(featured image by Irina L)
What do you consider a weekend off? At this point, we all get to decide for ourselves, and I had a lovely weekend dancing online, chatting with friends, ordering delivery for a change, and taking a break from productivity. I did have a fulfilling session coaching a new client, and perhaps now is the perfect time to ask, “What fulfills you?” Truthfully, we each design our own lives, building on and with the tools handed to us at the start. Some have more materials and a bigger budget, some have to struggle to make gold out of straw. Ultimately, we all have this moment to step into the role of the architect of our days.
Giving attention to values can really help with the design, and today we can apply what fuels us to the second “Way to Wellbeing,” be active. What gets you excited to face the day, either now or in your pre-pandemic life? When did you feel like you were at the top of the world? Most likely, you can identify things you really value in those experiences. When considering physical exercise for those questions, I get excited about music at the gym or at a dance party, feeling the beat. Historically, I’ve loved sports like skiing, skating, and swimming, so I really enjoy being in a sense of flow, fluidity, challenge, and speed. I’ve literally climbed mountains and have run a marathon, both of which gave me unparalleled highs and pushed me to the point of having to focus and really feel present in whatever step I might take next.
I had no interest today in taking another step. I wanted to sit on my couch and watch Kidding and eat PB&J. Thankfully, I know myself and promised I would write now during this pandemic, Monday through Friday, every day. With a post due about staying active, I gave myself all the motivation I needed to make something happen. Do you need accountability too, or are you self-driven? Once I have my reminder in place, I have a lot of options, some of which I have yet to discover. My go to? My mini rebounder trampoline. I jump/dance/party for about thirty minutes to a workout playlist I’ve curated on Amazon Music Unlimited. I just tell my little Alexa to shuffle my workout playlist, and I get to enjoy feeling the beat and dancing around, giving myself the challenge of innovating new workouts and feeling present enough to keep my balance. So, that’s a bare minimum to keep me happy and fit, and I now do it rather often.
Other options include my plan for tomorrow’s workout – waking up early enough to go for a run in the fresh air (with my mask) before too many neighbors in Manhattan get out and make social distancing difficult and therefore exercising dangerous. Because I enjoy variety and trying new things (falling down the rabbit hole), I’ve also already tried bike rides, a couple of online dance parties (I recommend The Get Down), and nude yoga on YouTube with the curtains drawn. I’ve also started trying to strengthen and stretch enough to someday attempt a back walkover, something I’ve wanted to do since childhood.
As The New Economics Foundation recommends, “Exercising makes you feel good. Most importantly, discover a physical activity you enjoy and one that suits your level of mobility and fitness.” If you have a big budget and always wanted that Peloton, make it happen. If you have little space and no funds, go on YouTube or search for free exercise options. Here’s a list from Fast Company of free online exercise classes to keep fit and sane during the pandemic. Whatever you decide, whether you choose a daily routine or mix it up for yourself to keep your interest, find what lifts your spirits and give yourself the gift of health, especially now. Someday, you might remember this time as the moment you built healthy habits and strengthened your resolve to live your best life not only today, but when you get to go back outside again.