The constant go and grind are put on a pedestal, even when it burns out our nervous system. Feeling we have to keep going, and doing too much is the norm.
I’ve fallen into this trap before. It leads to stress, resentment, and I’m sure has contributed to my gray hair.
This summer was an act of resistance to the hustle culture. Taking breaks and realigning are essential practices with Pilates and in life. Over the summer I took intentional breaks from Pilates, and intentional and not so intentional breaks from social media, and writing.
Taking time to realign both personally and professionally was essential.
Health is a top priority. If I don’t feel good, run down, or in a bad mood, it affects me, my family and the business. And since being present for my family is another priority, my health really matters. So this year, I’ve stuck to keeping a consistent workout routine. Some days this means a short class. Other days it’s an active recovery session. There are even times to take breaks, because it’s healthy.
During summer we travel a lot. Some years I rolled out my Pilates mat and would workout on our camping trips. This year that didn’t happen. I focused on what we were doing like paddle boarding, hiking, or even short evening walks. Sure I threw in some picnic table stretches too, but overall I added variety and rest to my typical workout routine this summer.
No matter if you work for someone else or yourself, the grind of business today isn’t sustainable or realistic. I refocused on the top priorities for the business.
- The Trifecta Pilates Membership Experience
- The Professional Development Courses (TIPA & Teacher Training)
It’s easy to get caught up in the race of doing everything all the time like posting to social media. And there are so many people saying we need to always be posting on social media, or writing a consistent blog entry for our business. This summer that didn’t fall into alignment with my top priorities. And in the past there has been guilt associated with this, but not this time around.
Taking time away from some areas in the business helped us make progress in other areas.
We wrapped up a major update to the Membership Experience and are launching the Pilates Mat Teacher Training this fall.
And this time around I didn’t sacrifice my health. I wasn’t staying up until all hours of the night or skipping workouts to get a project complete. I was a better person for myself, my family, and the business because I had more focus and intention.
I’m taking this energy with me into the Fall Season. Just yesterday it was focusing on what I could do with a shorter workday so that I could attend a game for my oldest across town. This impacted how long I had to workout, and what I could get checked off my list. But I left the day feeling so much better because I carved time out for myself, and was realistic of what I could do.
This is also what helped:
- Tracking my time during the day for projects, workouts, breaks, everything. From there it’s easier to create a realistic schedule.
- Grounding taking time off in science. The body needs breaks to function. With workouts every few months taking time off will help you make gains later. And as long as you have a consistent routine, when you take time off, strength gains last up to 4 weeks.
- Lifestyle fitness counts as physical activity. It doesn’t always have to be structured with a workout. Pickleball, hiking, it all counts.
- Working in a more focused way helps with productivity personally and professionally. List all your goals, circle your top goals, and focus on those. You can always come back to the other items later.
My encouragement is to focus on the present, connect to your priorities, and be open to making adjustments. It’s time to ditch the guilt and align with what’s optimal for your goals.