Fitness Tips · Goals · Instructor

Balancing “Real Life” and Fitness

Having a full-time job working 40 hours, teaching 8-10 classes, and doing my own workouts 3-4 times a week is trying at times. I’m not going to sugar-coat that fact. I don’t get a lot of free time during the week and I have to carefully plan my weekends.

Do I get exhausted? Definitely! Are there weeks when all I want to do is stay home and sleep? You bet! 

So, you may ask…Is it worth it? Absolutely! Not only do I have two jobs that I enjoy, but I get to keep myself and others in shape by sharing my passion for fitness.

Even though I get overwhelmed at times, I’ve managed to find ways to maintain balance in my life…most of the time. It’s not always an easy task but, having the balance is rewarding.

We all have different schedules; for each of us, keeping the balance is difficult for varying reasons. Here are some of the things I focus on to keep the balance. Hopefully they can help you as well.

Priorities

When I get busy, I can become overwhelmed rather easily.  In order to combat this feeling, I take a second to sit down and focus on a list of my priorities. This allows me to focus on one responsibility at a time, which makes completing them all more attainable.

Knowing what needs to get done first can put your mind at ease in order to finish the rest of your tasks at hand. This may mean carrying out your “real life” errands have to come before getting your workout in. Or even going to the gym at a different time than you’re used to. It is possible to do both…it’s just a matter of completing your main priority first.

And if you don’t get it all done in a day guess what…there’s tomorrow to try again. Don’t get down if you don’t finish everything you set out to do. The fact that we’re doing the best we can to improve ourselves in this rat race we call life is what matters.

Down Time

Taking a rest day is CRUCIAL to maintain balance. It’s challenging to find the time in our routines to take a moment to ourselves. We need this down time to recover though. If we run ourselves into the ground, there is nothing left and you end up feeling swamped and drained. Taking a second to breathe allows you to reorganize your thoughts and focus on what really matters.

I used to burn the candle at both ends all too frequently. This resulted in me being habitually sick and stressed out. I have learned my lesson and know when I need to rest to let myself recover. I DO STILL struggle to take a day off. But, when I think of it as saving myself from being sick or overwhelmed later on, I remember why it’s important and that makes it easier.

Hobbies and Activities

For a lot of us, working out is a hobby and fun activity and there’s nothing wrong with that. I know for me personally when I focus on working out too much I can become somewhat obsessive about my progress and I lose sight of what I enjoy about it.

I try to keep hobbies and activities that aren’t involved with either my job as a chemist or fitness instructor in my schedule to allow me to escape my worries about either one. It’s nice to do something fun that doesn’t allow much time to think about work or working out.

Some of my hobbies include: crafting, snowboarding, hiking, and watching lots of movies and TV shows. Crafting especially helps me feel more at ease because it allows me time to preoccupy my mind with becoming immersed into whatever project it is that I’m working on.

Friends and Family

Making time for friends and family is tricky when you are occupied with your everyday routine. Although it may be taxing to try to fit hanging out with people into your schedule when it becomes busy, it helps keep your personal connections intact.

The people in our lives matter for various reasons and they help us get through tough times. It is important to not neglect them. It doesn’t mean you have to allocate a huge amount of time…it just means you need to be present when you are with them. I have a friend who is largely focused on being present around others right now; it’s made me realize that being attentive while you are around others is more pertinent than the actual amount time spent.

Spending quality time with the persons who matter in your life can help you stay balanced because you can bounce thoughts off of them and get different perspectives on current situations you have going on. At times, I get into my own head about my tasks and I can get stuck in a negative thought process as a result. Discussing these thoughts with my friends relieves me of that negative feeling and allows me to see things in a new light so I can adjust my process of going about my responsibilities.

 

Like I said, it’s not easy to keep a balanced schedule involving work, fitness, and life in general. But it is most definitely worth it. Just know that as long as you keep trying and improving, everything will be alright.

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