“You are born alone and you die alone”
I remember hearing this when I was young and not really getting it, but now, at 44, I understand!!
Only you can make yourself happy. Firstly you need to find peace before you can feel happiness and then, in turn, see happiness in everything around you. A sense of being content, which is such a terrific feeling, follows quickly from there.
Personal success leads to happiness?
Personal health is everything. I have learnt that I am fully responsible for my own happiness. I used to look outwards and expect others to create a feeling of happiness. Sadly this was such a disappointment and unsustainable.
In running my business I used to think that I needed to work, work, and work. That became my sole focus. I was always tired, stressed and unhappy, striving for personal success. I could not finish a day until all emails and correspondence had been actioned. Again, this is unsustainable and didn’t create a sense of personal success.
Personal success in my mind has now been narrowed down to everything I do in my day, from keeping up with domestic duties, to running our household, having good, wholesome food in the fridge, and being organised! Doing these simple things and paying attention to these simple tasks every day has created peace and harmony, not only for me, but also for everyone at home.
Daily exercise has also changed my life. This physical application and time spent daily in physical activity has created increased resilience which I need as a mother, wife and business owner. Time spent undertaking daily exercise also gives the mind time to quieten. A jog, a walk, a Pilates session, or a bike ride to and from work, is down time for the mind and creates a sense of calm.
Finding health and happiness and acknowledging how important that was started for me in January 2013 when, as a family, we decided to tackle the “overland track in Tasmania” which consisted of pack in / pack out over five nights and six days while being prepared to be completely self sufficient.
It was during that six day trek that I realised I had neither found happiness within myself, nor was I as healthy and fit as I could be.
I suffered on all levels. My problem solving capabilities were limited as I hadn’t realised how fatigued and stressed I had let myself become. I was all work, with very little rest and play.
Physically I found it really tough and I now realise this was completely linked to my all work, very little rest and play mentality. Looking after my own health physically and emotionally had been well down the priority list after:
- being a mum;
- running the household;
- grocery shopping, laundry drop off and pick up, and extra-curricular activities of an afternoon;
- running the business, mentoring staff, lecturing, and supporting students;
- making time for my partner and our relationship; and
- making time for fitness, rest and relaxation.
Katrina’s tips for personal health and happiness
- Prioritise daily exercise. Aim for a minimum of 45 minutes per day. The physical change you will see is the least of all improvements – the personal wellbeing and health are the largest and the most rewarding.
- Spend time with your family / partner / children. This area is undervalued and I underestimated the impact time in this area would have. Investing in this part of my life has made me cherish every day. Time spent with my children keeps me buoyant and reminds me to live in the moment. Taking time with my partner to talk about ourselves, our work and the future is what keeps me firing!!
- Create a balanced day and a balanced week. Scheduled lunch breaks without calls, emails or texts. Rest and relax, hydrate and eat at your lunch break. Get back to a 38 hour week where there are enough hours in the day, and where you can value all parts of your life. Making these changes leads to a happy, healthy and rich life!!
Suggestions for a weekly exercise plan
Day 1: Go for a 30-40 minute run. Try different surfaces, hills vs flat.
Day 2: Ride your bike to and from work, aiming for 20-30 minutes each way (if necessary get off the train or tram early to facilitate this).
Day 3: Attend a Pilates studio session to quieten the mind, condition the body, strengthen, stabilise, and mobilise.
Day 4: Run for 20 minutes.
Day 5: Go for a 50 minute walk.
Day 6: Attend a Pilates studio session or mat class.
Day 7: Take a rest day. Combine this plan with a healthy diet, rich in fresh food and vegetables and minimise processed and packaged foods.