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Summer Chaos

Ahhh the summer – the perfect time to relax and do nothing, just sipping your lemonade in the backyard, right? Ha…maybe if you didn’t live in Minnesota. We, Minnesotans, tend to jam-pack our summers with family trips and kids’ sports or activities, while also trying to work and maintain our self-care routine (including our exercise). A jam-packed schedule like this usually doesn’t end up working out all that great and sometimes we don’t even end up enjoying what we are doing. What a disappointment!


How can you make this summer different? Try these two tips:


  • Don’t feel guilty for canceling scheduled things and prioritizing your needs: The reality is that you have a limited amount of resources (time, energy, emotional capacity, etc.) so if you said you were going to do x, but now are running low on energy and it doesn’t really matter if you do x, DON’T DO X!! That is okay! You are allowed to change your mind. Recognize, though, that if you allow yourself to change your mind, you may also feel a little disappointed or frustrated you are canceling something. That is okay and understandable as well! I know you want to ‘do it all’, but that comes at a cost. So how can you be kind to yourself in the process of doing the best you can with what you got on any given day? Being hard on yourself only causes more issues, it doesn’t actually help anything.

    • And yes, this concept applies to your personal training sessions. As Morgan said, missing one work out won’t matter a year from now. Just because you said you would work out today, doesn’t mean you have to. You can change your mind. Now if you are canceling your work outs frequently at the last minute or it’s always your work out that gets the short end of the stick instead of something else, perhaps a change in planning is in order. But cancelations every now and again are just a part of being human.


  • Be realistic and find a middle ground: Instead of expecting yourself to meet with a personal trainer every Tuesday like you usually do during the “academic year”, how about this summer you identify a more sustainable and beneficial goal? As stated above, trying to keep pace and just adding to your plate doesn’t always work out well. It can lead to feelings of disappointment or frustration, but it also can lead to completely abandoning certain activities (AKA: the all or nothing phenomenon).  If exercise is important to you and helpful for your overall mental and physical health, instead of going hard in the academic year and ghosting exercise in the summer, let’s try to find a happy medium this summer.

    • Ask yourself, what type of exercise and at what frequency do you need in order to still get some benefits? How can you maintain momentum toward your fitness goals? Maybe this means decreasing personal training frequency to every other week and on the opposite weeks you do another activity. Instead of canceling all of your personal training for the summer and losing momentum you could continue to make progress toward your fitness goals along with continuing to reap the physical and mental health benefits of exercise even though your summer “routine” looks different. Something is always going to be better than nothing. If you aren’t sure what this would look like for your specific situation, ask your trainer for guidance! 


Of course, these two suggestions are way easier said than done. But, like I said above, something is better than nothing, and what do you have to lose if you try being nicer to yourself and more realistic with your schedule this summer? My guess is not much.

About our Guest Blogger: Dr. Rachel helps individuals navigate the stress, fear, and confusion that come up for people during big life changes. She understands how overwhelming and anxiety-producing any change to our status quo can feel. By increasing individuals' clarity and self-confidence, Dr. Rachel helps people increase overall feelings of freedom, success, and contentment in life. Learn more about Dr. Rachel and Better Balance Pyschology.

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