Women are constantly striving to put their best foot forward – fighting battles each day and improving the world. However, at some point, it all can get tiring and draining. When tests, projects, homework, relational issues, health concerns, and financial issues build up, the stress, anxiety, and exhaustion can become unbearable, and while these kinds of problems in life are inevitable, there are ways to minimize the impact of stress on your mental and physical health. One effective de-stressing mechanism, with many different benefits, is exercise.
You might be thinking, “Exercise? Wouldn’t that just make me feel more tired?” On the contrary, exercise has helped me overcome that “afternoon slump” that hits right after lunch and get better sleep at night. At the beginning of my freshman year in college, I had trouble balancing my schedule, and as a result, I wasn’t able to exercise often. During that time, I started to experience the “afternoon slump”; I would literally fall asleep the second I sat down to do homework in the library after class. However, after I began to prioritize exercise, I found that I was able to go the whole day without being tempted to take a nap or without drinking coffee.I was even able to sleep more soundly at night and concentrate better while studying.
Furthermore, exercising regularly has raised my overall mood. Since I started to prioritize exercising, I wake up feeling more calm and refreshed, and I’ve been able to handle my days with more clarity and patience. More so, after a workout, I feel mentally awake, even though my body is exhausted. When I feel stressed and anxious about school work and life, going on a jog or lifting in the gym helps me to take my mind off these troubles, give me the energy to tackle these problems, and remind myself that I am strong enough to overcome any hardship. Or when I feel like I’m about to fall asleep while doing work, I’ll take a short walk and come back refreshed and reenergized, ready to bang out the rest of my workload.
One final thing exercise has helped boost is my confidence. Through asking for a spot at the gym or asking someone to run with me, I’ve become more comfortable at approaching people and asking for help, and I’ve been able to make so many connections and friends through exercising. Additionally, exercising has helped me become more comfortable in my own skin.
I’ve realized how strong I am, both physically and mentally, and I’ve become more grateful for all the functions my body performs, like walking, running, and jumping. Routine exercise is so important for both mental and physical health, and it comes in so many different forms, like taking a walk or jog, playing basketball with friends, or training for a triathlon. Whatever it be, I could not recommend exercise more as a form of self-care; it has helped me get through so many hard times and makes my everyday life a little brighter.