I’ve been an athlete my whole life, and during normal times I workout 6 days a week. However, the pandemic situation has really taken a toll on me, and my season was put on hold right in the middle of it. I try working out on my own like I do in the off-season, but my body is just so weak and tired. Every time I try looking for tips for how to deal with emotional exhaustion so I can get more energy to exercise, one of the top things is to exercise. As you can see, this is really circular! Do you have any other ideas?
Took Out Yoga Mat; Laid Down
Hey Took Out Yoga Mat,
You’re so right! How are you supposed to work out for more energy…when you have no energy to workout?!
I’m totally guilty of recommending exercise to feel better mentally and to boost energy. And it does work, most of the time. But you know what? Sometimes forcing exercise right away isn’t the answer. Sometimes, you really do need a break to heal your mind.
Side note: isn’t it amazing how much our mental health impacts our physical health and vice versa?! Taking care of both sides is so important!
For you, you’re dealing with two major things that impact you on both sides of the spectrum. On the physical side, you’re forced to work out on your own. Which wouldn’t be a huge deal, except you’re also dealing with stress from the pandemic AND the interruption of your season. You’re missing your team, your motivation, and the ability to do what you’re passionate about. No wonder you’re exhausted!
My first piece of advice is to find some kind of outlet. If your normal workouts aren’t working for you right now, don’t force them! Experiment with something more gentle that allows you to breathe and process your thoughts. Something like:
- Walking and getting lost in a podcast or your favorite music
- Yoga (certain poses like hip openers can really help)
Or, any new hobby that you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t had the time! Even if it’s as simple as reading, finding something new that you enjoy could lift your spirits and light a new fire in you.
Lastly, lean on your loved ones. Your family, friends, teammates, coaches, the POP community, or anyone you trust. Support is everything through tough times! In these pandemic times, it’s important to connect safely as often as we can while we deal with being physically separated. Hopefully reaching out here helps!
Remember that you’re not alone in this right now. The weight of the pandemic is suffocating and it’s making it really difficult for a lot of us to stay positive and motivated. It’s DRAINING and EXHAUSTING. So know that your feelings are valid, and I’m with you.
Give yourself some time to heal mentally, and move your body gently until you truly feel ready to get back into your normal workouts. It may seem like this weird time is never going to end, but I promise it will! You’ll be back out there, stronger than ever 🙂
PS – If you have a burning question you want to ask me, leave a comment below! You may be featured in an upcoming Dear Cassey post!