making space for self-care in a busy mind
I decided to devote this month to self-care. Lately, work has been busier than usual and I let it take a front seat in my life. I would use stress as an excuse to "indulge" myself by unhealthy treats--whether that be an extra glass of wine, fast food, binge-watching Netflix. All of these things are amazing and great on occasion, but it came to the point where I found myself falling into these habits even though I didn't want to.
I think I was trying to take the path of least resistance--because after a long day at work, it feel so much easier to go home and roll onto the couch , rather than fight my way through LA traffic to go to the gym. I enjoy exercising, but I have a tendency to put a lot of emotional labor into a task before I even get started. So, after thinking, "hey! I want to go to the gym!" here is a snippet of what else comes into my mind:
When do I want to go? What kind of workout do I want to do? What should I pack in my gym bag? I need to remember the combination for my gym lock. If I go after work, I need to brink a snack to eat around 4 pm. I should bring a grocery bag so I can run by the store after working out. What do we have in the fridge? How can I be better at meal planning? What kind of workout should I do? What kind of workout do I want to do? How busy will the gym be? When should I try to go to the gym? Do I want to wash my hair? What do I have going on this week?
So then I just go home and watch TV. And I'll usually re-watch something I've seen before because the mental energy of deciding whether I want to pay attention enough to start a new show or movie, and what kind of mood I am in, and whether I can devote the time to a new program rather than turning on something I've seen before and can tune out if need be is not very relaxing.
All of this to say, I got in a bit of a loop with my routine, and it was dragging me down. After a fair amount of grumbling and a bit of journaling, I decided to take baby steps. I'm hoping that by breaking down my goals, and making each task smaller, I will reduce the amount of overthinking I do for everything.
Personally, I do notice that when my workout routine is solid, so many other aspects of my life fall into place. Well, mainly diet and sleep fall into place BUT that in turns impacts my mood and energy levels, which has a domino effect on so many other aspects of my life.
So! While I ultimately want to be working out 5 days a week between cardio and weight-training, I'm just trying to make it to the gym 5 times a week, and not place so much emphasis on what I do while I'm there, as long as it involves me moving around for about a half hour.
I've been sticking to my goal so far this week; if I can keep it up for 2-3 weeks in a row, I'll check in with myself to see if there are any new goals I might like to add. But I'll take my time.