How to Win at March Madness
Before we dig in, you need to know that I know next to nothing about basketball, and when it comes to March Madness I know even less, despite being married to a UNC alum who is insane for his Tarheels during the March Madness season. What I do know very well is my very own March Madness funk that, like the tourney, occurs like clockwork every year. Do any of these seasonal symptoms sound familiar to you? Feeling a bit lethargic, grumpy, irritated that you haven't felt the sun on your face in weeks? Waking up every morning, wondering when the EFF this winter is going to go away?
To ensure that this slump doesn't turn into a full blown depression, I devised a strategy years ago that gets me through the darkness. The strategy is quite simple in fact and it doesn't involve medicating with anti-depressants! So here's my strategy...I plan. Mind blowing right? Hardly! But applying a plan to any part of your life gives you direction and satisfaction. I plan my March Madness season the way I plan to spring clean my house, create an upcoming blog post or video or plan a vacation with my family. I create my schedule about a week in advance, populating my day parts with work, productive and fun activities that are designed to energize me and motivate me to keep plugging along through March until Spring has sprung. I find that when I don't have a plan and tasks or activities to keep me plugging along, I easily fall into a slump.
Here are some general guidelines that can help you
win at March Madness:
1. Surround yourself with positive people.
Make sure that people who are in your camp contribute to your happiness and well being. Oftentimes we let others into our lives who sap our happiness. You have the power to control who you let in, so choose people who you would put in the plus column.
2. Stay active; find a workout that makes your soul sing.
The workout that makes my soul sing is cycling. Whether that is on my road bike, at Soul Cycle or on my Peloton, there is something about being on my bike that ignites me the way nothing else can. If you don't have a favorite, find one. Don't live near any great workout spots? No problem! There are so many great online workout options to stream these days! Check out one of my favorites, Daily Burn. Exercise needs to be an integral part of your week, and I'm a no excuses kind of a gal. Get moving, and you'll light up your mind, body and soul.
3. Nourish your body with energizing foods.
I'm going to keep this simple: if you eat garbage you're going to feel like garbage. Healthy food is a powerful vehicle that drives life. We gravitate towards comfort foods when it's cold outside, but by eating well during the winter months, you'll feel so much better about how you look and feel when the sun appears and it's time to break out your summer skinny jeans. Avoid processed foods, minimize dairy, load up on veggies, greens and lean proteins and make every bite count this March.
4. Treat yourself.
Do something nice for yourself each week that makes you feel good about the way you look. It doesn't need to be expensive, but it should be gratifying. My current favorite is applying a charcoal mask because it helps with my dry winter skin. And even better, it's super inexpensive and available at Target!
5. Create a weekly tradition.
I grew up with a Mom who was a wonderful cook, and Sunday's were special at our house because she always prepared something extra special, like roasted rosemary chicken. We all looked forward to connecting with each other during that meal so much, and so it was important to me to carry that tradition over to my own family. This is a sacred time for us and I rarely stray from this routine, as preparing the meal and eating it with my boys is such a simple joy. Having something to look forward to each week often gets us through tough times. So find that tradition that's special to you and make it happen. You won't ever look back at that time and regret it.
Again, I'm a no excuses kind of a coach, so know that losing at March Madness isn't an option. Get your strategy in place today and let's WIN this thing.
Cheers to your health,