Reframing Lockdown: A Time to Add Meaning to our Movement
In lockdown, everything is without question amplified. The journey we’ve been on as human beings started out with panic, fear & uncertainty, yet we desire a sense of control through our daily experiences. Less has become more and small has become big, and with many driven by a physical element of movement, health & fitness, it’s important to take a step back from that at times and connect to how you actually feel – is your fitness regime ticking the box from both a physical and mental health standpoint?
Everybody is different – so you have to understand where you’re at and where you want to get to. Emotions are heightened, so if you’re an emotional eater, rather than snacking endlessly without thought, try questioning what healthy food looks like for you. It’s asking yourself; how can I find health & wellbeing despite the challenge of a new environment?
Being a remote worker can mean that your commute is from the bed to the desk, and with poor posture even more prevalent in a makeshift home ‘work’ environment, the simple concept of movement carries even greater importance. That’s not to say that needs to be a full-on exercise schedule, but merely a programme that starts with movement as a whole.
Exercise and movement is a chance to get out of our head and into our body and it is something that can happen through the day. It’s asking what does that look like for you?
ADJUSTING TO NEW ROUTINES
Your wellness routine may no longer fit a one-hour session, but for many, not going to that SoulCycle class or to the gym takes away an important element of what they do, and for some a level of interaction they require. That can mean heightened stress, and at times, smashing through that session is seen as the ‘solution’, in an environment of deemed heightened pressure.
We simply must take a step back to connect to how we feel in these moments, and ask ourselves, are the opportunities we are providing ourselves with to ‘sweat’ at home, truly enabling us to get back to feeling OK, strong and resilient?
In the current climate, I believe we’re developing less materialistic perspectives, and I feel that presents us with an opportunity to connect to how we feel rather than just how we look. There’s a blessing about seeing how you feel in yourself, not through the perceived eyes of the wider world, and I think it is that which can force us to engage in a new type of wellness routine where it’s OK to slow down a bit.
Each day we have the opportunity to live through our bodies and we must make time to give ourselves the gift of movement, but with the awareness that supports a feeling of freedom to construct our own positive environments. Step back from that mentality that places constraints on how hard or long your exercise regime should be and focus on what’s important and how you can get to a place of clarity and comfort. What’s going to add value for you?
THE GIFT OF MOVEMENT
A moment in the morning that’s dedicated to our body can set the tone for the day. Short breaks, stepping away from the desk, stretching, and walking outside are the small changes in behaviour that can support a big change in reality. I think we must recognise lockdown as a gift of simplicity in some ways – an opportunity for us to redefine and add meaning to things that we thought were insignificant and which now means something to us. Fitness is one of those things, and I think through simplicity, recognising newfound accessibility, and understanding meaning, we can achieve more.
Exercise has always been looked at as a luxury, but now it is a necessity. That little walk means a lot more as your break from stress. It can be your reset button. We don’t all have to try and be the next Mo Farah, but bitesize routines that we can implement can be more beneficial than our ‘program’ or ‘diet’.
Take that walk, stretch in the living room, or try out those bodyweight exercises. With more time to prep and plan, and in the comfort of your own home, you can still develop healthy exercise habits that you’re more likely to carry into the future. It’s taking a pause to understand where you’re at and what you’re doing, or exercise may no longer be providing the escape required by so many.
We must take a second to stop and assess current beliefs and behaviours, and understand how we can re-shape these effectively in order to not just continually strive on a physical level, but thrive and stay resilient in terms of our wider health and wellbeing. My philosophy is that we simply must provide ourselves with opportunities to ‘sweat’ on a daily basis, but do so in a way that allows us to feel good, calm and connected.
That’s something that’s spelt out loud and clear in my health and wellbeing app, JP4, and for me, we need to sit-up and recognise our fitness experience as a journey, rather than merely an intensive program which doesn’t help us feel good into the long-term. By adding meaning to our motion, providing ourselves with different ways to ‘sweat’ and not pressure to smash every workout, we can embrace exercise as an opportunity to create a healthy relationship with the self.
Jessie Pavelka is a globally acclaimed health, fitness and wellness expert, with 15 years experience as a PT. He is the co-founder of Pavelka Wellness – including consumer health and wellbeing app, JP4.
Pavelka Wellness aims to help people understand and engage with food and exercise in a healthy way to create a stronger relationship to the self. That extends to the challenging remote working landscape, and through their services, the Pavelka Wellness team also aim to help you increase your emotional intelligence to create strong outlooks, the support and power of others along your journey of growth and development not to be neglected. Pavelka Wellness have recognised the increased accountability of leaders and employers in the current climate, to launch a brand new remote working wellness guide alongside their consumer offering.