Many of us are still working through the grief cycle at the temporary closure of our gyms due to Covid. They still haven’t opened in Los Angeles. It’s been like that since March 2020.
Despite many months of half-hearted sit-ups in-front of the Telly (under the shadow and torment of the biscuit barrel) I find myself 4kgs heavier today than I was before the various lockdowns.
I was encouraged to get a TRX (and use it twice a week). I’m also playing tennis and going out running, but as much as I try to keep on top of my exercise, the nightime boredom combined with living a more sedentary life, sprinkled with a bit of loneliness has led to a “thicker” waist, as they say in Los Angeles.
It’s all sugar and it’s all around my belly, (not the most ideal place on a 40-something-year-old-man) and I think, surely, it can’t just be me, but then I see all the pictures of the hot bod’s on Instagram and wonder if those people exist in the same universe as me?
I’m really disciplined but I’ve been finding it really challenging to keep the weight off, but here’s the thing - I’m OK with it. This is because it’s not at the top, top, top of my priorities right now: my Mind Health is.
Multiple Lockdowns, let-downs, tiers, tears and confusion has left many humans like me with a realisation that working out your mind is just as important (or even more so) than maintaining a six pack right now (those with an unsatiable thirst for fame, and the need for validation from strangers and for the record might still be posting pics of their bare torso’s right now, may disagree – but then, that kind of makes my point).
Get your mind in shape with these supersets for the brain:
1) Positive Affirmations & Meditation
First thing I do in the morning is meditate. I sit up in bed or do it in a chair, my preference is Transcendental Meditation because it has been proven to reduce anxiety and you can do it anywhere. Ideally you practise it twice a day but once is enough if you can’t find the time.
The second thing I do in the morning is to read out aloud my positive affirmations to myself. You can make one yourself or find great examples on YouTube. It’s only 10 mins and when I can I will ideally do them to myself in the mirror.
I get up early to do this. It's only 30 mins before my day begins. Sometimes I might skip the meditation but always do my best to get one or both in. It sets me up to deal with the day ahead.
After meditation, I read for about 15 mins from personal development books. This is part of creating a calm equilibrium but also, it’s educating me to be better. Early in the morning (before everyone else is up) is usually the best time for me. Everybody knows that leaders are “readers” and the more you learn the more you earn. This 15 mins (or 10 pages) is essential. If I skip it in the morning, I will do it in the bathroom later… (we don’t need to go into too much detail here)
3) Take a break & ration the News & Social Media
I do like to understand what’s going on I the news but let’s be honest it’s not the most positive and inspiring right now. I will switch the news on in the evening to get what I need and only usually hang around for the headlines. When I’m working from home, I replace the radio (which I sometimes have on in the background) with Binaural Beats. Binaural Beats is music composed at a certain frequency which can encourage creativity, inspiration and calm etc
I am my own person and don't need the validation of strangers to make me feel good so the dependency on “likes” doesn't affect me but It's the comparison element I find most damaging. I can easily make myself feel less than so therefore I don't need to have my finger stapled to Twitter to experience FOMO or a fat free body. I ration my social media. I go on it maybe a couple times per day and don't spend more than 15-30 mins on it.
If I’m using it for business then, it may be more like an hour – but I’m not constantly scrolling and doing reels to take my head out of the game.
Stop multi-tasking and be in the moment. Do one thing at a time and giving it your full focus will help you maintain your calm. If you’re throwing your lunch down your neck, watching TV and scrolling through the internet – what’s the quality of your experience of life like? I mean, you won’t even taste or savour your food...slow down, chew much and take it easy…
5) Gratitude list
Before you go to bed, write down 5 things you’re grateful for. Have a list next to your bed. It really makes a difference. If you are feeling confident and want to pass it forward you can also text people who you’re grateful for too. This first mental step of appreciation is excellent for your mind health. We spend so much time trying to obtain what we don't have, (like the six pack) it’s often a good idea to be grateful for what we do.
Thank you, Mr Cadbury. I am grateful for you.