Do you ever feel like you start to take on unhealthy habits when you are in a bit of a rut? You feel like you have been doing the same thing, or eating the same thing, or making the same thing for so many weeks now and it’s getting boring. And so one day you say “I’m going to take a break from it. Just for today.” And one day leads to two, two to a week, and soon enough, you’ve been on a two week break.
Breaks are good. Breaks allow us to re-energize and rejuvenate. They allow us to gain a bit of a different perspective and to step outside our usual plans and schedule and routine. It’s taking a break that lets us see things that we like better that we have never tried before, or in some cases, like with exercise, that our body is indeed more tired or more in need of a break and a reset than we realized.
But breaks can also be the foundation of falling off track. The whole one day turns into several thing, losing motivation, losing fitness, or forgetting how good you used to feel when that healthy habit was part of your routine. Instead of focusing on a break, I like to focus on a switch. I like to use the need for a break as a way to try something new, do something different, explore a new opportunity.
This concept is applicable to your fitness, eating, health routine and just any of your daily habits that you have had on repeat for several weeks or months. And while it’s true that you should take a break, or a rest, especially when it comes to things like your fitness routine, selecting a replacement, prevents you from falling off track, gives you something to get excited about and motivates you forward.
If you’re in that place between needing a break and not wanting to fall off track, maybe you just need to shake things up a bit and try something new. Here are my top 4:
- New superfood – Do you ever walk through the health food store and see all the different superfoods and ingredients and think about how cool it might be to try some of them, or wonder what you could use them for? Next time, just go for it. Trying out a new superfood, adding something new to your regular eating routine or mixing up your pantry ingredients might be just what you need to help keep things exciting and keep you on track and out of a rut. Choose from superfood powders to add to your smoothies like macqui, moringa or camu camu; choose from health boosting ingredients like dichotomous earth powder, milk thistle or matcha, or simply try out a new powerful spice like turmeric or cayenne.
- New exercise – If you are taking a break from fitness or working out, it may be that at the root of your need for a break is just that you are bored with your routine and no longer enjoying your fitness activities. This is when it is time to try something new! Maybe it’s a new exercise altogether, or maybe it’s with new people, or in a different location. With running for example, if I start to lose motivation for going and feel like I am in a rut, I might head out to a new location to run in, mix it up with some cycling or cross training, or change up my terrain – trails, hills, sandy beaches etc. Any aspect of a fitness activity that makes it a little bit different or exciting may be enough to get you back into gear. Do note however, that there are times where you genuinely need a break and your body deserves some much needed recovery time, and that is important as well.
- New activity – When it comes to health and wellness, the list of DIY activities is pretty long. There’s everything from baking your own bread, muffins and snacks to making your own granola bars and energy bits, to fermenting food, brewing kombucha and sprouting your own grains. While some of these things may sound intimidating, or time-consuming, it may that little bit of fear and uncertainty that you need to help motivate you to push through. Set yourself up for success by choosing only one thing to tackle and once you have mastered that, try something else. Taking on too much will only leave you disappointed and discouraged, with no projects finished to show for your hard work.
- New ingredients – Now is your chance to break out of your usual cooking plans and recipes and make something different. It could be a different cuisine, a different ingredient, a different recipe, or maybe something like you go vegetarian for a day instead of eating meat. Whatever you don’t already do regularly (or have never done at all) is wide open for you to explore. Sometimes, I simply go to the grocery store and buy that random, unfamiliar fruit or vegetable that I have seen there every time I go, but have no idea what it really is or how to use it. And then I go home and start researching and getting inspired and try it out. Sometimes it becomes a new staple in my house. Sometimes I never buy it again!
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