Grace and understanding, as a working parent with little sleep and a mountain of things stressing you out, you hope others give you these two things. The big question however, is are you giving them to yourself?
It can be so easy to get angry with yourself because you think you aren’t performing as well as you should be. You aren’t doing everything you can as a mom or dad, your could be better at work, you could take more work home, you do more for you spouse, do more around the house, spend more time with your pets, call your family and friends more, cook more… the list goes on and on.
You can do anything, but you can’t do everything. - David Allen
So you missed your workout today… or possibly the last few days. Or, maybe you’re like me and haven’t ran in a week. Guess what? It’s okay. Sometimes you are going to have bigger things going on that you have to give your full attention to and they are going to completely drain you. It’s the whole “adulting” thing. I’m not going to tell you to get out and workout anyways when really what you need is an extra hour of sleep.
Did a personal trainer just tell you to get sleep instead of a workout? - yes, if that is indeed what you need. But I’m also going to tell you the following:
1. Eat Right
If you are missing workouts AND your eating habits are being affected negatively, you will end up feeling worse, not better. That’s not what we want. Taking a few days to rest and refocus should not include eating a bunch of junk food and throwing your healthy habits out the window. We want to get your energy back up and that requires good nutrition. Keep eating healthy. If you’re going through this right now and you aren’t eating healthy, readjust. Healthy eating will help motivate you to get back to working out quicker and unhealthy eating can discourage you from getting back to working out anytime soon. (It’s the whole, “What’s the point now? I was doing so well and now I’m not even eating right.” mentality. I’ll discuss that trap in a later blog.)
2. Do Stress Relieving Activities
Something happened to throw you off your routine and your amazing exercise streak. What was it? Figure that out first. For me, it was figuring out which school to send my son to who starts kindergarten in August as well as some things going on at work. Once you have figured out what threw you off your routine, decide if you have solved it or what you can do to improve it and/or lessen the stress is putting on you. If it hasn’t been solved, practice some stress relieving activities such as taking a hot bath, spending time with a friend, going on a date, reading a book, walking your dog, or meditation.
3. Take Some Time
It’s alright to take some time to regroup, reenergize, focus on things that need all of your attention, and know that it is only temporary. You should never feel as though you have failed because you missed a workout or workouts due to pressing issues. Focus on those and take care of them.
4. Get Back At It
This is so important. Once you have missed a few workouts, it is difficult to get back at it. However, if you are still eating right and doing stress relieving activities, it will be much easier to get back at it than if you were not. Plan a day and a time to do just that. Instead of saying, “I’m going to run later today and every day to make up for time lost, say, “I’m going to go for a run on (insert day in near future) at this time.” And stick to it. Block off that time. Put it in your calendar. Then do it. You got this. Give yourself some grace and understanding but never an excuse.