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Creating Change: a daily checklist.

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Creating Change; a daily checklist

There’s nothing interesting here just a daily checklist of healthy living for the mind and body.  There are no funky techniques, no magic bullets, no novel cures for the malaise of modern life.  It’s just plain, simple common sense.  It’s like Pre-Pilates: it looks easy, but if you dig deep, there’s a long way you can go.

Your body needs a minimum level of daily physical activity to feel well.

I don’t want to repeat myself, but this is really really basic stuff!  I mean it’s so basic that it doesn’t even seem to really warrant a second thought – but that’s precisely why I decided to write about it: because it’s so obvious that it can go completely unnoticed, forgotten and ignored…
And while the ideas in this post have nothing to do with Pilates exercises in themselves, they have everything to do with Pilates. Joseph Pilates recognised this in his book “Return to Life through Contrology” (1945).

“Telephones, automobiles and economic pressures all combine to create physical letdown and mental stress so great that today practically no home is entirely free from sufferers of some form of nervous tension”.  J. Pilates (1945)

Joseph Pilates called his book”Return to Life through Contrology” … and while he does talk mostly about exercise, and the bulk of the book is dedicated to his Matwork, he also talks about the effect of civilization on our mind as well as our body …


Are you eating properly?  Are you eating real food or industrial products?  A poor diet is bad for the body and bad for the spirit.  Sandwiches are industrial products that keep us tied to our desks while we work through lunchtime.

 – hydration

Are you drinking enough water?  Or do you rely on tea, coffee and soft drinks?  How much is enough daily?  Are you measuring how much water you drink?

 – sugar

Keep your sugar levels balanced.  Do you really need extra sugar in your diet?  Are you sure about your assumptions?  Think about industrially produced food items…
A less than optimal diet can definitely reduce your ability to handle normal stress.  It can actually reduce your energy, so that you move less.


Eight hours of sleep every night. It’s not important, it’s essential. It’s fundamental.
Your ability to repair your mind and body, to handle stress and process emotion depend on it.

Exercise and activity level

Of course this is where Pilates comes in!
Your body needs a minimum level of daily physical activity to feel well.
I know people who have changed their lives by gong out for four brisk walks a week!   Moving your body, makes it work as it was designed to.  When you use your car, it wears out.  When you use your body, it gets stronger!  When your car eventually wears out, you buy a new one.  Try that with your body!
Being highly oxygenated and having your body flooding your body with with endorphins on a regular basis comes with a lot of benefits.


Modern life is stressful.  How is your stress level?  Can you avoid putting yourself in stressful situations?
Also, try to plan things beforehand so that you do not need to rush for time.

 – Breathe

Breathe, meditate. Practice some of our Pilates Breathing exercises: Kathy’s According is rhythmic and hypnotic. Diaphragmatic breathing is relaxing and soothing. Practice them deliberately. It’s not lost time: it’s gained life! It’s “Returning to Life”!

 – Turn things off

Keep a quiet house, maintain a quiet lifestyle if you can.  Turn off the TV, radio, all the noise that accompanies you.  Remember you can only really “be yourself” when you are in the moment.  Turn everything off and spend some time just listening to yourself.  When was the last time you did that?
Here’s my confession. It terrified me at first! But I actually surprised myself by loving it very quickly. You try it. You might surprise yourself too.

Drinking & Drugs

Both legal and illegal drugs affect both mind and body (remember : the mind is a part of the body).  This includes cigarettes, alcohol and caffeine.

 – Alcohol is a toxin

Don’t self-medicate.  Don’t take drugs.  If you drink, know that alcohol is a depressant.  It’s a neurotoxin and leaves us depressed after the initial fun bit.  It’s legal and surrounded by culture here in the west, but it is a poison.  If you drink habitually, it wears you down and leaves you with increased anxiety.

 – You’ll start the day stressed

If you are on a comedown from recreational drugs or are hungover not only will your ability to handle stress will be diminished but you’ll start the day stressed.  Nor will you have slept properly…

Friends and Positive relationships

Social connections are key to well-being, interact with others that care about you.  That truly care about you.  Think hard about that last sentence.  Think about what people do, rather than what they say!


Are you addicted to what comes out of your phone?  Social media likes?
The rhythm, the sound, the lyrics of music all have an impact on state.  Do you listen to hate music – even by accident?
TV and films can have a positive effect but are you paying attention, or is it just background noise?  When did you do something like painting, video games, journaling?
There are many miscellaneous things people do to alter their state. Do them consciously and be mindful.
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