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Keeping your focus this winter

Updated: Oct 31, 2020

So, it looks like it might be a long winter. I don’t know about you, but the prospect of increased restrictions, darkness and the wet weather doesn’t fill me with joy.

So how do we keep our spirits up this winter? This question is entirely personal, but I thought I’d share how I try to stay motivated.

1. Get outside

The nights are ‘drawing in’ but I’ve learnt the importance of going outside, whatever the weather. Our circadian rhythms mean we need natural light and when I force myself out for a drizzly lunchtime run, I always feel better than when I sit at my desk at home. I’ve made a commitment to myself to hold onto my lunch break, however busy I am.

2. Stay active

When the days are so short it’s tempting to stay in and be sedentary. If possible, I try to keep moving, whether that’s a 20-minute walk, a 5-minute stretch or an online HIIT session. I always say to myself; ‘something is better than nothing.’

3. Stay connected

It’s widely understood that this as an important element of mental wellbeing, so I always try to make sure I keep in touch with friends and family, even if it’s a quick Zoom call (yawn – but at least the Zoom quizzes have gradually eased!). You could start a new hobby – colleagues tell me about their online poker games, reading groups and baking challenges.

4. Prioritise your wellbeing

It’s easy to get caught up with work or general worries when the pressure is on. Some of you are teachers working in challenging circumstances, or maybe you have a physically tiring job like gardening. You may be hunched over a desk with a far-from-ideal setup at home all day. Whatever your situation, prioritise you – get enough rest and sleep, reduce stress when you can and do things that make you happy.

5. Introduce Pilates into your daily routine!

It took me a while to realise that Pilates can happen outside your weekly class. It can be simply being aware of your posture, engaging your core while moving around during the day, or having a quick stretch before a meeting or when you wake up. Why not end your day with a gentle rolldown or shoulder bridge? Balancing is something that can calm you too – stand in your neutral posture, engage your core, keep your hips level, lift your knee to hip height and just breathe.

Don't forget, there are some short classes available to do anytime on my Facebook page.

Stay safe and I hope to see you on the mat soon.

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