We hope you enjoyed a little break over Easter. You may have been able to get out of town for a little rejuvenation, or perhaps you just allowed yourself a break away from your usual routine. Taking a break, whether it’s from work or your usual fitness and food regime should be considered a good thing! When taking a break is part of your overall plan it can help you to avoid burnout.
Rest and recovery is essential!
Hopefully you’ll return to “normality” feeling motivated and rejuvenated. When breaks are properly planned in they can also help you to get fitter and stronger when you return, because your body has been allowed the rest and recovery that it needs from time to time.
Sometimes however, you might have tipped the scales a little further than anticipated. Maybe you overindulged a little more than you intended or slept a little less than you really needed? This might leave you feeling flat and demotivated especially if you’ve taken a complete break from moving your body. If you feel like you need a bit of a push to get yourself back in the swing of things, try these top tips to re-find your motivation.
Reframe your self-talk
It’s easy to be hard on yourself if you’re feeling flat or demotivated. The first step is to listen to your own self-talk. If your self-talk is limiting, start by reframing your thoughts to help you get moving again.
Here are some examples of things you might think or say after being inactive and/or over-indulging, along with a few ways to reframe them:
Limiting self talk:
“I’ve ruined all the gains I was making before”
“Taking a break from routine can help me return fitter and stronger once I get back into things”
Limiting self talk:
“I’m feeling too tired and flat to start exercising again”
“I’m going to take it easy on my first day back and do something I really enjoy. I’ll do just enough to get my body moving again and re-energise myself”
Listen to the language you’re using with yourself and decide whether it’s serving you. If it’s not, think of some ways to reframe it.
Use your own motivational tool kit
When you understand your own intrinsic and extrinsic motivators you’ll find it easier to get yourself back on track. Perhaps you enjoy working out with a buddy or in a group, or you’ve got some motivational workout music up your sleeve that really gets you going? Understand what motivates you personally and use that knowledge to help you get back on track [find out more in “What to do when you’ve lost motivation this early in the year”]
Focus on adding to your body
Don’t dwell on what you might have eaten over the Easter break. That has been and gone now and it’s time to focus forward! Rather than focusing on what not to eat (e.g. “I’m not eating any chocolate for the next month”), instead focus on what you ARE going to put into your body.
What nourishing food choices can you make?
Can you focus on filling half your dinner plate with vegetables, having fruit with breakfast, or maybe simply drinking more water? All these things focus on ADDING to your body, rather than depriving yourself of something. When your body is filled with nourishing, nutrient rich food your energy levels will gradually start to increase again. You’ll find that you’ll reach for less of the sweet stuff without even thinking about it.[You can also try these healthy eating tips for busy people].
Other than food, what other nourishing choices can you make for your body to help rejuvenate yourself? Can you make a point of getting out in the sunshine and/or spending some time in nature? Do you need to go to bed a little earlier the first week while you’re getting back into things?
Think about the big picture
If you generally lead a fit and healthy lifestyle, the odd setback or bump in the road won’t affect your long term progress. In fact, bumps in the road are an inevitable part of an overall health and fitness plan. Sometimes you might get sick or injured, and then you’ll need to slowly ease yourself back into a routine when the time is right.
The 80-20 principle
Unintended overindulgence or lack of movement over a short period of time is the same. It may set you back momentarily. However, overall it’s not a big deal. Perhaps you’ve heard about the 80/20 principle? If you lead a fit and healthy lifestyle most of the time (80%) and don’t sweat it for the other 20% you should find that you’re moving forward and improving overall.
The 80/20 principle could be applied on a general week to week basis, and also over a longer period of time. Perhaps the weekend is part of your 20%, or the recent Easter break was part of your 20%. Overall, avoid an “all or nothing” mind-set to help achieve a happy, healthy overall balance in the long term.
What choices will you make to rejuvenate yourself and re-find your motivation?
Now it’s time to take action on the principles above that resonate with you. What aspects will you focus on to help you get back on track? What have you done in the past which has helped? Please share your thoughts in the comment box below!