Event looks at health, happiness and productivity

Women of Whistler host workshop on Wednesday (Feb. 15)

If you’re like most people in Whistler, you care about your fitness level. And if you’re like most people in North America, you struggle to find the balance with keeping yourself fit and managing the rest of life’s responsibilities.

This Wednesday (Feb. 15) from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, several hundred women will not only learn how to reduce the stress of feeling like their workouts are a chore, but also how to reduce the overall stress in their life.

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The presentation, put on by the Whistler Chamber of Commerce for the Women of Whistler (WOW), features speaker Catherine Roscoe Barr, founder of The Life Delicious. Barr not only taps into her education in neuroscience, but also her previous work experience as a fitness professional to create a wellness model that tackles the balance of health, happiness and productivity.

“No one has said, ‘I need to eat healthy? This is news,’” Barr said. “But there is a disconnect between knowing what we should do and doing it.”

A core component of Barr’s approach is knowing how the mind affects the brain, which in turn affects our actions.

In other words, if we think differently about exercise – changing from “I’m too busy to exercise” to “I have to exercise, even if it’s just for five minutes because it will give me more energy, will make me more productive, I’ll be more positive, I’ll be kinder and more creative,” we will actually want to find those five minutes to move our bodies.

“If we just think of exercise as a chore and not a gift or a tool to being healthy, happy and productive then it’s easy to brush it off,” Barr said.

Exercise though, is just one of the five pillars of Barr’s philosophy. The other four are mindset, nutrition, sleep and connection — to ourselves, to others and to our environment.

For Barr, healthy sleep hygiene is key to reducing stress and being a happier, more productive person.

“My p.m. rituals are so important and I guard them fiercely because I have been a horrible sleeper my entire life,” Barr said. “When I follow these rituals I wake up every morning feeling amazing.”

Barr’s evening rituals, based on using herself as a science experiment and exploring what works and what doesn’t, consist of putting her phone on ‘Do Not Disturb’ from 8:30 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. (thereby giving herself time when no one bothers her), dimming the lights, turning on the fireplace, reading, not engaging in any stressful, sad or disturbing content and not having any difficult conversations after 8 p.m.

Her routine takes 75 minutes.

“We have to banish the all- or-nothing mentality,” Barr said, explaining that many people think that if they don’t have 75 minutes to do an evening wind-down routine then they shouldn’t even bother.

“If I don’t have 75 minutes, then I do it in 65. Or 50,” she said, adding that even if she’s on a work trip she won’t sacrifice her rituals for a late night at the bar. “I know that it’s so important to have good sleep because it sets you up for success for the next day.”

And success is what we all aim for every day of our lives.

For tickets to Barr’s presentation visit whistlerchamber.com or to learn more about Barr’s techniques or inquire about her daytime rituals visit thelifedelicious.ca.

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