Having an instagram that’s focused on health and wellness has been such a positive thing for me. It has allowed me to connect with likeminded people, share my passion for what I love, and learn so much more about it too.
But – when you have an account that’s dedicated to solely that, and you follow over 300 people with a similar passion, it can be easy to let it become an obsession. There’s just so much information out there and so much to take in. I LOVE it all, but.. it can be easy to see what everyone else is doing – how they are working out, what they are eating, how productive and active they’ve been all day, etc – and feel like you have to be the same way. It’s easy to fall into the comparison trap and feel like you just need to live how everyone else is living (blog post on that will eventually come).
Now, don’t get me wrong, health and wellness are both a huge part of my life – It’s my passion and I wouldn’t change that for the world. But sometimes, it’s essential to take a step back and realize that although they are such an important part of your life – there is more to life.
There is more to life than getting 10K steps a day
There is more to life than working out 6 days a week
There is more to life than kale salads and roasted vegetables and avocados (but don’t get me wrong.. those are definitely a few of my favorite things 😉 )
There is more to life than waking up at 5 am and forcing yourself to be productive even when you just want to relax.
It’s okay to break from your normal routine.
Sometimes you want to sleep in and lounge around all day. Sometimes you want a donut for breakfast. Sometimes you wanna skip your workout to hang out with family or a friend. Sometimes you only get 2K steps a day. AND THAT’S OKAY!
Now, like I said, I truly do love health and wellness. I love the lifestyle I live and my day to day routine. I love waking up at 5 am and going to the gym, having a productive day, eating foods that nourish my body, reaching my 10K steps.. all of that. I really really do love it. BUT if you’re at all like me – a passion can quickly grow into an obsession. I’m not saying I became obsessed with it, but I definitely needed to allow more flexibility in my life when it came to routine and such.
(I’m sure you are all sick of hearing about my “two week family vacation at the lake!!!” but I’m definitely not done talking about it 😉 )
Vacation helped me restore a sense of “balance” in my life. Honestly, I’m not a fan of the term balance but I’m not sure what else to call it, so thats what we’re going with!
Before vacation, I had become so accustom to my routine that I was SO out of touch with listening to my bodies signals. Everyday I would wake up early for the gym, take my pup for a walk, get 10K steps before 9 am, eat my usual food – without giving much thought to what I actually wanted – and was keeping busy all day long. Like I said, I loved it. I love the lifestyle I live. BUT I wasn’t letting myself slow down AND I wasn’t allowing myself flexibility.
Before vacation, I was getting mad at myself if I didn’t reach those 10K steps by a certain time. I was getting anxious over my “eating schedule” – like “omg its 4 pm and I’m really hungry but if I eat a snack now I’m never gonna be hungry for dinner but also I’m really hungry so what do I do?” – causing me a lot of uneccassary stress. I was so used to eating at certain times and only working with my schedule. I had a routine that I loved, but I didn’t allow for any flexibility. Vacation forced me out of this.
Vacation was a huuuuuge change of pace for me. It was like a breath of fresh air. It was a slow down from my otherwise fast paced life. It was relaxing.
For the first time in a loonnnngg time, I let myself stay up late and wake up whenever I wanted. I didn’t stress about “omg if I go to bed too late I won’t wake up early enough and I’ll be too tired for my morning workout”. I didn’t set an alarm for the whole two weeks that I was there. I didn’t feel the need to be kept busy or to be productive all day. I didn’t wake up and head straight to the gym – I actually didn’t even have access to a gym. Instead, I woke up and chilled. I hung out with my family while we all listened to some Akon and old school Kanye West and I slowly sipped on some coffee. My workouts became a lot shorter – and all body weight. If I wanted to get a quick sweat sesh in, I would, and I did most mornings.. but they were short, and then I went right back to hanging with my family (what family vacation is all about!!). I didn’t really have a “set routine” on vacation and I didn’t carry the expectation of “one rest day a week” (like most of us often do) or even “10K steps a day”. I just really tuned in to what I wanted to do and what my body was telling me. When 4 pm rolled around and I was feeling hungry, I ate a snack without stressing about “never getting hungry for dinner” (and guess what.. I STILL got hungry for dinner!!). I didn’t stress about having to have organic chicken, grass-fed cheese.. things like that. I didn’t stress when my family was getting ice-cream “too close” to dinner. If I wanted ice-cream I got it, BUT if I didn’t, I listened to my body and didn’t get any ice cream. 90% of the time, I ate my normal healthy foods, because that is how I love eating and how I physically feel best. Eggs in the morning is always my go to , and I stuck with that for vaca, BUT.. the morning my brother brought back donuts from a bakery for us all to have, I switched it up and had donuts for breakfast without stressing (ok.. maybe I stressed a little, but I shut the disordered voices down and ate the damn donuts) – something I have NEVER been able to do in the past.
