You know that commercial where the husband and wife are going back and forth with ridiculous excuses about why they didn’t make it to the gym that day? For example:
Wife: “I forgot my ponytail holder”
Wife: “My mom called”
Husband: “Well there’s a day right there..”
As funny as that commercial is, how many times have we all done that? How many times have you missed a workout because you have too much going on, or you’re too stressed, or it’s just one more thing to add on to a to-do list THIS LONG? How many times have you skipped a workout because you don’t have a solid 90 minutes to dedicate to exercise, so you scrap the whole thing all together?
How about this? Instead of allowing the gym to be something else that you have to do, why not make it your escape from all of the other things that you have to do? Why not make it your refuge? All it takes is a little shift in thinking. Instead of saying to yourself “Ugh, I have to get to the gym”, try “I get to go to the gym today, that’s MY time to focus on me”.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the stresses of daily life and to forget that it’s imperative that you take time to take care of yourself. How can you take care of others if you are not at your best? We are reminded of this by the oh-so-lovely flight attendants every time we fly, after all. What is the #1 thing to remember in case of a loss of cabin pressure? Put on your own oxygen mask first.
It’s OK to be a little selfish sometimes.
I know that for me, my life gets more stressful when I can’t make it to the gym or get regular workouts in. Time spent lifting, running stairs, sprinting, etc. is my time to not think about anything else but myself. How many times a day can you say that you feel that it’s acceptable to think only about yourself? How often do you allow yourself to not worry about doing things for other people? For me, gym time is one of the only parts of my day where I can be completely selfish.
I work in a profession that is inherently selfless and involves taking care of others constantly. But I am very well aware that if I’m not at my best, both mentally and physically, I’m not able to give the best to my patients. Even if you don’t work in a job that involves taking care of others, you are still doing things for other people all day at work. If you are a stay at home mom, you are most certainly doing things for other people all day long. If you have a family and you have a job, you’re essentially doing things for other people a good 17 hours per day.
So when can it be YOUR turn?
Let the gym be your escape. Let your workout be a privilege in your day, not a chore. Even if you can’t get to the gym, take 20 minutes and do a quick Tabata or body weight circuit at home.
Take care of you, and the taking care of others will only get easier.