Taking Care of Yourself

As a designer, I tend to spend long stretches of time sitting in front of a computer. So for me, staying active is very important part of my life.

Crossroad

I knew exercising was important for my health but life was always busy. I never put it as a priority and was never consistent in keeping my schedule. In college, when exams were around the corner, I would feel guilty going to the gym because I needed more time to study. I always felt like I was at a crossroad between these two decisions. I would prioritize studying over exercise, and by doing so, I would eventually stop showing up at the gym. Every time I tried getting into a routine I would lose all my progress and need to start over again. When I started working full-time, I told myself I would be more active now that I have more time. However, when you begin to adult, this was not as easy as I thought it would be…

I worked 10AM – 6PM from Monday to Friday. And it would take me about 1.5 hours each way to commute to work and back home. At first, I thought about slotting in my gym time after dinner when I am back at home. I would be able to exercise around 8PM, shower and then head to bed around 11PM. This worked for a couple weeks, however when work started to get busy, it started to impact that time slot. Slowly, I started feeling exhausted at the end of the day and my motivation to workout at 8PM deteriorated. This began effecting my sleep schedule, and sometimes I would stay up until 2AM in the morning. The amount of sleep I got would then impact my productivity for the rest of my day. And the cycle would then repeat over and over…

Change

Being inactive was unhealthy and I wanted to change my sedentary lifestyle. When I began searching online, I got inspired by morning routines. I wondered, what would happen if I started exercising in the morning before heading out to work?

At first, I hesitated because I was not a morning person. However, after thinking it through I decided to give it a shot. In order to get up early, I would need to get enough rest by sleeping early. This meant powering down by 10PM in order to wake up at 6AM and start my workout. I learned, to have a successful morning routine it really starts the day before.

When I shifted my workouts to early mornings, I began to notice how much calmer I felt during the day. Not only was I getting the health benefits, I was more focused at work. By exercising in the morning, I felt like I had accomplished something big, even if the rest of the day was chaotic.

Clarity

By prioritizing my fitness, my quality of life has improved tremendously. Trying to exercise more frequently is still a learning process. Everyday that I show up, I become a better version of myself. And as Robert Frost puts it, “I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.

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