If you’ve ever met me, you have probably noticed that I’m not one to shy away from striking up a conversation, inviting you to the nearest happy hour, or sharing my life’s story.
For the most part, I’m an outgoing and adventurous soul. I really like to meet new people, try new things, and stay as busy as can be. So naturally, you’d think that human interaction has always been an enjoyable part of my life.
In reality, it’s been quite the opposite. I’ve dealt with severe anxiety for the past twenty-four years of my life (I’m 26).
When I was growing up, I never wanted to leave my mom’s side, I hated talking to people I didn’t know, and the first time I told a waiter my own order was when I was fourteen-years-old. I remember I would chew my nails until they bled, have a hard time breathing before social situations, and develop ulcers before any sporting event I was participating in. This was all thanks to my unwanted dose of anxiety.
I never sought out help or treatment for this mental health issue, as I was always too embarrassed to talk about it or too confused as to what it really was. Instead, I just ignored my anxiety and caged it up for a really (really) long time.
The anxiety didn’t stop in my youth. I carried it with me through my first years of high school and well into college, where I hid it under lots of partying and the unhealthiest of foods.
It did get better though.
Right after my dad passed away when I was 22 years old, my outlook on life naturally shifted. I started to chill out and live in the moment, while zeroing in on my health, my relationships with others, and how I was spending each and every day. Gratitude started to overtake the anxiety in a really powerful way.
And the one thing that helps the most with my anxiety? Working out.
Breaking a sweat, moving my body, pushing my limits, and tuning into my own mindset helps me completely relax. Whether that’s after a yoga class or a heavy squat day, working out in any form can drastically improve my mood.
Live in Bozeman? Check out the TOP 10 Workouts You MUST Do In Bozeman, Montana.
But there is such a thing as “workout anxiety” and I get it on the regular.
Most of the time my workout anxiety comes after an unhealthy party weekend or a bad night’s sleep. And once it hits, it seems to stay foreverrrr. It can take days or even a whole week for me to snap out of it.
I’m not so sure why workout anxiety is a thing since exercise is one of the number one relievers of anxiety. I mean, it’s even prescribed by doctors for people battling this mental health issue…what the actual fuck?
Since workout anxiety is a total thing for so many people, I wanted to share some of the ways I have found to help quell my anxious ass in hopes of helping anyone out there battling with this health issue. Just know, you’re not alone.
Ways to relieve workout anxiety
Treat every workout differently
Some days you wake up ready to tackle the world. Other days you can barely roll out of bed. That means what your body needs and is capable of each and every day is different too. Tune in and adjust your workouts accordingly. Maybe you even give yourself permission to take a rest day entirely. Whatever you choose, just be sure to make it a mindful decision.
Put it in your schedule
I know this sounds cliché, but it really works. I mean how many times have you missed an appointment or a meeting that was in your planner, your Google calendar, and your to-do list? If you treat your workouts in the same fashion, you’ll be less likely to skip your session.
Grab a buddy
So now that you have your workouts scheduled, why not schedule them with another person? This will increase your chances of showing up and it will also make the workout way more enjoyable.
Jam to some tunes
Music alone can soothe the soul…and when paired with some sweat? Watch out, world. Before I workout, I always put in my headphones on my walk to the gym and bump my favorite jams (right now it’s Curve by Gucci Mane or Bodak Yellow by Cardi B). It instantly boosts my mood and puts me in the right mindset for working out.
Exercise isn’t about punishing your body each and every workout or breaking your PR after every run. It’s about celebrating your body, your effort, and your hard work. By taking the pressure out of working out, it can become a lot more enjoyable. So relax, babe. Everything’s going to be just fine.
Workout anxiety is a total bitch. And when it hits, it can be a really hard thing to shake in getting back to a normal routine. I know first-hand just how difficult it can be. Hopefully my experiences and tips can help next time you experience anxiety before a workout.
Do you have any tips or tricks when it comes to battling workout anxiety? Comment below and let me know! I’d love to heard how you tackle this beast.