How Quarantine... Made Me Enjoy Exercising
Let me first preface this by saying I'm all for a lazy day. Listening to the rain, binging the latest Netflix obsession, eating far too many cookies we've somehow made from scratch for the hundredth time, or just listening to music and accepting that there is "better use of your time" at this point.
That being said, I've always been one who needs to stress. If there's no weight on my shoulders, I don't feel like myself. And right now, as communication is diluted and we're forced to fill our social needs through spotty wifi and text messages that I thought I had already replied to, it's more important than ever to still set goals.
For me, I knew quarantine would be an opportunity for a new project. This time, focusing on myself. First, I asked: What do I always seem to put off because I simply don't have the time? Your answer may be the same as mine... exercise.
I've never hated an occasional workout, but it's also never been my favorite pass time. I always find the excuse or the reason why today just isn't the day.
It all started when my little sister was found a program. Our sharing of space as I move back under my parents roof reminded me how quick and easy a few squats can be. I decided to challenge her and join in on the two-week challenge.
It's now two weeks later and I'm feeling the most confident and in-shape I have ever felt. I've never been disappointed, but I know I do my best work when I'm feeling good, because the truth is most of my day to day is being on camera or creating content for social. It reminded me how a little boost of confidence can make you more productive.
Of course, as with many things, this is easier said than done. And it's not a one-size-fits-all scenario. There's what feels like a million options for a simple get-into-shape program online. It'll take some time, but if you're interested in getting your body moving during quarantine, it's worth the time. It also held me accountable, too. Beforehand, and especially during the school year, I'd wonder what to do today or when enough was enough. I always thought breaking a sweat was a good workout, but I learned that that's not always true (and that 80 degree California days make that a bit easier.)
It also adds a feeling of accomplishment. There's no sticker or congratulations at the end, but we thrive off of feelings of pride. It also reminds you someone else is working through it with you, and isolated feelings is something we all know a little too well.
It's important to think of routine, but also keep it open to adjustment. At first, I enjoyed getting up and completing my workout early. It gave me that extra boost of energy bright and early, but also made me feel accomplished even before I logged online. Of course, countless mornings I waited as long as I could in bed before pep-talking myself enough to get up. Some nights were when I chose to workout, too. I began rewarding myself by creating a new obsession with smoothies, grabbing new items and combinations at the grocery store. It became something small, but rewarding, and something that only followed when I had finished my workout for the day.
If you're thinking of working on yourself, think about exercise. And don't fret, you don't need to devote hours a day. But do remember the activity you're now missing out on. For me, the walks to class every day is something I lost when school closed. Now moving from meeting to meeting or class to class is as simple as opening a new tab.
So breathe a bit of air. Blast some of your favorite music. And make exercise just as rewarding as it is fun. We're all motivated by different things. For me, it's leaving quarantine knowing I have a new standard and thing I enjoy for myself, and that taking time to work on yourself isn't selfish at all.
I've shared some of my favorite workout songs below. This is the playlist I jammed to for two weeks straight, so I hope you'll crank it up and at least just dance around the living room a bit.