on strong foundations
tldr; create strong daily foundations: 1) identify frustrations, adjust, fix. 2) identify inefficient routines or habits, adjust, fix. 3) free up space in your mind and body. 4) breath easier.
i use the first 5 minutes of each of my classes to guide my beloved #fitfam through a series of stretching. we loosen the body and prime the muscles and the mind for the work we are about to do. often i talk about what we are doing and feeling as we stretch and offer my version of a muscle scan to check in with sensation, intention, and listening. other times i might talk about my recent technology struggle or special events coming up. but sometimes, like this morning for example, i talk about setting up your foundation - but not in the way you might think.
if you've taken my classes you know i harp on (read: broken record status) physical foundations quite a bit in my queueing: shoulders over wrists, elbows spiral forward, fingers spread wide and claw the ground, hips level, core tight, glutes & quads squeeze or legs hips width apart, weight evenly distributed from toe to heel with a micro bend in the knees, core tight, hips go back, chest stays high. i don't repeat this over and over to hear myself talk or because i don't know what else to fill the silence with, i promise. i do it because of the profound feedback i see in my zoom squares after suggesting these adjustments. the shifts forward into a stronger, level plank. the realignment of the knees under the hips in a bear crawl variation. the raise of the chest in a squat. these foundations ensure safety and they support efficiency and effectivity in your training. and in time, these foundations strengthen and become muscle memory: your brain listens to these queues on repeat and ultimately trains the body to remember how it feels to be properly aligned with out even having to think about it.
this morning's 5 minute ramble was not about setting strong physical foundations, though - i got you during class on that one. instead, it centered around setting solid daily foundations in your life. more specifically, for my badasses it focused on starting your day with a work out, taking time for you, and being damn proud of that. because for some (probably most) this morning, simply being there for class sets that foundation. it revs up the body and jump starts the mind to have a stellar day and that is why you come. but of course, like all things human, the ingredients of a strong daily foundation are wildly personalized. maybe getting your workout done in the morning isn't part of your recipe; OK, yes, cool - so, what is? how can you set yourself up to have LITERALLY the best day possible? let's dive in, shall we?
i challenge you to start by asking yourself this: how can i 1) identify energy sucking or inefficient habits or routines in my day and then 2) create shifts, micro adjustments, or realignments to achieve more balance in my life, headspace in my mind, or productivity with my time (or a sweet cocktail with some of each)?
i've thought about the question above a lot this year and i'll share with you the shifts i've incorporated into my life to clear my mind, remedy stress, overwhelm, frustration, and anxiety (hey randy, you can fuck off). and i will preface with this: many of these may seem so simple but they have literally been game changers for me. they also may not be for you because remember, your list of ingredients will be different than mine. your work will be curating your own recipe and applying it to your life.
daily musts - these have helped me to save time, get organized and prioritize, and stay present. i do each of these every single day and they have become non negotiables.
get coffee ready the night before and program that brew - if you don't have a coffee pot w/ a timer, do yourself a solid and get one!
tidy up my living space before bed - i. hate. messes. and i especially hate starting my day cleaning up crap from the night before. whether it is dishes being put away, a quick countertop clean, or changing the trash bag - no mess is left behind; i need to start fresh every morning.
write a daily To Do list - i have a notebook dedicated to this. i grab a cup of coffee and start my day by writing out all my 'must do's' and my 'might get to's'. checking things off makes me feel productive and the categories help to not overwhelm!
draw a tarot card - guidance or reflection, this is always the first thing checked off my 'to do' list
make the bed - might seem silly, but it is something i do everyday. to me, it is symbolic of a new day starting and i always look forward to crawling into a neat bed to end the evening.
micro adjustments with macro effect - each of these categories is filled with things that help alleviate stress, no matter how small because it is all part of a larger whole.
keep things where you use them most - this is surprisingly a huge a deal for me. it ensures i stay committed to training pemi, or take care of my skin, or get cleaning done that i know will make me feel productive. here are a few examples:
- chap stick - i have burt's bees errrrrywhere. in my car, on my desk, by my bed...etc
- dog treats - i have dog treats errrrrrywhere - i got these little containers for easy access
- bathroom cleaning supplies - i keep them under the sink of each bathroom in my house
- face wash in the shower - the only way i will get it done
find solutions for things that regularly frustrate you - every single thing on this list is something that would annoy me. why is my phone charger NEVER long enough? i hate that my water bottle is rolling around on the seat in my car, etc. name these things and fix them immediately. your future self will thank you.
- car cup holder extender for my chunky hydroflask or nalgene or yeti (thank you, sophie)
- calendar reminders for things that sneak up (car inspection, snow tire apt, annual payments)
- purge - clean space, clean mind. ditch the clutter.
- drink water - im a check-er off-er. my water goal now goes on my to do list and it gets done.
stereotypical self care is still self care - splurge or free...these keep me happy, healthy, and my 'treat yo'self' tank is full, hunny
nails - i treat myself to a manicure twice monthly
invest in better quality products and services - especially if it goes on your skin or in your body (that sounds weird, but you know what i mean)
massage - a monthly MUST for this bod
alone time - you know this is how i get my recharge on
there you have it - my ingredients to realign and create the tastiest recipe for a strong, daily foundation that allows me to spend my energy most effectively and efficiently. the best part? it's all muscle memory now. as with our physical foundations, yours is personal to you. work to name what isn't working, find that sweet spot, take deeper breaths, set yourself up for greatness.