I know that throughout the last 8-9 months of this Covid/quarantine lifestyle, movement modalities have probably changed for many of you. We left winter, when some people are generally unmotivated or just not moving the same way, straight into quarantine. We’ve gone through culture and racial movements, rising death tolls due to a pandemic, a major election, and many other things since then. I know I have gone (and still go through), ebbs and flows in my emotions and simultaneously, many changes to my routine. Even while healing through my Covid journey in March, I balanced rest and movement. I fully attribute my swift-ish healing to exercising my lungs in a smart way. This made it extra important to me to prioritize the things that feel like they help me keep the train on the tracks. I’m finding the types of movement that feels good to me and what I feel like doing during a certain season of this rollercoaster life.
What am I loving right now? I always have to have good music and positive energy in whatever class or program I’m following at the time. I really like live classes where I can see that other people, that I may or may not know, are moving with me. I don’t actually pay attention to what or how someone is doing during the class, but I can see movement and people doing the same thing I’m doing in their home. It’s encouraging. It makes me feel like I’m not alone during this time and gives me motivation to finish the class (yes, even me). I’m not seeing tons of my own friends, but finding a class that I like and can do in community gives me a social vibe. It also helps me feel more accountable. Since I use fitness for mental health mostly, I don’t struggle with discipline and motivation. While I don’t always want the same kind of intense movement, I will absolutely move my body every day. Moving keeps me sane. Moving fills my cup. Prioritizing time where I ask someone else to be on duty without guilt, feels like self-care. I am going to workout (even if only for 20 minutes), stretch, shower, and change into clean sweats (quarantine uniform). That is my time. This is mindful movement in the sense that I am acting in a mindful way to carve out this solo time for myself, and also being physically mindful with how I’m moving. I care how you’re moving right now. I don’t actually care what you do (although, I’d love to see you move with me!)
Now more than ever, we need to be super thoughtful with how we’re filling our own cup. I think many of us are navigating being in close quarters with lots of togetherness time, and while there are blessings in that, it definitely requires a bit more intentional action around solo time. My boys are 3 and 5 and I am FINALLY at the point where I have NO problem shutting my bedroom door and tuning out the screams while I mindfully move. My challenge for you is to find the pockets in your family routine where you can schedule that guilt-free (or least guilty) time for yourself. My husband is naturally an early riser and doesn’t start his meetings until around 10. I’m finding that I can squeeze some work/movement time in before he starts his day and in the evening when he falls asleep on the couch during tv time (inevitable for the early riser). I am better during the day when I’ve had time to start with movement. But what works best for you? What works best for your household? Sometimes it might have to be mildly inconvenient to others in order keep your sanity in check. I also think clear communication can help in making this feel easier to do. At night before bed, Russ and I try to chat about his schedule for the following day to help manage our personal hopes or expectations (we can’t read minds and I’ve found that’s the biggest culprit of disappointment).
After reviewing meeting schedule:
Me: “I have 2 clients from 7-9am, and would really like to run before I start school with Malcolm at 10”.
Russ: “You should totally run between clients and school. I’ll hang with the boys during the morning until you’re done. I’m hoping to run tomorrow, but I have a break from 12-1:30, so I can run and grab lunch during that time”
We are both a little more prepared for what we each need and expect. It doesn’t leave room for us to skip movement time or feel resentful for not receiving that time, because we’ve made arrangements the night before and can plan ahead.
Tips for not always feeling like moving:
- Start slow if you’re getting back into a routine! Don’t dive in head first and crush your body right out of the gate. Start with 10 minutes and stretching, work up to 20 minutes and stretching, walk/jog/run, don’t start with 15lbs weights if it’s been awhile, etc. Be good to your body, because that’s the whole point of this mindful, intentional action.
- Find something you enjoy and that feels good to your body. These express HIIT classes or dance cardio classes might not be your jam and you aside from not liking them, they may not make your body feel awesome if you’re not familiar or comfortable with those movement patterns. While there is something to be said for switching up your routine or cross-training, there is also something to be said for being consistent with something you like and feel good doing. I think any movement is better than no movement, and during Covid/Quarantine/Winter, just find something that fits for you.
- Don’t underestimate a bundled walk. Grab some headphones, find a playlist/podcast you love (before you get outside – prepare!), lace up some comfortable shoes, and get that fresh air. We’re probably all inside a lot so walking gets us some outside time AND is an awesome way to start building a bit of endurance.
- Schedule and plan ahead so you’re intentional with carving that time, but also have a backup plan for the times you might get a quick break and are feeling motivated! I have an On-Demand library of things I like for when I get some unexpected free-time. This helps me avoid searching for something to do, while then losing the momentum to do it.
- Find an “accountability” buddy! This isn’t about a challenge, it’s about having someone to give you that social connection and motivation from a distance! I am really liking my Apple Watch feature that shares my friend activity. I can see when someone finishes a workout and send a high-five or some encouragement if they haven’t met their daily goal in a few days. Find someone and tell them your goal (20-30 minutes of mindful movement a day) and then just check in with one another! Even if life gets crazy and you take a day or two off, maybe it’s just someone who you can chat with for socialization, and then get back on the wagon when you’re both there.
- Drink lots of water. There is something about keeping a water routine that helps you stay motivated and encouraged to keep up with your movement routine.
In no way is this intended to direct you to my classes, however, I’m very mindful about life right now and focus on that when I’m programming. I want you to feel good, safe, have fun, and have options for what is best fitting for you. I hope you leave feeling a little challenged, yet always confident, sore, but also strong, and happy and maybe a little more centered/connected. If you haven’t taken a class and you’re looking for something to try, snag an intro pack and see if it works for you! All packages can be used on live and on-demand classes. I can be your accountability buddy, even on the days it feels hard!
Make some time for yourself and pour back into yourself a bit. Happy moving!