The Flowchart of Truth: Which Wellness Tribe Are You?
Whether you’re seeking NY resolution inspiration or just wondering if you’ll ever get around to wearing those £80 leggings currently staring at you accusatorially for not even cutting the tags off, finding your wellness tribe might just make 2018 go that little bit easier.
Because all the weight lifting in the world won’t help the 4 a.m. panic, an entire sun of SAD lamps will do nothing to get committed duvet lovers to a predawn exercise class and if you want to run a marathon, it’s going to take a bit more than lunchtime yoga on a Tuesday to get there. Work out exactly who you are, and the rest will come easily*.
Keep scrolling to find out which wellness tribe you belong to.
(*Well, not that easily, as you’ll still have to [mostly] leave the house.)
All gain, no pain could be your mantra. Wellness isn’t huge in your life right now, but this year you want to prioritise it. A bit. You’re seeking easy(ish), convenient tips and changes that take minimal effort with maximum payoff. Generally a low-stress person, you’d like to feel and look a bit healthier and offset guilt about your social life. Here’s your prescription.
DON’T join a new gym in January. Yes, we know this sounds like we’re giving you a licence not to exercise, but bear with us. The reason for this is that you probably won’t go, it will be a huge waste of money and you will feel miserable and guilty. Instead, commit to something convenient and cheap for January. Try a free app, to get you running (NHS couch to 5k is no-frills, but it does the job) or a YouTube class (Danielle Peazer has quick, fun and effective tutorials in short bursts of time), and if you stick with these for a month, then you’ll be more in a frame of mind to commit if you want to move on to something more formalised.
TRY meal prep. Yes, we know, you probably screengrab the earnest Sunday Tupperware–filling Instagram posts of the perfect girl at work who makes all her healthy meals for the week and send them to your friend with the rolling eye emoji. But she’s onto something. When you’re tired, cold and hungry, you’ll reach for the food of least resistance, and something healthy that’s ready and waiting will keep you from reaching for crisps while you wait for the toast to pop (no judgment here).
GIVE HIIT a chance. This sounds like it goes against your “no pain” principle, and we’re not going to lie, as it does hurt, but it only lasts for 20 minutes, and you can do anything for just over quarter of an hour, right? That’s probably the time you spent up against a stranger’s armpit on the train this morning. Easy! Try Joe Wicks 20-minute beginners HIIT routine.
Maybe you’re getting married this year and working towards your dream body, or perhaps you’ve had a baby or have signed up to your first triathlon—if you’ve got a definite aim this year, welcome to the goal-getter tribe. Highly motivated and willing to put the time in, you just need a bit of help to get there.
INVEST in a personal trainer. If you can afford one, then this could potentially make a huge change. Look for one specialised in your goal—e.g., someone with post-natal experience if you’ve had a baby and even if you can only stretch to a few sessions, ask all the questions you can, take notes and if they let you, even record them. Alternatively, if you have a friend with a similar goal, see if you can share and split the cost.
DON’T get bored. Or boring. If you’re the kind of person who’s signed up to some impressive feat, chances are that you’re also the kind of person who thrives on adrenaline and gets bored easily, so mix up your training as much as you can, join a group, get outside and try new things, as the moment your mind checks out, your body might too.
MAKE time for rest. Especially if your goal is time-orientated. Many’s the soon-to-be newlywed who has tried to fit in more exercise classes than there are hours in the weeks before their wedding, but giving your body time to recover is just as important.
Mind over chatter
If “frazzled” is the first word that comes to mind if we ask you how you are, then you’re probably a member of the M.O.C. tribe. You need to quiet that inner voice that shouts loudly at you 4 a.m. and keeps you up for the rest of the night, learn to manage your stress, think of wellness from a holistic point of view and put self-care higher up on your to-do list (notice that we didn’t say first, as we’re not entirely realistic).
MAKE time to meditate. If checking emails and social media is the way you always spend the first 15 minutes of your day, then switch this for a short meditation each morning. When you wake up is the perfect time to meditate, as your mind should be clear after a night of rest. Try a guided meditation app or YouTube tutorial to get you going.
GET outside. If your workouts take place inside a fluoro-lighted gym, you might be surprised at how you get an added hit of endorphins if you get moving outdoors. You can add even more benefits if you can get to somewhere green too, so make the effort to go to the nearest park.
PRACTICE more self-care. Okay, you might think of it as a marketing con made to sell £12 bath bombs and cashmere onesies. You M.O.C.’s are a cynical bunch after all (and yeah, you’ve got a point), but it doesn’t have to be about re-creating a scene from a White Company lookbook. Instead, think of something nice you’d do for a friend if they were staying with you and having a tough time, and do it for yourself. It can be anything from making the time to make a meal you really love or flopping in front of a comedy show for half an hour. Put it in your diary and make sure it happens.
Next up, living in the moment and how to make it work for you.