On vacation, I was surrounded by people who don’t have a passion for health like I do. Sometimes, with having my health Instagram and only seeing posts from people who have that passion, it can be easy to forget that there are other people out there that don’t make it there whole life. I was surrounded by people who didn’t know what collagen was, who didn’t care about exercising while we were there, who ate what they wanted when they wanted without giving it a second thought. Who ate a cookie at one point in the day and then later at night ate ice cream without stressing about their “sugar intake”. Like I said, on Instagram there is just so much information being thrown at you all day long – it can be easy to get caught up in it when you’re always hearing people talk about what you “should” and “shouldn’t” eat or seeing people post about there 10 mile run followed by leg day at the gym or just viewing things about health and wellness all day long.
On vacation, I really wasn’t spending a lot of time on social media. I gave myself a break in many aspects, and I think I really needed it. My body was tired before going on vacation, but I didn’t slow down.
Being home from vacation, I feel restored and refreshed. I’m loving my workouts in the gym. I’m not setting any expectations for how long a workout needs to be, what type of movement I need to do – I’m more in tune with what I WANT to do. If a morning walk happens with the pup, then it happens, but if it doesn’t – we always go on one at night! I’ve become more flexible, and less rigid. This is something I always notice that happens after vacation. I think it’s just because I go so long without giving myself a break and get caught up in my fast paced life that every year when vacation rolls around – I’m kind of forced to give myself a break, and I’m able to carry that more relaxed mindset into my home life too.
Also, I’ve been spending less time on social media even after vacation ended. Before, I was scrolling through pretty much all day long, and it influenced a lot of my actions and food choices. Now, I have a much better balance with how much I am on Instagram. And again, I’m not saying by any means that having a health and wellness Instagram is a bad thing, I love it and am so happy to be a part of such a supportive community, but for me personally.. I cannot take in so much information all day long because I start to compare myself to others and lose touch of ME and MY wants.
So, for any of you who are struggling to give yourself a break. I’m here to remind you that IT’S OKAY. EVERYONE NEEDS A BREAK.
No matter how much you love your schedule and your routine, eventually you will need a break from it. Don’t get so caught up in your day to day routine that it becomes JUST that – a routine. A break will help you refuel and recharge, and keep you loving the routine you have.
I’m not saying your “break” has to be a free for all where you just leave all of your healthy habits behind – because believe me, I for sure took my healthy habits on vacation with me. I just became less rigid and more flexible with them.
I went two weeks without a gym, I went two weeks and didn’t get 10K steps a single day (actually didn’t even wear my fitbit), I went two weeks and treated myself more than I usually do. I went two weeks and I came back home and I didn’t look any different. I didn’t lose any muscle mass or gain a ton of weight. I got right back into the gym and my body responded SO much better after giving it a break. My body had energy for the gym. I took a break and I lived and NOTHING drastic changed at all.
I came home, and I had sooo much more appreciation for my routine (while still allowing myself a lot of flexibility). I fell in love with my routine again after a little while of it just being my “normal” day to day thing.
Give your body a break. Give your mind a break. You deserve it. In the end, it will do a lot of good, and no harm.