advice · cardio · fitness · habits · health · holiday fitness · holidays · meditation · motivation · self care · yoga

Making Space 2022: Day 31

Here we are at the last day of 2022, the last day of December, the last day of my Making Space posts.

I hope that you have found these posts useful and that you have found your own ways to make space for yourselves in your days this month. I also hope that you have found (or are starting to find) ways to continue making space for yourselves in the days that follow.

And speaking of the days that follow – tomorrow, I start a series of ‘Go Team!’ posts that encourage you to be kind to yourself as you figure out the habits, systems, and practices you want to take on in the year ahead.

But before we get to that, I have one more thing to say about creating space for your future self and it goes like this:

New Year’s Day may be a symbolic time to start but you can add new ideas, habits and practices to your life at ANY TIME.

And, you can create your own symbolism or meaning around the time that you choose.

For example, even though I like the symbolism of starting new practices in a new year, I had a bit of sideways December so I couldn’t give a lot of thought to things I wanted to do in 2023.

Instead of putting pressure on myself to find time to focus on that, I decided to let December be what it was and that I would figure out what 2023 would look like once it arrived.

Or, to put it another way, I’m choosing to have Planuary instead of January.

By labelling next month as Planuary, I have given it a shape. I’m not going in without a plan and hoping things will just happen – that would never work for my ADHD brain. Instead, I’m planning to spend January figuring out what my plans could be.

And I’m inviting you to create space for your future self by doing something similar.

If you WANT to start something new sometime soon, you don’t have to come roaring out of the gate tomorrow. You can decide on your own terms and your own timeline when and how you want to get started.

You can plan to plan in Planuary.

You can write one thing on an index card and do that until you get bored with it.

You can make a giant list and a big chart and have a grand time with it (as long as you aren’t going to be mean to yourself if you have to change your plan – I can’t get behind that)

You can choose to just keep doing what you have been doing all along but add in the plan to be kinder to yourself in the process (THAT I can full endorse.)

Basically, I want to encourage you to give yourself the space to do things in your own way on your own schedule.

Your tomorrow-self doesn’t need to have it all figured out and doesn’t have to have the perfect plan.

Please be kind to yourself as you make space for future you to develop, expand, and think up cool and fun things to do.

NOTE:Have you ever seen DSri Seah’s Groundhog Day Resolutions monthly personal review system? It’s a cool way that they developed to check in with their resolutions and projects all year long. I love how they worked out a system that works for them without getting caught up in when things *should* be done during the year.

Here are our final videos for the Making Space series. At first I was looking for new year/end of year themed videos but there was such a variation in tone from video to video that I didn’t want to choose something that would be irksome. So, instead, I chose videos for calm and for energy/feeling good – I figured those could be most helpful.

I also chose a yoga video AND a cardio video so you could decide if you wanted to see the year out in a low-key way or in a burst of movement.

Whether you do these videos or do your own thing, I wish you ease, energy and lots of space for yourself as 2022 becomes 2023.

See you tomorrow for our first Go Team! post for 2023.

A video from the Yoga with Kassandra YouTube channel entitled ‘10 Min Morning Yoga for Calm. The still image features the instructor in light brown exercise clothing standing with her legs wide apart and her upper body folds forward toward the camera so she can touch her mat with the palms of her hands and her ponytail has flopped forward towards her mat. Text reading ‘10 Min Morning Yoga’ is overlaid on the upper left side of the image.
A PopSugar Fitness 10 Minute Feel-Good Cardio Workout with Deja Riley. The still image features the instructor standing in a white-walled studio with her arms in the air in a joyful sort of celebratory gesture (that is probably just part of an exercise movement but she looks celebratory to me.)
Another 5 Minute Mindful Meditation for Calm from the Great Meditations YouTube channel (I have really become a fan of that channel during this series!) The still age features light brown text reading ‘Calm 5 Minute guided meditation’ and a cartoon image of a person sitting in meditation with their arms, bent at the elbow, outstretched slightly to the sides in a welcoming or accepting gesture. Behind their head is either their long hair streaming upwards or a thought balloon that contains symbols of thoughts – question marks, ellipses, hearts, emojis etc. and behind their body there are symbols of tangible items like a clock, some gears, and the leaves of a plant.

