How can I find myself if I can’t see the wood for the trees?

Sometimes finding a balance between coping with the strain of daily life, or a busy professional world, whilst (as I write in Jan ’21) homeschooling, and then trying to find quality time for fitness, socialising (yes, it will be a thing of the future), or just to be alone with no care in the world just doesn’t seem achievable. Read to the bottom to claim a free trial Pilates session with me!

Be Kind To Yourself & Shine 2021

I’m a pilates instructor, dance teacher, and I have also been a personal assistant for the past 20 years helping busy professional people streamline their lives so they have more time to think strategically, creatively and freely. Transfer this to streamlining lifestyle, homelife, and perhaps there are ways that we can find more time in the day, the week…and find the budget, to be able to have more carefree ME TIME: be able to afford more fitness  – being motivated by a fitness professional to help you achieve goals; to fulfil passions; or for activities, not just for ourselves, but to do with family or friends…

As a fitness instructor I quite often meet their inability to joining in my sessions of: ‘I don’t have enough time’. ‘I can’t afford it.’ And this makes me sad, people! So I got thinking, how can I help my clients overcome these ‘barriers to participation’, and also to remove the mental blocks which will enable them to ultimately attend my pilates sessions, where I take pride in my regular clients’ feeding back that they are so much calmer, or stronger for whatever physical demands of parenting requires? So here we go:

Here are my 3 top tips to work towards streamlining your lifestyle, including:

1. Planning with the household – shared accountability.

A problem shared is a problem halved. What can you share with the people you live with.  Some of us might take on chores/tasks without questioning whether we should be doing it, or if they could be shared with a child. If the child is younger, perhaps start planting the seed of helping around the home now…and make it fun or rewarding! Planning with the family and letting them have input might also increase the chance of their ‘buy in’ to sticking with their responsibilities – hopefully eventually becoming an automated behaviour without your input!

2. Get organised

A weekly planner that is filled out at the start of every week – could be electronic, perhaps on a shared, non-editable tablet, and printable – or it could be a wipeable weekly board displayed in one place in the household. Perhaps a 10 minutes Sunday powow with the family to work out who is going where, what needs to be done, what homework needs to be in, what childcare is needed for you to achieve your Me Time, and most essentially WHERE YOU WILL FIT IN YOUR ME TIME! Connecting organisational digital apps together too is also a brilliant way of planning – Office 365 is great to track tasks, emails, your to do list, prioritising, scanning important letters from school that you keep losing around the house.

3. Financial Planning

Get budgeting – plan your goals you need to spend on – it could be getting a 1:1 fitness instructor to motivate you to your goals.  it could be going kayaking and paying for a membership for a club. And it could be as longer term such as a weekend away with friends.  But plan the budget so you know there’s no additional barrier to getting your me time in.  It could also be something you’re saving towards with the family – something fun for you to do together – me time isn’t just about the time on your own – it’s also making space in your life fo care-free time with everyone, without thinking you should be doing something else.

I’m not generalising in my advice, as we all have different circumstances and home dynamics, and I know some of you will have streamlining your household down to a fine art. My tips are by no means the complete solution.  But I also know the struggles of, for example some single parents, and even if a small part of my suggestions can be implemented, hopefully it’s planting the seed for the chance of a marvellous future, where regular, perhaps even daily time to fulfil passions and hobbies, or sitting quietly alone for more than 5 minutes is a thing.

If you’d like a FREE trial online group Pilates session with Dancing Mama Fitness, complete the questionnaire below, so I can get to know more about the lifestyles of the ‘audience’ I’m speaking to!

Peace and love.


21 Days to KickStart a Healthy, Fit & Mindful New Year

  • Do you need some all round health and wellbeing TLC?
  • Has 2020 left you feeling just meh, stressed and mentally drained?
  • Do you want to know how to strengthen the immune system with foods that we eat?
  • Have you lost motivation for fitness and self care and need some kick start motivation?
  • Do you need to revive your lust for life?
Be Kind To Yourself & Shine 2021 - Health & Fitness Motivation Challenge

Let’s face it, 2020 has been a pretty challenging year, but what if it’s given us a gift? What if it’s given us a fabulous new vision, helped us to re-evaluate what is important in our lives and given an eye opening wake-up call of what’s got to give.

Can you say in 2020 you gave yourself a break, were kind to yourself and allowed yourself to step into your power?

Whether you answered ‘yes’ to the above and now need some 2021 motivation to elevate into that immense power, or if you answered ‘no’ and have acknowledged that something’s gotta give, we’ve got a 21 day plan to give you a guilt free opportunity to be kind to yourself and Shine into 2021: 4-24 January 2021!

