Do you ever get stuck in some weird funk where you have ZERO motivation to move or do a workout?
Yip it happens to everyone, including the fitness professionals! I got a big smack in the face with it this week. You are literally sitting there going, I really should do something right now but I just don’t want to! How do you move through this?
Let me break it down for you so you can grab a couple tools for next time the ‘funk’ hits
Let’s first take a moment to recognised the difference between ‘EXHAUSTED’ & feeling ‘BLAH’. The women I work with are all Mums and we are all operating off some level of exhaustion. Most of the time when exhaustion really hits, you actually need to REST. Chances are you are being way too hard on yourself and your expectations might be slightly out of whack.
So if you haven’t done a workout because you literally haven’t slept for weeks (literally!), your have been doing the solo parent gig because you partner is away, you have been dealing with sick children or whatever is going on you are completely exhausted… if you exercise now, you are probably at more risk of hurting yourself because you can’t actually focus on what you are doing. Please go to bed. Read the rest of this article tomorrow.
BUT if you are just feeling a bit ‘blah’, there might be some other issues going on, we need to try and find a way to get you moving. Because burning energy, GIVES you energy. The hardest part is just getting started. Once those endorphins kick in, you will not regret it!
The next step you need to take is try to identify what exactly is causing the lack of motivation and then work with the best creative strategies to help move past this. What is the trigger or root emotional occurring here?
For example, my moment of ‘I really don’t want to do anything at all’ moment was when it was really hot. Yes, I live in Cairns and sometimes it gets so hot your brain just stops functioning. So the how did we over come this? We hit the pool. Straight down to the lagoon for a couple of hours to splash around with the kids. Or maybe you could put the sprinkler on in your back yard and do you ‘workout’ through the sprinkler?!
If you can really identify that key factor triggering your lack of motivation YOU CAN MOVE THROUGH IT
Here are a quick list of potential triggers and a little option to help move you on:
- Not interested – If you don’t like doing a particular form of movement/exercise.. please don’t do it. Do something new or funny. You may just stumble across something you do like or have a good laugh at yourself in the process. Maybe belly dancing is your thing?
- Lonely – Maybe your partner or family are working away and feel tired from the solo Mum thing. Grab a friend and hit the pavement together with your kids. The social boost and chance to chat with someone who will listen can definitely help
- Depression – A group fitness class is a great option. Normally in a Mum & Baby fitness class there are going to be a good handful of Mums going through the same thing you are.
- Negative Self talk/Negative Body image – Find some great little mantra’s to have around the house, as your screen saver or in your wallet that remind you how important & worthy you are. So when you get an opportunity to move but you would rather sit on the coach, say this little mantra to start to get you up.
- Overwhelm/Don’t know where to start – Have a little dance party at home. Dance Kangatraining style with your baby to fav uplifting songs or if you have a toddler play a bit of ‘copy me’ and take turns making up some moves.
- I’ll do it later – What is going to happen later? Witching hour hits, dishes stack up, next thing you know its 9pm and the motivation still isn’t there. Schedule to do it earlier within your day (yes higher on your priority list & a non negotiable so it doesn’t get bumped for vacuuming). This will give you more energy across your day and I would rather fold towels at 9pm than do a set of lunges
Just bear in mind, when working with children… things never go to plan. With my case of heading to the lagoon for a swim, my youngest fell asleep on the way (2min into the drive), it was a totally case of, ‘ok lets just turn around and do it later’ but I knew that later would be too late and it wouldn’t happen. So I said to myself, screw it let’s just try it anyway.
Thankfully I always have a baby carrier stashed in the car, so when we got there I transferred her from the car to carrier (not always a 100% success rate) and headed on in. She slept for almost an hour on me. I just waded in the shallow water while my son splashed around, then once she woke up we all had a fantastic play together. We all felt amazing afterwards and had a gorgeous afternoon.
But our back up plan could have been heading home, putting her inside and playing in the sprinkler!
Always keep a plan b up your sleeve and be flexible. Don’t preserve with a bad idea. Keep if fun and make sure the kids are happy too.
Lastly, exercise doesn’t have to be a scheduled ‘workout’. Movement is equally important and beneficial to your body. Simply playing and continuously moving your body, even only in the smallest amounts, is exactly how our bodies were designed to be used. So please don’t write off all your small efforts.
Yes 30mins of a dedicated workout is beneficial and the best way to focus on rehab & rebuilding your body, but how are you using your body the other 23.5 hours of the day – this is actually more important. Please exercise with your kids, play more, ditch the chairs, act out books/stories, sing/dance, ditch the car or walk more. You don’t have to do a hard core workout, you can just build sand castles!
If you are the mother of young children or babies, this hazy faze won’t last forever! Set yourself up for success but setting realistic expectations that actually work for your family and don’t compare yourself to another Mum, because her family/situation/children are completely different.
You’ve got this. Be kind to yourself. Move more.
Pre/Postnatal Fitness Expert & Founder of Nurtured Fitness