As the seasons change, not only do we have to change our diets and the way we exercise but we also need to adopt a new mindset in the way we approach our fitness and health lifestyle.
With the second lockdown under way, we need to dig extra deep for the functioning of our emotional wellbeing and how we deal with the winter months ahead of us. The first lockdown may have been a little easier to get out for exercise and long walks which may prove to be more difficult as we enter winter season.
Stress, anger , tension, frustration, anxiety, SAD (seasonal affective disorder, a type of depression that some people experience during the winter months), depression, uncertainty, unhealed wounds and trauma will be just certain emotions we will be faced within lockdown, in my opinion the change of season may heighten emotions on a deeper level for different people.
As an athlete the change of seasons has always taught me that nothing EVER STAYS FOREVER not even the weather!!!! Who we become in the cold and short days is what separates us from being average and stepping into our greatness. Lockdown has now further added to the mental burden and more than anything we need exercise as a coping mechanism to get us by.
“Survival of the fittest” is not something that we can follow now, neuroscience has taught me it is the “Survival of the one who can ADAPT quickly” This is the root concept that grew in Darwin’s theory of natural selection
Our perception of the world has to modify in order for us to thrive beyond what we are truly capable of.
This can be a harsh time for us humans, the days are short and the sun isn’t here to fuel our happy moods.
My Boxing days taught me that true champions are created in the times when no one else is doing the work, it also taught me everything I need to know about grit, resilience and determination to get the work done and this is how I will be approaching lockdown and fitness in winter. We all need to come out of the comfort and do what we need to do to evolve.
My ethos is always how do I become better than the average version of myself and this way of thinking has continued many years later and I am so grateful for it. It is like building a mental callous in my mind to not drop my guard and let my emotions get the best of me. I don’t always succeed but fitness is the first place I go to every time I need to reset or reflect. It has also helped me to let go off the negative stagnant energy and find a new perspective of things that confuse me or create discomfort in my thinking process.
Using sports and fitness as a tool to look after your mental health is something, we all need to prioritise. It will definitely aid us not to fall into bad habits, get sad or depressed, (or help us minimise it)
Your mental health really needs you and this not the time to compromise on your fitness goals.
This is not a time to chase an aesthetic look, we have to detach ourselves away from wanting the hardest core or strongest glutes and chase a FEELING. Feeling good, feeling happy, feeling great, the things that will allow us to be mentally stable right now.
Our thoughts have control over our feelings
Our feelings then control our actions
Our actions then control our behaviour
Fitness allows us to have access to our happy moods and research shows that those who exercise tend to be more cheerful than those who never exercise.
Things you can do for winter fitness this lockdown
1. Ask yourself WHO you want to become this period.
This is a very powerful question I ask myself every day and I live in that persona. It allows me to use my imagination of my future self, most importantly it makes me feel happier that I am in control and it takes me away from the current situation a little bit.
An example will be: I want to become STRONGER or POWERFUL
Most people really have no idea who they are, use lockdown to REFLECT and go INWARDS to discover the things that make you joyful. This could be the time you discover a new passion or a new hobby.
2. Top up on your D3 supplements
Our moods change significantly in winter, no surprise, the lack of sunlight and short days makes us want to not participate in life and it requires a lot of effort to not slip into bad habits.
One of the best things I do is top up more on my vitamin d3 supplements.
D3 is known as the “sunshine/happy vitamin” Your mood may improve with as little as 10 minutes of sun exposure. This is why light therapy is an important treatment for SAD.
Vitamin D3 is something that helps me regulate my mood swings and also can beat the winter blues.
If you want a halal vitamin d3 I use a halal and vegetarian certified go to Hashmat.com
(Use #Nazia10 for a little discount)
Make sure you go out for walks during the day time. This will help elevate your energy and mood. If you are someone who cannot leave the house then sit in the garden or front yard for 30 mins every day.
3. Do your daily affirmations and do it relentlessly everyday
We are now retraining our subconscious mind
I am enough
I am loved
I am safe
I am doing better than yesterday
Sport psychology is a complex and intriguing one, athletes prime themselves for months or years on end to perform at the end but the training is where they overcome obstacles and create a good positive mental attitude. Affirmations are a huge thing for athletes as it makes then believe in themselves above anything else.
4. Create a plan and stick to the routine.
This is vital, without a plan most people fall off the band wagon, think about your new year’s fitness goals. You jump in because everyone else is doing it and by Feb/March it’s all back to square one. For this winter lockdown demand more from yourself and by sticking to a plan will create momentum to keep you inspire and motivated. If you need help, I will be offering online coaching so please get in touch
5. Write a gratitude journal everyday
Though I encourage everyone to exercise I also cannot emphasise that it is a tool we use to look after our mental wellbeing. In Lockdown it may be easy to feel negative hence why it is important for us to refocus our thoughts to the things we are grateful for. Research shows that gratitude can rewire our brains to feel positive and if we can have access to an ounce of feeling positive and happy then I suggest we all do what it takes to get us there.
Let me know if this article has helped, I will be offering ONLINE coaching please email me on email@example.com and lets get started on feeling good!!!!
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Sports woman of the Year 2018