• Amy Gorman

Do you know when enough is enough?

I’ve had a lot of conversations in the last few weeks about the reality of ‘old’/post covid life coming back in. With that, the anxiety, reduction in sleep and increase in stress comes back in. How do you juggle it or decide that actually now is a good time to put your foot down and prioritise your health and needs?

I want to say that if you’re overwhelmed, you’re not alone in it.

Take a moment to think about:

  • The things you changed through the pandemic, how did it make you feel?

  • It’s easy to get back into having an active, even over-active, social life, but do you want it?

  • How does being busier make you feel?

  • Do you need to set new boundaries?

A little food for thought today. Looking at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs - yes, I’m getting a little theoretical here.

Where do you fit within them right now? How do you fit into it when you’re overwhelmed?

On a really good week, I want to push myself to do better and achieve my potential - I am reaching for those self-fulfillment needs. At this point, I set out time to study, read, find podcasts, nail my sleep/macros/training.

But on a week where I’m working more, have more social commitments or feel a little busier than normal, I may find that I have to focus only on physiological needs like getting good sleep (nailing my sleep hygiene), eating most of my meals in line with macros but likely not as much tracking, spending time around people that make me feel happy or comforted whilst things are stressful.

Meanwhile, some weeks, no matter how hard I try to plan there is just a little too much on and I can only think about meeting my basic needs to keep me functioning to a decent level and not undoing my hard work the rest of the time. During this time I’d focus on getting enough sleep (at least 6-7 hours would be a win, rather than the usual aim for 8+), eating good sources of food, with limited refined sugar and drinking plenty of water.

It’s ok to adjust to meet where you are at a given moment. It’s important to do it. This is the beauty of being able to understand yourself and what you need - you have the power to reach for and ask for what you need to achieve your goals or make yourself feel better on a given hour, day or week.

Through coaching, we’ve looked a lot at non-negotiable tasks, what is important to you, what are your values, what do you need to do each day to feel you are taking a step closer to where you want to be? This is why we often create morning and evening routines, so you can set yourself up well for the day both in the morning and the night before. Each day we create multiple opportunities for success.

We can take these non-negotiable tasks further and really dork out on it. Looking at the hierarchy of needs and marrying each stage up with our life.

Basic needs:

  • 7 hours of sleep

  • Limit phone time

  • Prioritise protein and veggies

  • Avoid sugar

  • Drink water

  • Walk

Physiological needs:

  • At least 7 hours of sleep

  • Where blue light blocking glasses for an hour before bed

  • Pre bed wins

  • Limit phone time

  • Switch off an hour before bed

  • Prioritise protein and veggies

  • Track three days a week

  • Avoid sugar

  • Drink water

  • Move

  • Get to the gym, run, or join a class on at least two days

Self-fulfilling needs:

  • At least 7 hours of sleep

  • Blue light blocking glasses

  • Sleep meditation

  • Journal

  • Daily wins

  • Limit phone time

  • Switch off after dinner

  • Prioritise protein and veggies

  • Track five days a week

  • Avoid sugar

  • Reduce caffeine

  • Reduce/cut out alcohol

  • Drink water

  • Move

  • Get to the gym, run, walk, mobilise or join a class each day

  • Study, read, do something to push yourself to learn and grow

  • Spend time with people that make life better

It’s easy to forget to do the things that make us feel good and happy when we generally feel good. We forget that doing these things feeds our endorphins and encourages more. Yet when we let things slip, we can start to feel deflated or unmotivated quite quickly. In the last couple of weeks I have reinforced the point that it is important to create a routine that works for you and feels sustainable, rather than everything feeling like it takes effort.

If everything feels like effort, spend 10 minutes now reviewing what’s going on and then the 50 after having a nap, or doing something restorative for yourself (that could be 30 minutes lying down and 20 minutes tidying the kitchen or sorting the floor-drobe).

In terms of preparing for success as life returns, you can create routines and structures even in what feels like an often unstructured environment.

  • Organise for a meal prep company or supermarket delivery on the same day each week (e.g. Sunday)

  • Set aside 20 minutes each week to review your calendar for the week ahead and plan out what is going in your order

  • Dedicate at least one night (ideally 2-3) each week to having no plans

  • Do something specifically for you once a week - early night, bath, read your book, go for a walk with a coffee, take a nap, call a loved one

  • Plan in 1-2 WFH days a week if you know it helps you feel in control

  • Prioritise movement where you can, this doesn’t need to be a full-on HIIT session or max out lifting day, a walk will do just fine, and if you’re stressed, a walk would probably be better for you

  • Ask for a meal plan or look at meals you enjoy and work out a way to make them simple and easy (thoughtless) for when life is busy

  • Stock up the freezer with ready prepared meals cooked by you to make life easier in a hurry

  • Don’t look too far ahead - you only need to look 20 minutes ahead, not 20 hours and certainly not 20 days, looking too far into the future adds to the stress and the feeling of no control

  • Stop, breathe and count your good moments

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