Happy New Year! All of us here at Craft insurance trust you celebrated well over the Christmas season and enjoyed many of the fun events, good food and friendship our local communities have to offer. Most of us will have indulged in some extra culinary delights, maybe some hand made chocolates or locally produced speciality gin along with the traditional seasonal fare. It is good to celebrate, to enjoy being with family and friends and to make the most of the holidays.
However, an overload of sugar and maybe more alcohol than our bodies are used to, could also be leaving us feeling more sluggish, with less energy and a lower mood as we step into the New Year.
Do not be disheartened! Here at Craft Insurance we want not only to provide great value insurance for selling crafts in the UK, but also to offer tips and encouragement so that you truly can be your best self for your business, family and community. This week we offer some thoughts about keeping yourself fit and active over this coming year.
If keeping fit is not a part of your daily or weekly rhythm and you would like it to be, January is a good time to introduce some new habits. However, it is not easy to change the way we live, especially when most of us are stretched for time. So maybe a good place to start is to look at the benefits of keeping fit, because if we can be convinced of this, then we are part way to introducing more exercise into our days. The benefits of regular exercise are numerous and varied. Exercise enables our whole system to work better physiologically, including our cardiovascular and digestive systems, our respiratory and musculoskeletal systems. This leads to an increase in strength, stamina and flexibility. Psychologically, regular exercise lifts our mood, aids in concentration and in alertness. Alongside a healthy diet with limited carbohydrate intake, it helps us to gain control over our weight. Pulling all these benefits together, it is fair to say that introducing regular exercise into our lives alongside a nutritious diet will help us to feel better in ourselves, increase our self esteem and energy levels and thus impact many areas of our lives for the better. Why then, is it so hard to implement into our lives?
As we mentioned earlier, time is a big factor when it comes to incorporating exercise into our lives. Another is motivation. To help surmount both of these, an understanding of ourselves may help. Firstly, let’s consider what type of exercise we are most likely to succeed in sustaining. Questions to ask could be; do you like being inside or out of doors, do you prefer peace or loud music, do you crave solitude or do you thrive off being with others? If you are someone who enjoys being outside and need headspace to think, running or walking might fit the bill. However, if upbeat music, lights and the buzz of being around people lift your spirits, then attending an exercise class with a friend might work better. If you like being outdoors but would value some company on your keep fit quest, then maybe you could take up an outdoor sport, or join a running club. Try to find something which suits your personality and sporting inclinations. It’s not easy to keep to an exercise schedule, so it is well worth putting as many factors in place which entice you to get active and produce some easy wins.
Another key to success is to try to incorporate your keep fit into your weekly routines. If you have a short travel to a workshop or business area, could you walk or cycle rather than drive? If you work alone from home, could you fit in a run or an online keep fit video during a lunch break? Or at the beginning of the day? Moving and stretching our bodies early on in the day helps with our blood flow, increases our concentration and alertness and thus will enable us to be more productive and creative. However, if you have children to get to school, and a work day to start, this simply might not be practical, and exercise towards the end of the day can help you to relax and sleep better. As your timetable will already be full selling crafts, any keep fit needs to be achievable within your daily rhythms.
Another consideration is finance, especially pertinent within the current economic climate. Walking and running are free, swimming and exercise classes cost money. Joining a club for a team sport will also cost, but possibly less than individual classes.
A final consideration in choosing exercise which will suit you is to think about how you are motivated, Some of us are internally motivated and once we are convinced of the right thing to do, we will have enough drive to do it. Solo keep fit endeavours will be a good fit. Others are externally motivated and want to please others; team sports might work well for this group as they will be keen not to let others down so will show up even on a rainy, dark night! For others, motivation stems more from how they perceive the benefits for themselves. So, a clear conviction that keeping fit will increase self esteem, regulate weight and make them happier will nail it!
We hope you have been inspired to add, or increase, keeping fit into your lives this year, and that you have a clearer understanding of how you might best achieve this.
So, to all our valued clients, selling crafts in the UK, we wish you a very happy New Year. In the midst of global uncertainty, may your small craft businesses prosper as you produce beautiful and unique products, provide work for local people, join with others to form community and put a smile in the hearts of those who come your way. Go into this year with confidence in your creativity and your business aspirations.