I’d like to introduce Erin Heard. Yes, she’s a Zumba instructor, but really, she’s so much more! Erin has a brilliant light about her that she uses to pursue and achieve her goals, and more importantly, she isn’t afraid to use that light to bring out the best in others! You can find Erin on Instagram @erinheard and also at Moon Soul Studios teaching Zumba and Meditation.
A Healthy Body Nourishes a Healthy Mind and Life
Today, let’s talk about the connection between physical well being and mental well being. Regular exercise can have a profoundly positive impact on depression, anxiety, and more. It also relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts your overall mood. Just twenty minutes a day is enough to release those feel good endorphins!
For me, that means physical movement every single day, in some form. It not only helps me maintain a healthy body, but also helps keep my mental and emotional well-being in check.
Getting Moving With a Baby
In my early parenting years, mom and baby dance and fitness classes I could take while I wore my babies and toddlers helped me stay active. I also found spaces that had a safe place for my little ones to play while I worked out. That space and community of like minded women helped me find my own groove in life and over time helped me keep my emotional and mental well being in good order. We all helped shape each other as parents and women.
As time moves on, and seasons of life change, I’ve moved through various stages of claiming the time I need for me to take care of me. Because when my physical health declines, my mental health declines, and I am a less productive person, less organized, more irritable, etc etc.
I know the struggle well, fellow moms. We have so much on our plates on a day to day basis; work, children, relationships, family, household chores, extra errands, and hopefully somewhere in there our own goals and dreams we’re working towards.
“There’s no time”, “I’m too tired”, “I don’t like working out”, “I don’t have access to childcare/gym”. Etc..
But it’s time to make YOU a priority more often. Start small and find something that works for you! Find a time of day where you can reclaim that twenty minute window for yourself to move:
- Wake up an extra half hour ahead of your normal alarm to do a yoga or fitness video. (YouTube is a great resource here). I often leave my workout clothes by my bed so I can change and move before my body decides to go back to bed.
- Join a lunchtime or evening class and enjoy connecting with other like minded people. This is supposed to be a fun activity for you to look forward to, and it’s okay to “shop around” to find the class/instructor/group that fits your vibe. Grab a friend and take them along for an active social outing!
- Watch your favorite show on Netflix while getting some time in using your treadmill/elliptical/bike for something other than a laundry rack.
- Go for a walk on your breaks, fresh air is a bonus if it’s not too cold outside!
- Get the family to join you for a walk or hike on the weekends. Go explore a new park with your kids.
- And never discount the fun that’s had in a kitchen dance party!
As my kids grow, my own needs and time shifts with them. I joined a gym for a couple of years and used the childcare there. I found workout equipment in kijiji and made a dedicated space in my basement to get my movement in. (Although you’ll still find weights stashed behind couches for days I don’t make it to the basement!) We have a beautiful community of women in our Zumba class that have come together to move and celebrate our bodies in all shapes and forms, and all the highs and lows that life brings. I found a yoga studio where I really connect with my instructors and fellow students. All of these small things add up over time, and help me to keep an uplifted state of mind, be more productive in my day to day live, and have a connection outside of being mom.
What are some of the ways you can find movement within the routines and rhythms of your days?