Join Be Kind To Yourself & Shine 2021 Here

We’ll be running this for FREE, in exchange for a donation to our chosen charity: The NEED Project, Bedfordshire.

Your hosts will be Alison (@DancingMamaFitness) and Sandi (@SandiRatz PT) – fitness and lifestyle professionals, focussing on prioritising health, balance in wellbeing and passions within busy lives, not just for 21 days, but for longevity.

Sandi and Alison have teamed up with other experts in the holistic wellness industry bringing a whole array of motivational, inspirational and down right life changing knowledge to you, including self Reiki, EFT, self massage and meditation – survival toolkit in times where we can’t always see practitioners face to face, learn how from home!

Throughout the 21 days Sandi and Alison will bring daily inspiration, free fitness and mindset sessions and host parties from Tropic Skincare, DoTerra essential oils, and Juice Plus+ plant based nutrition, introducing some gorgeous, ethically chosen health and wellbeing products to set your 2021 goals off with some quality products.

There will be weekly giveaways, freebies from all experts involved, and two incredible prizes and the end for the winner of a prize draw and the most engaged throughout the 21 days.

Finish the 21 Days feeling Fitter, Focussed and Fabulous. You’re Welcome!


5 Tips to Smash Your Winter Workout

Who’s ready for the dark mornings and even darker nights??

Yeah – me neither. Doesn’t always inspire a workout does it – especially one outdoors.

But I prefer workout in the open, and I’m trying to work out how to make the best still of outdoor workouts. Here’s my 5 tips for fitness motivation whilst smashing the winter workout blues:

1. Get kitted out

My best purchase of all time was a Uni-Qlo calf length ‘duvet coat’ as I call it, which I found when I was pregnant in the sales. I could just about fit my daughter underneath in the baby carrier in later years when we went out for our long walks in whatever the elements were throwing at us. I still love it now for those cosy winter walks – I wore it out for a walk yesterday in the crazy driving rain and felt both Snug and Smug at the same time.

Will you need to be warm? Dry? Need certain footwear to match the terrain or gear to match the activity – balaclava underneath a cycle helmet or raincoat with a peak in the hood to keep the rain off your face?

Granted some of the fitness gear can be pricey, but catch the right time of year and you can bag some bargains. That all said, some of the high street brands have their own fitness ranges these days – I quite often buy from Decathalon – it’s reasonably priced, and their clothing lasts me for a good year too!

2. Choose the location wisely.

Start planning some locations that aren’t too muddy – gravel pathways are usually a good shout for cycling, running or walking with good drainage. On road, or concrete pathways good for cycling – I’m not a fan of jogging on concrete as I used to suffer from shin splints – make sure you’ve got good running shoes for harder surfaces. Or what fitness instructors can you find online to save you leaving the house? I’ve been teaching my pilates clients online and it’s definitely helped out for those who have been shielding…and now for those who quite enjoy staying in for their workout.

3. Choose the time to work for you…

An increase in home working has meant we can work a little more flexibly, with some employers becoming more relaxed, and self employed peeps can also arrange their working day and be kinder to themselves to create the space in the diary for a lunchtime workout – some daylight and fresh air to help revive for the afternoon has huge benefits…unless a workout leaves you wanting to snooze!). Timeblock the week so you can make it happen – and sometimes paying for a course will motivate you to stick at it. Quite often with slightly cheaper rates as an incentive.

By far my winning workout situation is when I build the workout in to a part of my existing routine – lately I’ve been cycling my daughter to nursery and doing a route around the houses on the way home to clock up some miles!

4. …which leads me to strategic planning!

Make sure the type of fitness is relevant for the time of day. An invigorating, power workout in the morning or earlier on in the day will keep us mentally focussed, whilst a chilled Yoga session later in the day may help you to sleep, clear the mind and wind down. Different strokes for different folks of course so find out what works for you!

5. Workout with other people.

Nothing like some good motivation from working with a partner or a group of friends. Make fitness social. If you’re not in each others bubbles, fair enough you may not be able to do any contact sports, but team games where you can socially distance are just fun and quite often lead to a social life too. I wanted to join a rowing or kayaking club – might have to find a daytime or weekend club in winter(!), but the clubhouses quite often also have social nights.

Hope this has inspired you to research the options and talk to others about what they’re doing or enjoy. If you can get through the winter without the dark nights as an excuse not to do it, you should fall in to an easy year round workout routine