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Paige Waehner

Do You Need to Go Easy On Yourself?

By January 3, 2013

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As I was sitting down to write this blog post, having officially Gotten Back to Work, I had a strange thought: I don't have time to figure out what to write about...I have too much to do! The problem, of course, is that one aspect of writing is figuring out what one is going to write about. Strange, but true.

The pressure many of us feel coming back to work after the holidays is a lot like the pressure we feel as we face our First Day Back to Our Official Exercise Routines. We have so much to do! We have to work, we have to sweat, we have to suffer. We have to undo the damage we've done over the holidays. Not only that, we have to do it with a happy smile on our faces because this is supposed to feel good...or at least satisfying, right?

The problem is, how we expect to feel may not be how we actually feel. You may expect to wake up on the third day of a new year and happily sweat your way through a workout, because it's January and the party? It's way over. What you may actually feel is tired, maybe a little depressed, maybe not quite ready to work at 100%.

What we often do in these moments is try to force it, telling ourselves things like, "I should be killing myself after that long break!" or "I don't deserve to go easy on myself...I just multi-slacked for seven straight days!" Yet, some easy time may be exactly what you need to make the transition to Life After the Holidays.

So, how can you take the pressure off and figure out what you need as opposed to what you think you should do?

  1. Take a Breath - Just as I felt too rushed to stop and figure out what I was going to write about, many of us feel we have to get back to our workouts right now. However, the best time to stop and take a breath is at the exact moment you think you don't have time for it. Is that what you need to do today? Do you need to stop, take a breath and figure out how to ease back into your workouts without punishing yourself?
  2. Take the Pressure Off - You may face your first few workouts of the new year as if they are Life and Death. You might even get overwhelmed, trying to figure out how you're going to fit in all those missed workouts. The good news is, you don't. All you have to do is figure out what you need to do right now, today. What does your body really need today and what can you reasonably do? That's it, that's all.
  3. Give Yourself a Break - Hitting the ground running after days or weeks of parties, travel, family visits, etc. is a tall order. We often feel guilty if we don't start the day with happy energy, but most of us need time to get our workout mojo back. So, how could you pull back and make the transition to Real Life a little easier? A little more pleasant? For example, one of my clients decided to schedule a massage her first day back to her exercise program so she would have something to look forward to. What could you do to give yourself a break?

What do you think? Do you feel pressure to get back to real life at full throttle? If you took the pressure off and forgot about what you're supposed to do, what would you really want right now? Leave a comment and tell us about it.

January 5, 2013 at 11:14 am
(1) crow says:

Well, everyday is real life to me. No pressure. I do want I want everyday and kind of ignore “holidays.” Best to live in the moment and ignore those superficial expectations that have no real meaning. Live in the moment outside with joy. Breathe.

January 7, 2013 at 6:02 pm
(2) Novie says:

Letting go and not thinking of what I’m supposed to do is always hard. I’ve been told that I’m not the supreme deity and can’t solve everything! So, in my quest to become healthy, with no guilt about my holiday escapades and being totally selfish, I want to get a massage, chiropractic adjustment, , pedicure and manicure then I can begin a mental, internal and external journey to exercise Wellness.

January 7, 2013 at 6:35 pm
(3) Rog & Amy says:

My wife finished the year with 2,130 (note 2130 can be rearranged to 2013 and not a coincidence) running/trail running/hiking miles in her first full year of running, ever. We kept a log and both realized we exercised about an hour and twenty minutes a day in 2012. Although I did not log the same number of miles, running, I did log more than 2,800 miles bicycling and 200 hours of competitive handball.

The dawn of the New Year was a non-event as both of us resolved to ramp up our exercise rather than wind down.

We began logging our activity in 2010 beginning with an average of 20 minutes a day in some form of exercise. 2011, found us completing more than 50 minutes a day.

In 2010, we vowed to each other, after witnessing several of our friends and family struggle with health problems that we would make a change in our activity.

Amy is 55 and I am 66, so the time is never too late to begin. Amy will run her first full marathon this May and last year I competed in the Canadian and U.S. National Handball Championships as well as the World Championships in Dublin.

The first seven days of 2013, we enjoyed more than 2 hours a day in some form of physical activity. We all make choices. Our choice is to be and remain very active for the remainder of our lives.

January 8, 2013 at 6:04 am
(4) wendy says:

hi i didnt actually break my routine even had a bike ride christmas day this way i find it easier than having to get back in to it

January 8, 2013 at 1:42 pm
(5) Fontini says:

I would love to have the time to spend my energy on becoming a pilates instructor that eveyone raves about.. I would love to be able to heal body mind and soul with His awesomeness shinning throu me.

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