We are only one week into 2021 and what a week it’s been. Pervasive angst is running rampant on social and mainstream media, around the family dinner table, and within friend groups. At times it feels like we are living in alternate 1985 from Back to the Future II (if you didn’t get that reference, you now have your weekend Netflix plans). But before we cast away all hope for a better year, now might be a good time to separate things into two categories: those you can control, and those you cannot.
So what can you control?
- Your mindset
- Your attitude
- Your actions
- How you spend your time
- What you prioritize
- What you eat
- How you move
- How you spend your money
What can’t you control?
- Someone else’s mindset
- Someone else’s attitude
- Someone else’s actions
- The weather
- The past
- The economy (in the macro sense, unless you are the Chair of the Federal Reserve, and even then, that’s a stretch)
- The government (to some extent … please always vote!)
And that’s just a start! It can be incredibly empowering to realize just how many things are within your control, and equally liberating to recognize all of the things that are not. Think about it: if you consciously stop giving power to those items on your list over which you have no control, you will have so much less to worry about, and so much more time, energy, and attention for the things that truly matter. So when you find yourself feeling anxious or worried, try first asking yourself if it is something you have control over. If the answer is no, try consciously letting it go and turning your attention toward something more productive. Because who needs extra stress and anxiety?
In the spirit of controlling the controllables, and rather than sharing one recipe, here’s a list of kitchen and pantry items to keep on hand to ensure a smooth sailing for the week ahead. Maybe you can’t control an extra-long commute, a meeting running over time, or an unexpected emergency, but you CAN control what you eat and how you choose to nourish your body.
- Chopped or pre-cut veggies. Perfect for snacking, adding to salads or recipes.
- Frozen meat, fruit, and vegetables.
- Oats. Use them in oatmeal, overnight oats, baked oatmeal, muesli.
- Eggs. Hard boil them for a self-contained protein + fat that travels easily.
- Rotisserie chicken (precooked, from the store). Great for adding to salads, soups, wraps, or on its own.
- Bone broth. Easy protein win, full of nutrition, and perfect for chilly winter months.
- Protein powder. Low on protein or need a quick meal? Sub a protein shake.
- Beef/turkey jerky.
- Canned fish (watch mercury levels). Tuna, salmon, sardines, anchovies.
What CAN you do this week to make sure you are incorporating daily movement? Maybe you can’t make it to the gym every day. But you probably CAN find a spare or hidden 10 minutes somewhere in your day. Schedule time in your calendar (literally—make a calendar invite or write it into your planner) for just 10 minutes to take a walk, do some yoga, or hit this spicy, at-home workout:
10 air squats
When the clock hits the 10-minute mark, be sure to celebrate your win, because you chose to do something. And something > nothing.
Music lifts us up. It inspires, empowers, and makes us feel like we can do anything. We all have that ONE song—you know the one—the song that, when it comes on at the gym, fires you up and makes you feel like you are going to crush your workout. If you’re feeling anxious or stressed, turn your speakers up, and rock out to some of your coaches’ favorite empowering tracks!
Stronger, Britney Spears —Wil Vicinus
Work, B*tch —Sandra Davidson
The Show Goes On, Lupe Fiasco —Ryan McElhenney
The Edge of Glory, Lady Gaga —Dominick Bulone
Higher Love, Whitney Houston, Kygo —Kevin Curran
You’re Mine (Eternal) The Remixes, Mariah Carey —Erick DuPree
Titanium (feat. Sia), David Guetta —Natalie Lewis
What is a song or piece of music that lifts you up? Let us know so we can add it to one of our Spotify playlists!
Written By Coach Natalie Lewis
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