Winter blues, post-partum blues, post vacation or honey moon blues, and now…Quarantine Blues. There will ALWAYS be some type BLUE, some reason or event that has brought us heartache, stress and perhaps an easy excuse to put ourselves very last, thus identifying that sadness for lack of motivation. There will always be some type to emotional event that could bring our mood down, and for some reason may feel like an easy opt in for the ice cream pint binges and bottomless chip bag snacking. Motivation at times like these can be extremely hard to find, but I assure, you it it’s there. We all may just have to dig a little deeper to find it.
From my own past experiences during times of emotional stress, there are TWO key components that I motivated me. The first, is simple, if I see RESULTS, and feel confident, I am motivated. The second, a bit more elaborate, is getting rid of extreme STRESS. In my opinion, it is stress or any emotional blues that could occur from the mentioned life scenarios, that take over the presence of any motivation that may exist. So how do I cope? Simple, TRY TO DE STRESS (and sure, perhaps, not so simple).
For me, and most individuals whether they realize it or not, exercise is a fantastic stress relief.
Now you may read that, roll your eyes, and eagerly start to scroll down to my next blog. Give me a minute, hear me out.
The secret to this method, is even more simple, finding the method of exercise that actually relieves YOUR stress.
Perhaps you want to take my advice, and you decide to sign up at a new gym to try my method out. Perhaps you are also an individual that isn’t used to regular exercise, and you start to realize that the stress of getting into a new gym environment, meeting new people, finding available equipment at the gym, finding your rhythm and knowing what to do in the gym is indeed bringing on even MORE stress, emotional stress.
Maybe you start off with too much exercise, and start exercising five days a week, when you were previously used to one day per week. Now, your body has become stressed, you are run down, your immune system is compromised because you are in a calorie deficit plus taking on more exercise than your body is accustomed to, you are sore, tired, and inflamed since your body isn’t used to this new change in activity. Every day you dread getting dressed for the gym because you detest getting on that treadmill, but do it anyway because your friend or some other influencer “swears by it.” Quickly realize that you are already burnt out. Now both your body and mind are stressed. And the biggest killer for motivation that I see, perhaps you get on the scale, to monitor the progress you have made with these great changes, and realize the scale has not budged, in fact it is up two pounds. Boom, now you are even more mentally stressed again. Game over, gym is done.
Then, what is my suggestion to fix this? FIND YOUR OWN MOTIVATION.
Tips for motivation is all relative to each individual. You have to find what motivates YOU. Find the type of exercise you are WILLING to do and that you actually ENJOY doing. You may not have one type of exercise that you actually enjoy YET, but I promise you, you WILL find one. Trial and error my friends.
Just because your girlfriend swears by own method and she looks fantastic, that does not mean that method is an ideal choice for YOU.
I used to HATE exercising. HATE IT. I envied the people that said they loved it; I just didn’t understand. And now? THAT’S ME NOW. I get it. I love it, I crave it, I need it to feel balanced, motivated, energized, focused, and it is Exercise is my BIGGEST stress reliever. I truly enjoy it now. Going from a body that had over 100 pounds to lose, dreading the idea of stepping in to a gym or moving my body in any way, to now making it a huge part of my life with both pleasure and work.I was never a runner, I tried, but nope, never a runner. I don’t know where in our society we were taught that we HAVE to run in order to lose weight. That may be the most common fitness related question I am asked daily, “Do I have to run?” Of course, you don’t. While it is the pairing of a proper amount of both cardiovascular and strength training that will bring you fantastic results, it is not the TYPE of each.
In my opinion, the only PERFECT workout method or style, is the one that YOU are WILLING to do, and one that you can one day say that you actually enjoy and feel great doing. I found what I love, and what I actually crave and look forward to. We all need to find our own style and method that WE can enjoy and commit to, and turn off the noise of everything else, especially from social media, expensive boutique gyms that push only their method on you.
For me, I know that if I do not take care of myself physically, mentally I don’t feel my best. If I do not eat the way that makes me feel balanced and great, or exercise regularly, I am even more tired, cranky, stressed, unconfident, have BAD cravings…. all the things. So, if I consistently stick to a coping mechanism like exercise that I know relieves my stress and brings me continued motivation, what more could I ask for?
Motivation is really based around our mindset. We need to get in the right mindset rather than the repeated mentality of “I have to start over” or “get back on track.” No one has to start-over, we just have to ADAPT; get used to a new practice, a practice YOU feel great doing that you will soon feel is automatic and part of your life. For me, health and fitness are simply a way of life. It is a lifestyle, nor is it “being on track.” I have always disliked the phrase, “on track” for a reason. If we think that way, in terms of "being on track", we are setting ourselves to fall off track, it is simply too much pressure. Same exact thing with the phrase “on a diet," if you are “on a diet” then you will be “off the diet” if you stray. Again, TOO MUCH PRESSURE.
I think the winter weather, Covid-Blues, Post-Partum experiences, these for sure are all are very realistic motivator KILLERS for most of us, or easy excused to throw in the towel. These times are unique, we don’t have that goal to focus on such as getting swim suit ready for a trip or warmer weather, we don’t have a ton of choices as far as social activities to engage in, not even enough reasons to make sure those jeans folded on the top shelf of your closet fit. I encourage you to not use these times as an excuse, but instead to refocus that energy to truly take care of yourself, both on the inside and out and all of the emotional stress will be de-emphasized. Take care of yourself for YOU, and no one else. Find YOUR motivation, it is there, I assure you.