With Summer incoming, and being half way through the year, now is the perfect time to have a little reflection on your goals and see where you’re at! With the lighter mornings and evenings, a hint of sunshine and that cold chill finally thawing, Summer is when we can see our yearly plans as more achievable and feel like we are ready to tackle the challenges. 

In order to focus more on you this year, and kick this off to a strong start for Summer, we have broken this down in to four manageable steps; Better Sleep, Better Nutrition, Reduce Stress, and Move More. These mottos are always good advice, however we are celebrating the launch of our brand new FOCUS programme, your very-own Pilates programme that will inspire you to move more every week!

Here are the 4 key ways to focus on you this Summer:

Better Sleep

  • This starts by regulating your circadian rhythm, or rather your sleep and wake times. Try to get up at the same time every day, and go to sleep at the same time every night. This should ideally include a 7-9 hour sleep period.
  • Get outside in natural light as early as you can, preferably within the first 30 minutes of waking. This also improves your circadian rhythm. 
  • Try to eat your last meal/snack 2-3 hours before your bedtime to allow digestion to occur and your body to settle when you do go to bed.
  • Turn the lights down low 2 hours before bed to allow melatonin (the sleep hormone) to rise and acknowledge it is nearly time to sleep.
  • Have a calming evening routine, perhaps take a shower or bath, reduce noise and screen time, read a book, or even light a candle. 

Better Nutrition

What you consume really does affect how you feel. Here think wholesome foods rich in fruit, veg, nutrients, vitamins and minerals, with plenty hydration. Think more about what you are adding in to your diet rather than trying to cut out all the “bad” things first. Over time you want to try to gradually reduce the amount of high-processed foods ie. Fast-foods, meals that can be done in the microwave, those with extra additives and preservatives, those with a long-shelf life (usually, there may be some exceptions!). But essentially any foods that you can’t make with ingredients in your cupboards are often ultra-processed and are usually higher in fats, salts, and/or sugar. 

Reduce Stress

Everyone faces different levels of stress, whether it is acute stress in the moment or short-term, or the build-up of stress that becomes chronic. Prevention is the key factor here and to find ways to keep up top of things before they become overwhelming. 

  • Set boundaries. Try to stick to specific times for work, and ensure you build in time for other things such as reading, or walking outside so that these are not always last minute- or forgotten about altogether.
  • Get outdoors daily. Research is now strong on how being in nature lowers our stress levels. Green space, trees, any form of nature. It is also a great way to get away from screen time!
  • Fine a creative hobby. This can be anything from drawing, doodling, baking, sewing, home decor etc. Creativity is fantastic for your mental health- it re-directs your thoughts and focus, even if it is only temporary, it can reduce stress and anxiety at that time and, eventually this can become more prominent. 

Move More

Regular movement releases feel-good endorphins, as well as providing time to focus on you and remove external distractions. Current guidelines suggest we undertake at least 2 forms of strength training per week and complete approx. 150 minutes of exercise per week. Choose something you enjoy to make forming the habit easier. Some stretches if you are sedentary a lot of the time, or some strength work to keep your body strong and injury free. 

Pilates can be the perfect addition to your lifestyle as it compliments almost every other form of exercise, and is a great way to move your body, feel strong, and provide a mindful space. It is a great blend of mobility and stretches, and strengthening work that involves the whole body. It is non-impact so your joints are protected, whilst providing strength challenges to the upper body, lower body, and your core. 

If you’d like to move more and have 3 brand new Pilates classes every week for the entire programme, you can start the new Focus Programme today! Start your 7-day free trial today here! This programme is available now to current members as part of their Freshly Centered Online membership. The programme also helps shift your focus to you with three additional resources; a yearly planner to focus your goals, a daily planner, and a habit tracker! 

See you in the Focus programme!