Last week I had a full seven days of utter failure. Takeaway pizza was consumed. Running took a back seat and good healthy evening meals were replaced by wine and cheese.
My husband goes away a few times a year for work. It’s always hit and miss how I cope and quite often it comes down to how other areas of my life are going. This time however his departure coincided with a heat wave in the UK, an extremely busy few weeks of work and my mental health being on a bit of a downturn. It wasn’t great. It did however get me thinking about how to get out of my slump. I have been here before, I will be here again I am sure, but I have managed to build up a toolkit of quick and easy ways to reset my blips.
- Start when you have time to think. I hate exercise routines and “diets” that start on a Monday. Don’t start on a Monday. Monday’s are the worst day because you are already under pressure to get back into your work routine. I find starting on a Saturday is a great way to kick start good intentions. You have much more time to plan meals, put extra time into cooking good clean food and focusing on yourself.
- Write a menu plan. Writing a menu plan can help you spread your good intentions across the whole week. Planning your lunches and dinners when you’re feeling motivated can help you to ensure you have the ingredients you need and the plan to follow those intentions through. It also means you’re less likely to reach for the takeaway menu.
- Fill your fruit bowl. One of my favourite things to do on the weekend is to go to the local farm shop. There’s something so restorative about being around lovely fresh local produce. I love the smell, I love exploring what’s in season and I love filling my various fruit bowls with treats (yes, there are more than one). I also find having a fruit bowl on my desk at work helps lift my mood and stops any pesky snacking.
- Bake a sweet treat. Living Unplugged is not about dieting, it’s about lifestyle choices. There is so much joy that can be found in cooking and of course eating. Living Unplugged celebrates the satisfaction of creating something from scratch and then enjoying the spoils. This, luckily, includes cake!
- Get some exercise. If I don’t move around I get really grumpy (read my post on why I run to find out more on that!) but exercise doesn’t have to be high energy. In fact when I have my bad weeks I don’t even leave the house (other than to work) so just going for a walk can really help. Micro-tip: Book in your exercise time with your supporter/partner. If you’ve told someone “I want to run three times this week” then they will be able to help nudge you on the days when you don’t want to. I do this when I am feeling super motivated so that by the time Monday evening comes around and I am really not happy about getting out for a run I have someone to push me out the door. I always feel better for having gone.
- Spend the day phone free. I love Sunday’s. I think the best thing about Sunday is that generally I don’t need to go anywhere or do anything. As such I barely look at my phone. It’s bliss. Try keeping your phone away from you for at least a day to give yourself some tech-free headspace.
- Get the little jobs done. Washing for the week ahead, checking your calendar to help you plan your week, pick your outfits, get your favourite room in order (I love a clean kitchen). All of these things can help you regain control when you’ve had a week of feeling a bit chaotic. Don’t try and do everything though, that can be overwhelming and may make you feel worse!
- Do five press-ups. Or do three, or one! Whatever stage you’re at with your exercise routine once you’re out of the habit it can be hard to get back into it. Start small. If you have a favourite exercise or a part of the body you particularly wish to target then start there. For me I am desperate to build my upper body strength, I am getting there, but it’s a long hard slog. When I have had a failed week I feel like I am back to square one, I am not though. If I can do five press ups I can remind myself that I am getting back on it.
- Don’t feel guilty. So you had a bad week, or maybe you haven’t even started your Living Unplugged journey yet, the fact is you can either look back and be annoyed at yourself or you can go to the farm shop, get a punnet of fresh strawberries and sit in the sun. I know what I would rather do!
Good luck and enjoy it