Falling Back in Love with Fitness, Social Media and Myself!
We have all felt the ups and downs of motherhood when you feel like you’re just not interested in the things you used to love so much. For me, this past year I noticed I felt considerably different about fitness, social media and I hate to admit it … but I didn’t feel the same about myself too. I blamed it on hormones and the lack of sleep followed by simply not having enough time. I started not feeling like myself altogether. There were days when I didn’t want to work out and a lot of times when I dreaded having to log onto social media. Sadly, there were many moments I neglected my health and myself.
Today, I am so relieved to say that I am falling back in love with fitness, social media and good ol’ me! I’m pretty sure some of you have been there too, so I wanted to share just exactly what I did to do a 180 and thank goodness, because I’m finally feeling like myself again!
Befriending Fitness Again
At first I tried to fight the resistance and forced myself to work out even at times when I should’ve just rested instead. I quickly realized that it probably wasn’t the best idea because I was just going through the motions. I was not present and working out felt more like a chore. I dragged myself through the movements and rushed to finish. Have you been there before? It wasn’t a good place to be and I started to resent my workouts when I really should’ve been grateful for having that time to just get moving. Lesson learned. I finally listened to my body and my gut and took a different approach.
1. I put my mental health first. I started to focus more on meditation and mindfulness. I dusted off my journal and started writing again.
2. I dedicated time to self-care. I gave myself permission (without the #momguilt) to meet mommy friends for lunch, get that mani/pedi I deserved and unplug from my phone to read a book instead!
3. I took it slow. Instead of letting my ego run the show, I took it back to the basics when it came to exercise. Even though I wanted to lift heavy like I used to or do those pull-ups without assistance, I took it slow and focused more on the movement and targeting the muscle.
It was soon after putting my mental health first that my motivation to work out followed suit. I’ve always been a believer in the saying, ‘the mind is everything’, so when I got my mental health in a good place I finally started to feel inspired to get my physical fitness back on track too. Bottom line, listen to that inner voice and listen if it’s really telling you to take a step back for a hot minute. I’m thankful I did.
I’m sure we’ve all been at that point when you’re feeling a little ‘blah’ about social media. You’re less engaged, you’re unmotivated to post or you’re just plain fed up with the Instagram algorithm. And let’s not talk about how long it takes to write a simple caption! For me, I was feeling all those things coupled with the fact I actually didn’t have time to even get on social media. I was in the thick of things – new baby, new home and new me. I was now a mom of two and unlike my first mat leave with Harper, I found myself working every moment I could. I couldn’t keep up! There were times I wouldn’t check my phone for hours – not because I didn’t want to, but because I physically couldn’t. My hands were full and there were days I was so sleep deprived that I didn’t have the energy to even scroll. My thumbs were that tired too (haha)! So here’s what I did:
1. I let go. I let go of trying to understand the IG algorithm. I let go of caring about the number of likes, followers and comments. I posted what I loved and what I committed to for branded content, but I let go of trying to “fake it to make it”. It was hard at first, but I needed to do it and I think I am better because of it.
2. JOMO > FOMO. I stopped looking at what everyone else was doing and started enjoying what I was doing … even if that was me breast pumping at home while other people were sharing stories at the hottest event in the city. JOMO … Joy. Of. Missing. Out. I embraced it and learned to love it.
3. I focused on ME. It was so easy to compare and admire what everyone else was doing only to feel a little sad about what I wasn’t doing. It took awhile to flip the script, but I dedicated time to my gratitude journal and started writing just 3 things every morning that I was grateful for. This quickly shifted my perspective.
Once I started to do the above, my love for social media changed. I was reminded of the reasons I started sharing my journey in the first place. Today I feel like I’m back to being motivated to share my story with people and help them become happier, healthier mamas!
Me, Myself and I.
Motherhood has a funny way of making you feel like you’re just not yourself. There are days you cry … then there are days that fly by and you don’t have time to cry because you’re too busy changing diapers and rocking a crying baby. I remember feeling so exhausted and frustrated by 6PM when my husband would come home. I was not my usual happy self. Don’t get me wrong, I love being on mat leave. I love my family and kids, but there were days when I felt I had lost myself. I was an emotional wreck drowning in dirty laundry. I also found that I was starting to isolate myself and declined visits from friends and family. I would avoid messages and phone calls. I am so lucky because I have a supportive husband who helped me work through all of this.
My family doctor encouraged me to seek help and that’s what I did. I was suffering from postpartum depression. I started seeing someone at Women’s College Hospital here in Toronto and spoke regularly to my closest friend to help me understand what I was going through. It is normal. I am normal for experiencing all of those emotions. I am so grateful that I was proactive in seeking help.
Mamas, it takes a village! With help from friends, family and sitters, I finally got myself out for fresh air more often. I saw a quick change in my demeanour. I started to see the old me come back. I was able to reground and focus. It felt good to find myself again.
1. Speak to your doctor if you’re experiencing any signs of PPD. I can’t emphasize that enough. Noa is now 1 years old and I have just started to feel like I am getting some sort of routine in place.
2. Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family to come over to mind the baby, so you can get some rest or go for a walk.
3. Check in with yourself. Take note of how you are feeling. I found it helpful to have a journal because you can really track how you are doing and if you need to reach out for extra hands at home.
If you got this far, thank you! There is lots happening now and I am so excited to share some of the new things I am working on. Please stay tuned and sign up for my newsletter if you haven’t already!