'm ok at breakfast and lunch as I'm at my desk and have my routine. It's dinner that I'm weak on. It's usually late at night, made from leftovers in the fridge, normally rye bread and philadelphia.

Any healthy fast foods would you recommend?
 

Exercise
 
I have tried a lot of new exercise concepts this month (will tell you about them next week). All of them have their merits and together keep a healthy balance of strength, cardio and flexibility. I have been meaning to spend more time on yoga this whole year. I think now is the time – not only does it complement the sport but also the mind side of life. 

What would you say is the best yoga for meditation and stretching?
 

My first ever talk
If you'd like to hear more on this topic and on choosing your challenge, come along to a talk I'll be giving (my very first one!).

Starts 8.30pm on 16th September in the Hoxton Pony, and it's FREE! Put yourself on the guest list.