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Pace Yourself

We’ve all seen ads that make weight loss promises. Losing weight is about as individual as our fingerprints. Something that works for one person may or may not work for someone else. Today I am going to share a success story with you. One of my clients lost 10 lbs over the first 5 weeks of the COVID-19 lockdown. I would like to tell you that I’m a miracle-worker but the truth is that I only played a small part in the process.

We are still in a state of lockdown thanks to COVID-19 but it’s warm and sunny outside. My guess is that most of us are going to take spring cleaning to a whole new level. What else is there for us to do? There are windows to clean, cars to wash, garages to sweep, lawns to rake and seeds to plant. Depending on where you live the list could be vast and the workload demanding. 

This year I’m changing my approach to the tackling of spring chores. Last August I moved from a postage stamp sized property in downtown Ottawa to a much bigger space in Haliburton. I can’t look in any direction without seeing leaves to rake or branches to prune or a garden to weed. It could be overwhelming both physically and emotionally. It’s easy to get lost in a task and lose track of time. Then there’s the “I’ll just rake up these leaves over here and then take a break” and another hour disappears. Sure more gets done but not without sacrificing energy for something else (like writing this article) or feeling the aching muscles tomorrow. Setting a schedule and sticking to it has been my answer.

The first step in the process is deciding it will be okay to leave something unfinished. In fact, sometimes that makes it easier to get back to doing it. It takes away the decision of what to do next. Sometimes I find that a little paralyzing. I try to prioritize the tasks in my mind; I get overwhelmed so I look at Facebook instead. Then I find myself wondering where the day went. I can’t be the only one who does that, or can I?

The next step is set the schedule for the day. Balance between physical and mental tasks. This morning after seeing clients online, I spent two 1-hour periods trimming shrubs. There was a lunch break between the shrub work. Fuelling and hydrating are necessary. The key is to not stop for too long or there’s the risk of the loss of momentum and stiffening muscles.

After the second hour in the shrubs I cleaned things up enough that I can easily go back to do more either later today or tomorrow. I had a snack and water, now I am writing. Even when it comes to the mental tasks pacing is also a good idea. Soon I will get up and stretch so that I don’t turn into one big muscle contraction later on today.

There was a time I use to work until I would almost fall down. Sure I got more done but I’m pretty sure I didn’t enjoy myself as much as I am now. If there’s something to learn these days thanks to the Coronavirus is that we do need to stop and smell the roses … or whatever is blooming in your garden.

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