This post brought to you by Activia. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Productive & Pretty.
Recently, I opened up about a topic not often covered here on Productive and Pretty: the inner critic. Activia produced Inner Voice Interviews where they asked women to share their goals and what’s holding them back from accomplishing them. The results were pretty astounding: 80% of the time the answer was themselves.
Like the women in this interview, it holds me back at times too. And it hasn’t been easy to get past it. Activia believes #ItStartsInside — that when your mind and body are fully aligned, you harness your greatest potential. So how do we prevent the critic from speaking up? Or soften the volume of the voice? For me, it’s about taking care of my mind and body, before all else.
Taking care of my body
So much of your mind is fueled by how you are doing physically. You have to take case of you on the inside, first. For me this looks like a few things: Getting at least 8 hours of sleep With two little ones, this is a tough one and often out of my control, but I do the best I can to ensure I’m getting the maximum amount of sleep each night. Fueling well I notice, especially under stress, all healthy eating goes out the window. I honestly believe this becomes a perpetuator of the stress by feeding it further with high processed, high sugar foods. Instead, try to catch yourself in those moments and make better decisions. Don’t stress if you slip, just make sure at the next meal you get yourself back on track with foods you can feel good about. Taking time to plan out what I’m going to eat has had the biggest impact:
Fuel, to me, also includes things like drinking enough water and taking regular vitamins. Movement I work behind a desk all day, and then come home to work more on my online businesses. This means I spend a whole lot of time sitting down if I’m not conscious of it. First, I plan my week in advance to make sure I can get a good workout schedule on the calendar.
Even just scheduling breaks on your calendar to get up and walk around or take a walking meeting. Step tracking helps as well for me.
Taking Care of My Mind
There are a few ways I try to make sure I’m putting my own mental health as a priority as well. Mindfulness I’ve found when I practice meditation, my mind is much clearer throughout the day. Don’t let the fear of the unknown stop you if you’ve never done this before. ‘Breathe’ is a great app that helps me get through one minute at a time. I sprinkle those throughout the day and it really adds up. Positivity I keep a ‘keepers’ folder that I can look at when I’m feeling down or uncertain of myself. This is a file of those notes or accomplishments that really make you smile and feel proud of what you’ve done. This gives me a confidence boost that I can do whatever I am up against. Gratitude The last piece is gratitude. I try to start every day from a place of gratitude. This is as simple as taking a few minutes each day to jot down what I am grateful for. These tips all help me align my mind and body to overcome that inner critic. So, I have a challenge for you. In your journal, planner, or notebook, I want you to go through this same exercise and jot down what you are currently doing, or COULD be doing, to start inside and ensure mind/body alignment.