About Making Space 2022

In December 2020, Fit is a Feminist Issue blogger Martha created a tradition – a series of reminder posts to take good care of ourselves during this last month of the year when it is far too easy to get swept up in your to do list, no matter what you are celebrating or not celebrating. Last year, it was my turn and after an introductory Go Team post called Give Yourself Some Space, I created a series of reminders called ‘Making Space‘ that offered a suggested short exercise video and a suggested meditation in case you needed an easy way to find space for yourself in your schedule.

For 2022, I’ll be doing the same thing but I’ll also be including a link to Martha’s post from the same date in 2020 and I’ll offer a few extra ideas for relaxation, creativity, and self-kindness here and there.

These posts are not about insisting that you do more, more, more during this busy season. Instead, I want to encourage you to remember that there IS a *YOU* who is doing all of the things and you are worth taking good care of.

Perhaps the things I suggest aren’t what you need in the moment. That’s totally ok. Perhaps you can use something else to create some space, something that will help you feel more relaxed or more in charge of your day.

ADHD · cardio · fitness · goals · health · motivation · self care

Christine is aiming for better than average

I have picked a word for the year – spaciousness – but I hadn’t really settled on a fitness goal until this weekend when I found a new category of information in my Fitbit.

In my average week, I’m moving a fair bit. I take the dog for a walk or two each day, I usually have two TKD classes in a week, I do a bit of yoga and some stretches and a bit of strength training.

A light haired dog rests on bedsheets folded back from where someone got up.
Here’s Khalee supervising while I do yoga. She has such a hard job! I am really a lot of trouble. Image description: Khalee’s head, shoulders and front pays can be seen as she lies on the crumpled top sheet and blankets from my bed. She is facing the camera and her chin is resting on the blankets where they were folded back from when I got up. Her eyes are half-closed and she look looks restful but observant.

Lately though, I have come to realize that I am not really moving the metaphorical needle on my fitness level. I’m maintaining what I have but my efforts are not particularly focused and I’m not feeling any sort of expansion in my capacity.

Part of this is due to my issues with my toes/heel/calf/knee, of course, and luckily that situation is improving steadily. And, up until now, I have been juggling about three things more than I had capacity for at any given time – I could manage to hold most things in the air most of the time but that was it.*

However, some combination of ADHD and personality also factors into this. I never really know when and how to push myself, it’s tricky for me to judge my capacity and energy levels at any given time, and I am never sure if and what I should measure.

I’ve been keeping an eye on my resting heart rate over time but since I don’t wear my Fitbit when I sleep, apparently that’s not a very accurate measurement.

And I check off the box for daily movement but my effort levels vary from day to day. I’m not criticizing myself for that but it does mean that I am maintaining rather than expanding my capacity.

However, this weekend, I accidentally nudged a different part of my Fitbit screen and discovered that I can get more information about my cardio fitness above and beyond just my heart rate.

This puts my numbers in context. I LOVE context!

Fair to average isn’t bad but I’m sure with a little more focused effort, I could get to good and maybe even beyond.

So, in a move that is probably startlingly obvious to anyone who doesn’t live in a ADHD time/pattern soup, I looked up how long it takes to improve cardio fitness and what kinds of exercises will help me see a little progress ASAP. (I know that you can’t rush results but I also know what my brain needs.)

So, now I know that I need to make some of my workouts HIIT workouts and, in about two months, I should see myself inching toward that next blue bar.

In the meantime, I going to try not to check this screen every day hoping for a magical shift. I’ll post about it once a month though, just to keep myself on track.

A screen capture from a Fitbit app showing that the user's cardio fitness is between fair and average.
Image description: A screen capture from my Fitbit app that indicates my cardio fitness on a multicoloured bar with numbers ranging from 24.6 to 39.5. My fitness level is indicated at Fair to Average 27-31 and is in a blue segment of the bar. Text at the top of the image reads: Heart Rate. Cardio Fitness. Your estimate is between Fair and Average for women your age.

PS – I undoubtedly knew some or all of this before. And I may have put some pieces together before. If you had asked me, I probably could have told you that improving cardio fitness is a good idea and that things like HIIT would help. However, when I want to take things on for myself, I always need to have proper context in order to hold on to or apply the information I have. For some reason this chart gave me the right container for the information and let me make a plan. The new level of ADHD meds I started in early December are probably helping this whole process, too.

