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Is going to the gym self-care?

Ugggh. That’s how I feel about the going to the gym. Just. ugggggh.

It’s nothing new. My choice self-care practice rarely involves rapid movement or physical activity. The slower paced the better – that’s usually how I roll. I’ve learned to embrace this part of my personality. I’ve even worked to mold my self-care practices around it. Work smarter, not harder, eh? The day I picked up journaling and stopping shaming myself for not going to the gym brought about joyous relief. The realization that there are other ways that I can practice self-care was a game changer.

Going to the gym is totally self-care (for some people)

And I’m definitely not one of those people. I stand by my statement. I don’t ever see myself becoming a gym rat, or choosing excercize over art as a form of relaxation. Nope, most likely not going to happen. But Just because excercise isn’t my ideal medium for practicing self-care, doesn’t mean it isn’t relatively important in terms of overall health.

Taking care of yourself is self-care.

So here I am typing this out while I’m peddling on this dang stationary bike at my physical therapist’s office. I don’t want to be here, I don’t want to do this, but I do want to heal my body and improve my physical fitness. Taking care of myself includes attending to my physical health, right? Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Sometimes it’s tough to do things we don’t want to do. Wait let me restate that, most all of the time it’s tough, especially if it involves going to the gym. It can really help to find a way to make it just a tad more tolerable. You know, a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down? Well, consider my phone the sugar bowl because it’s a really great distraction. It’s helping me get through this icky bike ride. Turns out, mindlessly checking my social media feeds can actually be a fairly mindful activity. If I can intentionally shift and transfer my thoughts, it makes everything much easier.

Stop thinking about going to the gym.

It’s not going to help to keep reminding myself I’m at the gym, so to pass the time and distract myself, I guess I can tell you a little about why I started going to the gym.

I started going physical therapy a few months ago and it totally worked. I started to get miraculously strong and flexible. I hated going to PT but it didn’t quite feel as daunting as going to the the actual gym because there was a specific purpose. Now that I’ve decreased the frequency of my sessions, due to my awesomeness, I don’t want to backslide and lose all of thee progress I’ve made. So here I am in the gym and hating it. But at least I’m here. I’m low key screaming inside because I don’t want to do it. It’s cold out and rainy out and I’d rather be in bed. But, nope, I will find way to make it through.

This was my successful attempt. Thanks for going to the gym with me. It’s the silly little things we do to keep ourselves going- that’s the real self-care right there. I still can’t quite call going to the gym self-care, but I’m working on it.

And there you have it. Done, done, and donner. Cheers.

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