2 weeks down, WOW! Great work 👏
Whatever these 2 weeks have been like for you, great work on even opening this email.
It means you are ready for change and want to improve your health 💚
This week, here in Melbourne, gyms were allowed to re-open.
Probably the highlight of my year. I never knew how important exercise was to me until it was taken away.
But something happened – I went back on the first day and instantly got angry at myself.
I couldn’t lift heavy weights. I’d lost my strength and my form from where I was in March.
Sure my mobility had increased thanks to all the yoga during lockdown.
But my muscles were gone 😦
And looking around the gym, everyone else seemed fine.
They were smashing it. They had barbells at home so had continued training.
Then I realised: I was comparing myself against others, and even pre-lockdown Rachel, and it was robbing me of my joy.
The joy I had been waiting 7 long months for was being taken away by comparison.
We all know the saying, comparison is the thief of joy.
But I thought this just applied to comparing with other people, until I was hit by this thought at the gym.
It applies to ourselves as well.
It can be comparing our pre-lockdown fitness to our post-lockdown fitness.
It might be comparing our bodies when we were 25 to when we were 50.
It might be comparing our wrinkles from when we were 40 to when we were 60.
It might be our stamina, or hunger, or humour, or patience, or even our menstrual cycles!
If we continue to compare ourselves to our old selves, without focusing on the improvements, it will only hold us back.
Our bodies and our lives change so dramatically over the years and in the most unexpected ways.
They’ve carried us through all these years, the least we can do is be kind and gentle to them.
If you have trouble with these, here’s two tools that can help:
1. Pretend you’re talking to your best friend or loved one
Next time you have one of those thoughts, the “My x is terrible compared to (someone else or yourself),” imagine your best friend just said that, and how you would respond. Example:
Thought: “Ugh, I’m so annoyed at how much muscle and strength I’ve lost during lockdown. Everyone else here has stayed in shape”
Response: “It’s been an incredibly tough year, and you’ve achieved so many other things. Even keeping up your mobility is an achievement to be proud of” 😍
Saying it out loud can even help, even if it feels silly. The more you practice this, the more it will become second nature and you’ll skip the negative talk and go straight to the positive!
2. Get outside your head
If you’re really stuck ruminating negative thoughts, try to focus on something outside of yourself and spread some love.
Call or message a friend or family member a note of thanks or appreciation. Really think about what you love about them, being specific, and tell them!
Otherwise, do a kind deed for a stranger or even give them a compliment. The spring in the step you get when a stranger compliments you can make your day.
Science shows doing kind deeds boosts our own mood so much.
Our thoughts and self talk have a HUGE impact on our overall wellbeing.
Our brains make more of the thoughts we indulge and repeat over in our heads – we train our brains what thoughts to create.
So make them full of love for yourself, you deserve it 💚