*Yes, I know that is not an idea situation to be in but I knew it would be relatively short-lived and the effort to juggle was far less than the effort to adjust all my other routines so I just got help where and when I could, took breaks whenever possible, and just juggled the heck out things the rest of the time. And, finally, as of mid-December, a few things finished up and I was back within my capacity and mostly in charge of my schedule. YAY!

cardio · fitness · habits · holiday fitness · meditation · mindfulness · motivation

Making Space: Day 14

I hope Tuesday is treating you well and that you find plenty of space in your day to be kind to yourself.

Here is a star for your efforts: ⭐️

And here are your videos!

As always, there is no pressure to do these videos, you do what is best for you. 💚

This cardio workout was a bit of a challenge for me, coordination-wise, but it was a fun challenge, not a frustrating one.

A 5 minute seated cardio circuit video from the Silver Sneakers YouTube channel. The still image is of the instructor seated on a wooden chair with their arms overhead. They are in a room with green walls and beige carpet, and one side of the still image is blue with white text reading 5-Minute Seated Cardio Circuit with SilverSneakers.

I really liked how this meditation video started with a body scan, I find that a very useful way to ‘tune in’ for a meditation.

A 5 minute guided mediation for Cheryl Brause’s YouTube Channel. Still image is of a large evergreen silhouetted against the sky at sunset. The sky is filled with shades of orange and purple. Text reading ‘Find Your Calm’ is overlaid on the image.

No matter what you are doing today, I wish you ease and space.💚

fitness · habits · holiday fitness · meditation · mindfulness · motivation

Making Space: Day 10

Hello Team!

I hope this Friday finds you with some fun, some rest, and some play ahead of you.

And whether you do these videos or find another way to make some space for yourself, I wish you ease.

Here’s your gold star for your efforts ⭐️

And here are today’s videos:

I enjoyed this ‘Jumpstart Cardio’ video from the Fitness Blender YouTube channel and I especially appreciated the modification for the jumping jacks. The still image shows the instructor seated cross-legged on a yoga mat with her large sleeping dog beside her.

While I did this video last night, Khalee followed instructor’s dog’s lead:

A medium sized light haired dog rests on a bed.
Khalee is wondering why I didn’t lie down, too. Image description: Khalee, a medium sized, light-haired dog is resting while stretched on on my bed. My bedspread has a grey and green pattern again s a black background.

Khalee also approved of my meditation choice even though there was a severe lack of dogs in the video.

A 3 minute meditation video from the Rosalie Yoga YouTube channel. Still image shows a person sitting back on the camera at the edge of a pool. They are sitting cross-legged and they have their hands together up over their head.

cardio · fitness · habits · holiday fitness · meditation · mindfulness · motivation · wheelchairs

Making Space: Day 4

Welcome to Day 4!

I hope you have found some space for yourself over the past few days, whether or not you have included movement or meditation.

Always remember that you are doing the best that you can with the resources that you have. Some days will be easier, some will be harder, but you don’t have to blame yourself for the hard ones.

Being hard on yourself doesn’t make you more focused or more disciplined, it just makes you feel bad. No one needs more reasons to feel bad.

Please try to be kind to yourself and to notice your efforts, no matter how things turn out in a given day.

Here’s your gold star for your hard work: ⭐️

And here are your videos for today.

I really enjoyed this workout from Ella Beaumont. The video is 15 minutes long but the workout itself is only 10. That’s because she demonstrates the 5 exercises at the beginning and gives you a one minute rest in the middle. I liked the format and I like how she is upbeat without being overwhelmingly cheery. *

A cardio exercise video from Ella Beaumont’s YouTube channel. The still image shows Ella wearing black workout clothes, sitting in her wheelchair, holding a broom aloft. There is a couch with brightly coloured cushions behind her.

This meditation video was quite calming and I particularly liked the bubbly image that you could watch throughout.

A meditation video from the Mindful Peace YouTube channel. Still image shows the logo from the channel (a person in seated meditation enclosed in a circle) and the words Mental Reset in white. The background appears to be an underwater view of sunshine with bubbles rising on all sides.

Whether you do with either of these or just take a few minutes to observe what’s outside your window, I hope you find some space for yourself today.

*I get *why* a lot of instructors have a constant stream of encouragement chatter but it is often distracting for me. Ella was encouraging without being in-your-face about it.