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My Theme for 2020: Self Care!

So I’m not really a believer in New Year’s resolutions for myself. It’s never really been a thing for me, mostly because they end up falling through on account of me. Either I willingly let them go, get bored with them because the excitement wears off, or life gets too busy.

This year is different though. No, I didn’t set a resolution (still not my thing), but I’m giving myself a theme, or goal if you will, for 2020. After all, it’s not just another new year, it’s the start of a new decade! So, my personal theme is going to be self care.

2019 was a tough year for me, one in which I finally acknowledged a struggle with mental health. I’ve suffered from anxiety for a number of years, but semi low key, and hadn’t met it head on. This last year, it spiraled out of control. I suffered from panic attacks, one of which led to a scary hyperventilation situation, mood swings, and depression, on top of my already present anxiety. Toward the end of the year, I finally said ENOUGH, and reached out for help. I am blessed to have a supportive and loving husband, who was with me the whole step of the way, and I am now on medication to help me.

Through these experiences, I finally started believing in a statement I had heard a thousand times, but really had been ignoring: ” You have to take care of yourself first, before you can take care of others.” As a wife and mother, I had a tendency of putting my needs on the back burner, and making sure everything, and everybody else, was taken care of first. I neglected my own health in doing so. When the doctor told me that I would be surprised at the positive effects that 3 simple things could have, I decided to take him up on it. They are: getting enough vitamin D, exercise, and drinking plenty of water.

So, I’ve worked on increasing my water intake (which is hard for me, because I like flavor), added vitamin D supplements to my daily routing, and I’ve started exercising again. Through the suggestion of a friend, I’ve found a fitness program that I love. It’s not “the gym,” which I would probably give up. It’s a class that provides an entire body workout, for only one hour at a time, and is instructor led by professional coaches that help to tailor to your needs.

Drum roll please…’s called Orange Theory. Each studio is made up of three sections: weight floor, treadmills, and rowing machines. Everyone wears a heart rate tracker, which projects to large screens, so you can see your metrics in real time. The workouts are made up of 5 heart rate zones based on each individual heart rate . The goal is to get your heart rate up to the orange zone, and spend at least 12 minutes, or more, in that zone during each class.

  1. Gray: very light activity
  2. Blue: warm up
  3. Green: challenging but doable
  4. Orange: uncomfortable
  5. Red: all out effort

“If you challenge your body at the right intensity, your body will work harder to recover oxygen lost during exercise. This revs your metabolism and makes you burn calories long after your workout is over.”

I actually started this journey in late November. So, I’m about 2 months in at this point, and I haven’t felt this good in a long time! I’m working toward weight loss, and muscle definition, but I’m most happy with the improved way that I feel, not only right after a class, but all the time. I’m excited to see the possibilities this lifestyle change brings for me in 2020!

I encourage you to find your theme for 2020, and the start of this new decade. Make yourself a priority, and do something that makes your soul happy. Life is too short to not be happy, so if you can’t find your happy, make your happy. Good luck!

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