Luisa empowers simplicity-seekers by helping you to craft your very own laidback yoga lifestyle. Catch her at her coastal log-cabin on the edge of Exmoor, or on Zoom. And, if this article pulls at your heartstrings, you are very welcome to follow Luisa’s journey on Instagram and Facebook, or sign-up for a monthly newsletter and free access to Luisa’s yoga, fitness and meditation video library at the end of this post.
Ladies. As an experienced Personal Trainer and Women’s Coach, I can feel a ‘shift’ occurring.
Women are overwhelming themselves with too many life boxes to tick. We are all existing in a constant state of near panic.
Panic to be the perfect partner…perfect mother…perfect daughter…perfect friend…
Relentless pressure to have the perfect career…perfect relationships…perfectly low stress levels.
Self-defeating pushing to be a clean-eating…water-guzzling…qualification-gaining…gym-going…goddess!
Is this sustainable? No. It is only ever going to result in a feeling of failure – whether you have actually ‘failed’ or not.
I can see that having suffered the year that we have, and as an utterly passionate fitness professional who thrives on bringing back simplicity across all areas of our lifestyles, this is the ripe time for change. This is our chance and we should seize it.
Why 2020 has increased overwhelm
The weight of lost potential for the many is feeling heavy. We’ve been through a grieving process for the ‘things that never were’, for the events and occasions that can never be relived; along with a global fear for our loved-ones health, like nothing we’ve ever encountered in our lifetime.
The loss of physical connection, which I’ve realised this year I absolutely thrive on, even as a borderline introvert (I’m an INFJ, ‘seahorse’ personality – take a look at Myers-Briggs personality tests to learn more) has been so hard. We need to re-immerse ourselves into visible society, once we are able, with care and gentle trepidation.
We all know that New Year this year is going to be different for many. However, if you’ve never been a fan of this particular holiday, it may not be so distinctive! As someone who has only ever begrudgingly gone along to sparkly parties on 31st December, I am quietly content that this year will be low-key. After all, simple doesn’t mean it has to be any less special.
I would encourage you too, to postpone your celebrations until that promised land of brighter days, come Spring. With a vaccine on its way and a tiny light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel, it seems fitting that we hold-off. Celebrate quietly at home, yes. But save the all-out merrymaking for that day when we can be together, hug and dance. It will come. And what an occasion.
Looking at the bigger picture
I believe our global fascination with the world of yoga, (yoga meaning ‘union’) is its all-encompassing power to sweep you off your feet, get you back into your body and away from the unnecessary striving and hustle that crowds your thinking-brain for every other hour of your day. I often think about how yoga seems to spark some kind of supernatural chain reaction, leading to greater self-awareness, greater intuitive knowing, greater…well, everything!
We need to look at the bigger picture here. It’s no good anymore to just feel you’re ‘smashing it’ at the gym, or feeling smugly ‘in control’ of an obsessive diet, or having the most beautiful skincare regime, if the rest of your life is in disorganised chaos. We need to tap into that intuitive knowing.
So, we go back to basics. We allow ourselves just a little slack. We start living more simply. We get out of our egos, and out of our head…and live more in our bodies and our hearts.
This is how I strive to consistently live my life, and the biggest lesson that I’ve learned throughout this, very different, year. This is also how, as a health professional, I feel our bodies, minds and souls respond best, as very busy, very stressed, totally overwhelmed, modern women.
Journalling Exercise to Ease Overwhelm
So, let’s use these principles, that need to dig a layer deeper, and apply it to a way to counter overwhelm. Ask yourself:
- Are any of my important relationships feeling strained?
- Am I feeling impatient, frustrated or over-emotional right now?
- Do I struggle to get enough time to myself, as a busy, modern woman?
- Am I constantly searching for my ‘next’?
- Do I fill my life with goals, events, activities and challenges…and never get a chance to simply be?
If your hand was creeping up for the majority of those (yes, I’m guilty too!) then chances are you’re beginning to be affected by overwhelm. And this downward spiral can rapidly lead towards burnout. Recognising this early is key.
Take a deep breath. Take out your pen and journal, make a cuppa and allow yourself some time to work through some of these issues. You don’t need concrete plans at this stage. You just need to draw a line under anything that no longer serves you.
So now ask yourself:
- What is wringing me of my joy?
- What can I let go of?
- Which metaphorical plates am I frantically spinning that I no longer need?
Then, what do we do?
We let some plates drop.
Some may smash. But they were obviously flawed.
Some will remain intact. And maybe, just maybe, in a while, when we feel ready again, we pick those plates back up, wash them and dry them lovingly, and stack them back in our life cupboards.
So how might ‘wellness’ look in 2021?
To me, being ‘fit’ is being mentally and physically strong enough to cope with life. It is waking up excited, feeling like you can take on the world and looking forward to the day ahead. It’s enjoying an absolute rainbow of different foods, alongside a variety of movement, experimenting, and finding what works for you.
In 2021, having suffered the year we all have, it’s more important than ever to buck the consumerist train of New Year resolutions, wave goodbye to the ‘New Year New You’ trend, and to instead have a realistic attitude to what works for your personality, your body, and what feels aligned to your values.
I for one have always strived to buck the social media tendency to post endless filtered photos of ridiculously perfect bums and abs, or videos of me lifting ridiculous weights. I have lost interest in the aesthetic side that the fitness industry has employed in recent years – it’s left a bitter taste. Instead I help women to be ‘your best you’, simply, to counteract overwhelm, find ease from chronic health issues and reap all the benefits that you deserve. With just a little hard work, naturally!
However the New Year looks for you, I truly hope you find time to reflect on the ways you’ve grown this year (there will be many) and how you can deepen this growth in 2021. No forcing. No struggle. Just an open mind and a little curiosity. Naturally.
And remember I’m here. The angel on your shoulder. Using my years of experience as a women’s coach…a personal trainer…a passionate yoga teacher…and a lover of communication. Taking you on a slow and mindful journey. Listen for the whispers!
(and I’d totally love you to subscribe to my emails, no more than twice monthly, to make sure you don’t miss out on how to live a more soul-led life. Please pop your details below!) I really cherish your support.
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