How many of you are on your 15th diet of the year so far? How many of you keep trying, over and over to get out and exercise, meditate or simply relax, but find that you just don't have the time? How many of you are struggling to implement healthy habits, but seem to end up going right back to the unhealthy habits that are weighing you down?
You may be asking yourself, "Is there something else I can do?"
The answer may be -- yes!
If you've ever watched shows like The Biggest Loser, you may have been seriously impressed by the amazing progress that participants make. They learn about proper nutrition and exercise, and they lose weight -- a lot of it!
There's something else you may have noticed in watching these types of shows; the participants are completely removed from their everyday lives. There are no jobs to go to, kids to be picked up from school, laundry, housework or annoying in-laws to deal with.
This leaves the participants with an opportunity to spend the entire time working on one thing and one thing alone -- themselves!
"You are the most important project you will ever work on!"
I tell this to my health coaching clients all the time and depending on their current situation, there is a variety of reactions. Some get angry, "You doesn't understand my life." Some cry "This is the first time anyone has given me permission to work on myself." Some clients are immediately fearful, "I am afraid to make changes, even the healthy ones." And one I hear very often, "My spouse/best friend/coworker (insert person here) won't be supportive."
Think about it. You start a new diet, but your spouse is still a pizza junkie and is chowing down on an extra cheese, extra meat deep dish while you're picking at your salad. You start a new exercise routine and are diligent about it for the first three days, then the kids get sick or your work schedule changes and suddenly you can't make it to the gym.
You may be deciding to change but the people and things around you aren't. That's why getting out of your element, even for a short period of time, can give you that much-needed time to focus on yourself and help you create healthy new ways of doing things.
While most of us don't have the incredible opportunity to go away for months at a time where everything is prepared for us, a change of scenery may be just the recharge you need to finally take control of your health and well-being.
"That's all good and well," I can hear you saying, "But HOW?" Well, here you go.
One hour: If all you have is an hour, spend 10 minutes meditating. Close your eyes, quiet your mind and focus on your breathing. Then, go out for a brisk, 30-minute walk, and finally, come home and enjoy a relaxing 20-minute bath. Try to see if you can rearrange your schedule to fit that hour in at least once a week.
Half a day: Can you schedule a day off when everyone else is at school or work? Great! Take yourself on a date. Go to the movies, go to a nice restaurant and use the time eating alone to pay attention to the food on your plate. Chew slowly, enjoy the flavor, texture, and aroma. Take a yoga class. Go for a run. Engage in something that you can do alone to reconnect with yourself. Be sure to pay attention to every element of your day and notice how you feel at each turn.
Whole day: If you can get a whole day to yourself, congratulations! Start the day with a healthy breakfast and then take yourself out for an excursion. Go to an art gallery or a museum. Go for a hike, take a walk in the park, or visit a museum. Drive to the beach and feel the sand in your toes. Do something that you know will relax you but be sure to also get in some exercise. If you have the funds, spend the day at a spa where you can really focus on your health and wellness. At the end of the day, journal about your experience and make it a point to book another day when you can get away.
Need a longer break? Going away to a spa or to a health retreat is a wonderful way to hit the reset button. They can be pricey, but so worth it for those that can make it work. Many spas in big cities offer day packages if you can't swing actually going away. If you can get away for a few days, check out some health retreats in your area and book three or four days or even just a weekend.
Getting out of your element and spending time focusing on yourself may be just what you need to jump-start your health by putting you on a focused effort of self-care. Once you return from your retreat, be sure to work those healthy habits into your everyday life.
Need a recommendation on a really great retreat? I've got you covered. Visit here for information on an amazing set of retreats coming up this fall.