Self-care is such a complicated practice to continue over time. It requires you to not only be aware of what you need and what works for you in the moment, but also to recognize when those needs and routines shift as you get older and experience more in life.
If you’ve been following my self-care journey for a while, you know I used to be a fairly dedicated runner. Prior to the pandemic, I was training for a marathon. When everything got shut down, my gym closed. I took that time to take what I thought would be a little break to give my body a chance to recover from the rigorous training I was doing. Well, of course, it took a lot longer for things to open up than I had originally thought, and my “little break” turned into about a year and a half.
Since March of 2020, I had not maintained a consistent workout routine. I would do a few small workouts here and there, maybe go on a short run around my neighborhood, but never stuck with it for more than a few days at a time. Working out used to be an escape for me. It was one of my favorite ways to work through anything difficult going on in my life, and it always left me feeling accomplished and invigorated. During the pandemic, though, I lost all motivation to exercise, and especially to run.
It’s almost like I became afraid of going back to the gym and getting back into a workout routine. A little over a week ago, though, I joined a fitness studio and have been taking classes consistently. I find myself looking forward to the workouts, and being in a studio pushes me to do exercises I wouldn’t have done on my own. Every time I walk out of class, I feel exhausted but powerful, and that’s a feeling I haven’t experienced in such a long time.
When I’ve worked out in the past, I never liked group workouts or classes. I always preferred going at my own pace and doing my own thing as opposed to having someone tell me what to do next. After going through the pandemic and being under the most stress I’ve ever experienced in my life the past year and a half, though, walking into the studio and having the coach tell me exactly what I need to do is so relieving. I get a high-energy, powerful hour-long workout, and I can just clear my head and focus on what I’m told to do. That feeling is so freeing, and it’s something I didn’t even know I needed until I tried it out.
If your self-care routine is shifting, or if you find yourself feeling unmotivated or uninspired by the things you used to use to cope with your daily stressors, don’t be afraid to try something new! You just might love it!
As always, stay safe + stay healthy!