Is 2020 all about living life to the max for you? Need a little nudge in the right direction? Claire O’Mahony, national group exercise manager at Virgin Active, shares her top 10 tips for living life to the full.
Water fixes everything. Hungry? Tired? Have a headache? Sore? Drink water, it immediately improves everything.
I’m using an app called Insight Timer. It helps to calm me down and keep me focused, even if it is playing through my headphones on a packed London train carriage. Or you could join a yoga class, which will give you a real-life person to help and guide you.
3. Go together
I learned a proverb in South Africa: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” I can be a solitary person, but when I need motivation, there is nothing better than having people supporting me and challenging me to do more. This has led me to a job that brings people together in the group-exercise community.
I spend my time typing on a computer, or I tap away on my smartphone. If I have a dilemma or I’m sad or upset about something, I grab a pencil and scribble. I would die of embarrassment if anyone ever read it so I usually throw it away, but there is something so cathartic about physically writing words down.
Focus on the wonderful things in your life and being grateful. There will always be someone out there who earns more, has a bigger house, better skin, more desirable figure, more exciting lifestyle. The more you are able to focus on the positives in your life, you will be able to find more peace and contentment without actually needing any more ‘stuff’ in your life.
We all know that too much alcohol, too much fat, getting into too much debt and taking too many risks can negatively affect our wellbeing. But if you wrap yourself in cotton wool, you may miss out on some of the most joyful experiences of life. Eat the cake, have the gin and tonic – but have a workout, too.
It’s a platitude, but treating someone with compassion, respect and patience could be the difference between life and death. Words are important and they stay with people, so whenever you can, be kind. If you see someone struggling or frustrated in the gym or in an exercise class, don’t laugh or shame them, help them, please.
8. Keep learning
In the last year, I have taken up Spanish and begun playing the guitar. There are so many joyous activities you can choose, like ballet or swimming, so why stick to the stuff you already know?
If you don’t have the means for travelling, seek out as many people as you can who have grown up in a different country, whose first language is different to your own, who practise a different religion to you, who have been part of a different socio-economic group. You will find out the most eye-opening realities about the world.
10. Look after and love every part of your body
It’s literally the only place you have to live.
Visit Virgin Active for more on living your best life in 2020.