The protocol of choice for improving anything health related is diet and exercise. This is not a sustainable approach to balancing energy. Maximum output with minimal input tips the energy scale in the wrong direction. We dread engaging diet and exercise plans because they put our bodies into survival mode. We don’t execute these plans because they work, we execute them because it’s all we know. Until now! I’ve got an alternative that I’ve been using with my clients that works really well. This isn’t a gimmick and I don’t have anything to sell you…sharing is caring!
We take each of our clients through their Environment, which is comprised of 4 facets: Movement, Nourishment, Rest and Love. We assess their quality of life in these four areas and focus on their BIG ROCK. I’ve been setting more focused behavior changes in the areas of Rest and Love than Movement and Nourishment and the results have been outrageous. Let’s take a closer look at how a lack of Rest and Love can limit your performance.
When your lifestyle lacks adequate downtime and quality rest, it’s impossible to thrive. Our Western culture will have us sprint to the end of the day and crash at bedtime. Our biological clocks are wired to have a wind down period before hitting the sack. This is time for us to engage with a hobby, read a book, reflect on your day, engage with friends and family, etc. This is time for you to do life and enjoy being human. I’ve observed and experienced this lack of time will rob you of the joy, contentment and satisfaction life has to offer.
The other component of Rest is sleep, not only quantity of sleep but quality too. Many of us try convincing ourselves we don’t need 8 hours, that we’re OK with 6. Rather than debate with you how much you need, simply observe how you feel when you wake up in the morning: Are you ready to take on the day or head back to bed? Think pre and not post coffee…big difference? The other component is quality and to get a sense, answer these two questions: How easily do you fall asleep and stay asleep? Do you have a lot on your mind or toss and turn a bunch? If so, bring a note pad to bed and commit your thoughts to paper and put them to rest for today and/or try some gentle foam rolling for 15 minutes before bed. You’ll literally sink into the covers :-). Until you are well rested, your goals cannot be made a priority for your body.
Love, love, love! The BIG ROCK for oh so many of us! Let’s keep it simple: be supportive of and supported by others. Do it at home, do it at work and everywhere else you are. Being supportive of others means taking a genuine interest in their well being. When we support others, they feel great because they release oxytocin, a hormone that gives us the warm and fuzzies. In turn, we release it as well…truly a win/win. Being supported by others is a bit more challenging because that involves letting others know we don’t have it all together and that requires courage and vulnerability. However, the truth is we’re designed to connect with others, to share life and to share the load. Having a strong support system will give you the confidence to take even better care of yourself.
So instead of diet and exercise, try Rest and Love for a week and if you’re feeling lucky, try it for a month. You may be surprised at how it affects your well-being but remember that everything in our lives are connected to everything else. All that’s required is that you trust in the process and believe in yourself!