Major life changes can wreak havoc on your daily routines. You might feel “off” due to extra stress or even a forced change to your schedule. Whether it’s a move, a career change, or even a relationship change, maintaining routines can help you deal with that stress and maintain a sense of normalcy.
One of the most important routines to keep in place during big life changes is your exercise regimen.
Sticking with a fitness routine can help you to manage your mental health, even when things around you seem different or uncertain. Exercise is a natural way to reduce stress, and as you continue to work on your fitness goals during a big change, you’ll feel more in control.
But, that can seem easier said than done when you’re in the thick of things. So, how can you maintain your fitness routines, even when you’re going through a big life change?
Keeping Your Routine in a New Place
Routines are important.
They provide a sense of comfort, security, and stability. When you’re going through something you’re not used to, keeping routines will help you to get through it.
One of the biggest life changes (and also one of the most stressful) you can go through is a move. Whether you’re going across town, to a new city, or even across the country, maintaining familiar routines can make the transition easier. You might have to make some adjustments, depending on where you live, but that can actually be a fun challenge to tackle.
For example, if you’re moving from a big city with a lot of fitness options to a smaller town or a small apartment, first consider the benefits. Living in a smaller community has many pros, including:
- Lower cost of living
- Lower insurance
- Better views
- Greater sense of community
Use those perks to your advantage. Since your living expenses will be lower, you might be able to invest in a gym membership. Or, you can enjoy the neighborhood views and get to know people in town by going out for a jog every morning. You don’t necessarily have to change the time you workout or the type of exercise you do just because you’re in a new place. Rather, be willing to make slight adjustments while keeping things familiar. Having that normal routine will make your new place feel like home right away.
Another way to maintain your fitness during a big life change is to be flexible. Sometimes, change is good. That could include switching up the way you exercise. If you’ve been a runner for years but you’re looking for something new to motivate you or even distract you, trying something new could be the thing that helps you maintain your mental health.
It’s not easy to leave your comfort zone, but it often has incredible benefits. You’ll maintain your mental health, boost your confidence, overcome your fears, and develop new skills. You might even discover a new interest by diving into a new exercise regimen (no, that doesn’t mean you need to hit the pool, but it’s definitely an option!).
Not sure how to get out of your comfort zone to try a different exercise routine? Keep the following tips in mind:
- Start small
- Gradually challenge your existing habits
- Set small, achievable goals to stay motivated
- Have a support system or accountability partner
- Find a community
If you’re already going through a big life change, consider stepping out of the comfort zone of your fitness routines. It could inspire you more than you realize while offering you a sense of control at the same time.
Fitting in Fitness
If your big change has to do with a switch in careers or scheduling, you might think you don’t have enough time to work out the way you used to. But, a successful career transition is possible if you’re willing to be flexible with a few of your habits.
Is fitness your passion? You might need to get creative to fit it in. You already focus on your strengths at work, so why not do the same at home? If you know you can be an early riser, set your alarm earlier to get your workout in.
If cardio is important to you, incorporate it into your lunch break by going for a jog, or committing to hitting the gym every evening after work. Even finding ways to work out at home can make a big difference, especially in a world where more people are working remotely. Transitioning to a new career doesn’t have to mean giving up the things you love. It just might mean finding new ways to fit those things in.
Exercising is a wonderful form of self-care, especially when you’re going through a successful life change. Maintain healthy routines, don’t be afraid to change things up to stay inspired, and fit in a workout however and whenever you can. Keeping health and fitness as top priorities will help you to get through changes with less stress and more confidence.