PAURIC GRIMES: How much time do we really have for self care?

By Pauric Grimes

AT the weekend, I chatted with a man about getting started on a new training regime in January. He was keen to get plans in place to hit the ground running come 2023. Man talked a good game, I’ll give him that.

He did leave me one loose thread hanging in front of my nose the whole time though. Begging to be pulled. And I did.

“Why are you waiting ‘til the new year to start? What’s stopping you from getting stuck in now?”

He fumbled over his response, bouncing from “I’ve got nothing organised” to “sure it’s nearly Christmas” all the way around to “I’ve too much on at the minute.”

I picked each one apart. This guy had meticulously planned what his January was going to look like, so the idea of not being organised was a convenient excuse. That it was nearly Christmas was quickly dismissed off the table. For one, close is a relative term, if six weeks away is too close to get to work then we’re all in bother with what you have planned to do when the big day actually does arrive.

And the final argument that he has too much on, well that’s exactly the place I’d encourage anyone who’s on the fence about beginning to make some positive changes to their fitness routine to start.

If you have ambitions to lose weight, get fitter, stronger and become a healthier version of yourself then quite often we look at what we can add on top of how we approach our day-to-day life.

My advice at this point would be the opposite – what can you take away?

What can you reduce that will help you get closer to your end goal instead of spreading yourself even thinner and potentially setting yourself up for overwhelm and burnout?

Could you reduce the amount of time you spend on your phone?

I’ve lost count of the number of people I’ve spoken to who have used a lack of time as an excuse to not do X, Y or Z only to find that they spend an unhealthy amount of time on their phones.

I’m not saying fire the phone in the bin, I know the craic all too well that it’s needed for work, for Whatsapp, emails and the like. But if you go to settings and do a screentime review you might be surprised at how much time Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Reddit and all the rest absorb time from your day. So, could you cut back on screen time by 20 per cent?

And if done successfully, all of a sudden you’ve acquired some new time in your day that could be spent tackling another area where a large number seem to struggle – food prep.

Before we look at food prep, going back to what you could reduce before you look at adding more to your proverbial plate, do junk food, fast food and alcohol come into the conversation?

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