Finding time to fit in exercise is self-care

We often talk about how finding time for rest is important and a form of self-care. We talk about giving ourselves permission to miss a workout. If we miss a workout or we couldn’t find the energy that day or life got in the way in a myriad of ways, we talk about being kind to ourselves and not overthinking it. Think about the next workout. Think about what you can do – not what you haven’t done. This is all true. However, it is also important that we think about finding time to fit in exercise as self-care.

It is often said that the caretaker (of children, parents, patients, clients, etc.) must ensure they look after themselves so that they are able to look after others. We try to mitigate our inclinations to feel guilty about carving out time in our days to look after ourselves.

I don’t think there are any circumstances where a person should feel guilty about finding time to exercise. If it’s something the person wants (and is able) to do, then, it is important and there should be no need to justify finding that time. Whether it’s an hour run or 7 min HIIT workout or a walk or a gentle yoga class.

Finding time to rest is important and a form of self-care but it is OK to know and to appreciate that finding time to exercise is also important and a form of self-care. If we want to exercise (and we are able to, physically, in that moment) and we want to reap the benefits – better sleep, clearer head, more energy, feeling stronger, more patience and more – we should consider it our right to find the time.

If you are starting a new job and you are unsure about taking time to exercise – I hope you give yourself the love you deserve and go for that swim.

If you are thinking about a loved one in the hospital and you feel guilty thinking about how to fit in your daily jog – I hope you ditch the guilt and lace up.

If you have kids going back to school after March Break and your head is stacked with lists of things to do – don’t forget to give yourself the gift of movement – in that list – even if it’s 7 min a few times throughout the day.

If you haven’t been exercising and you are finding it hard to picture yourself at the gym – perhaps try some of the movements you would have done at the gym – at home – try some air squats or jumping jacks or wall push-ups or whatever works for you to try and build your confidence.

I hope you find the exercise that works for you and the self-care you deserve – this week, this month, this year.

Nicole P. is selfish with exercise and fitting it in.

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