As I stated in my post, “From a Grey Cloud to a Bright Spot” I wasn’t truly living while I was learning to live with my diagnosis of Bipolar II Disorder, I was only surviving. Nothing mattered except for what was right in front of me and the future wasn’t even a consideration. Because I was only focused on what was right in front of me, I ended up neglecting my physical health.
It wasn’t until I got my mental health concerns under control that I even considered to pay attention to my physical health. However, once I did. I realized I had neglected my physical health and began to see the physical manifestation of my neglect; my weight had fluctuated 20 pounds in both directions over a year, I was out of breath walking to class, and felt fatigue from the moment I woke up. After I realized how neglected my physical health was, I knew that I needed to do something—I needed to pay as much attention to my physical health as I did to my mental health.
I had the desire to get physically healthy but the actual doing, the actual working out seemed like one of the most miserable things I could possible do. I didn’t want to run or lift weights, I wanted to watch Netflix and drink a beer. Unfortunately for me watching TV and drinking a beer is exactly the opposite of what I needed to do. It wasn’t until re-watching Simon Sinek’s TED talk, “How great leaders inspire action”, that I realized that the reason I was having such a hard time forcing myself to work out was because I was missing my why. I knew my what, to get healthy, and I knew my how, working out, but I was missing the why I wanted to get healthy.
It took some time to come up with my why but after some deep reflection I realized that the reason I wanted to get healthy was that I wanted to be able to live a life that was healthy in every aspect. I didn’t want to neglect any piece of myself or my wellbeing anymore. It is still a struggle every single day to make myself work out but now that I had my why it is a little easier.
For the days that I need a little extra motivation to work out I utilize the three following tricks:
- Find something to make working out look a little more attractive. For me it is watching Netflix as I work out. (I’m missing a beer but I’ll take the Netflix)
- Do one work out that you find fun and save it for the end of your work out. This way you have to get to the end of the work out to do the fun part.
- Think about one specific benefit of choosing to work out this time; if you have a specific reason for the work out of the day you will have even more reason to finish it.
These three tricks are simple and have proven to be effective so far in my quest to live a life that is healthy in every aspect. What do you do to motivate yourself to focus on your physical or mental health?
(Graphic created using Canva)