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Balancing Fitness and Self-Care
You’ve had a bad day at the office. You promised yourself you would hit the gym after work, but when you get home, you feel stressed, anxious, and tired. On one hand, you know your physical fitness is important to your health, but on the other, you know that you need to give yourself downtime. What do you do?
Many of us encounter some variation of that dilemma multiple times a week. We are torn between our desire to get fitter and our desire to be kinder to ourselves, and we don’t know which one to pick. Addressing this issue means re-evaluating how we think about our health and our attitude to fitness and self-care.
Fitness Is Self-Care
First of all, it is essential to remind yourself that fitness is part ofa healthy self-care regimen. Taking proactive care of your well-being includes exercising regularly, which prevents a variety of mental and physical illnesses. When you commit to focusing on self-care, your fitness routine is an intrinsic part of that, and it should be treated as such.
What fitness is not is a punishment or something you need to endure to look a certain way. When you see exercise as something negative, you are less likely to keep doing it in the long run. Fitness should be enjoyable for its own sake and for the way it makes you feel. If you hate running, stop forcing yourself onto a treadmill. If you need Netflix on your phone to get you through a session on the cross-trainer, you are obviously not engaging with the exercise in any meaningful way.
Even people who love exercise can’t be bothered to do it sometimes. The difference is they know they love it and that it will make them feel better. That and, of course, they have managed to make it a habit.
How Your Habits Influence Each Other
So how do you make your fitness routine, and your self-care as a whole, into a habit? You start by identifying what usually keeps you from exercising, even when you know you will like it. Is it fatigue, stress, or some other negative emotion? Whatever keeps you from exercising, those are the habits you need to address first.
Self-care should be approached in a holistic manner. Our drive to exercise is influenced by a wide range of other factors that need to be considered equally. Trying to force a habit without digging into the root causes of why you tend to fail is asking for disappointment. By considering how your habits influence each other, you will eventually achieve the balance you need to practice self-care in a healthy and productive way.