Magazines are riddled with buzzwords promoted by celebrities without a care in the world, so naturally, it’s hard to relate. One of them is “self-love”. Some find it cringy, others are annoyed by the ambiguity of the phrase.
Going through something that can be emotionally taxing and even traumatic, such as divorce, puts your body and mind through so much. Focusing on “self-love” during such times? Seems impossible, especially when you have no clue what it means, let alone what it should feel like.
Build self-love and confidence
The key to understanding and even defining what self-love means for you start with giving yourself the kind of patience you would for a close friend going through the same turmoil of divorce. What so many women discover is that self-love is hidden in every choice you make in favor of your wellbeing, every day.
Exercising regularly is one such choice, a very difficult one to make when you’re overwhelmed. Here’s how you can inspire yourself to stay physically active and elevate your own self-esteem through exercise while you’re dealing with the impact of divorce.
Take a break from Insta standards
The comparison game isn’t doing good to anybody. You’re feeling extra vulnerable after your divorce, so when your newsfeed is packed with photoshopped fitness models promoting unhealthy body fat to muscle ratios, you’re bound to feel subpar. Rejected and unattractive. Even unworthy of love. Do yourself a favor and stay off Instagram for a little while, to gain a more realistic perspective and stop comparing yourself to anyone.
Instead, try practicing gratitude, in baby steps. Take a moment every night before you go to bed to note down in your journal three things you appreciate about yourself and your life. Read those little reminders before each training session. Fuel your own motivation by learning to appreciate yourself, and you’ll boost your own self-appreciation by staying dedicated to your training routine.
Reward yourself for consistency
Milestones are there to be celebrated. Maybe you don’t feel particularly victorious, but recognizing your accomplishments can do wonders for your confidence and self-perception. When you train regularly and achieve your fitness goals, be it losing weight, toning up, or simply having more stamina, you can celebrate by rewarding yourself.
Get yourself a new pair of shoes, a spa day, or watch your favorite movie. The reward doesn’t have to be extravagant for you to feel good. Rewarding yourself also helps you stay consistent with your workouts, in anticipation of another joy-filled incentive coming your way. You’ll be rewarding a healthy lifestyle in a healthy manner and value your achievements every time you see the results.
Appreciate your own reflection
It’s hard to feel excited about another chore when you don’t take the time to relish the results. When was the last time you looked at yourself in the mirror, carefully and thoroughly? Better yet, when was the last time you smiled at yourself in the mirror, satisfied with what you saw? Exercising regularly allows you to feel stronger, more powerful, both mentally and physically for persevering through all the setbacks and challenges.
If you keep wearing old, worn-out trainers and formless t-shirts – you’ll hardly be able to recognize how far you’ve come. Put on your favorite workout leggings that give you ample support and flexibility and look at yourself then. Your leggings and your tank tops are your “power-suits” for training. They put you in the right mindset, preparing you to work harder at your goals.
Surround yourself with support
Not everyone is excited to train in a group or with a “gym buddy”. In case you’d prefer the dedication of a solo workout, there’s a good chance you might find yourself not feeling up to it every once in a while when the weight of divorce is too heavy. During those heavy days, it’s healthy to ask for support from your friends and family.
Exercise is something we need to do on our own, but getting a morale boost from those who care about you will definitely inspire you to stay consistent and it will elevate your confidence. A “you go, girl” shout-out from your best friend when you’re feeling low can mean the difference between working out that day or staying on the couch.
Try out different apps to get started
On a more practical note, you can find many fitness tips and entire workout plans on dedicated fitness apps and platforms to keep you going. From choosing the best leggings and sneakers to finding good core workouts, you can rely on digital tools to keep your imagination happy and your motivation high.
What’s more, apps can help you track your progress, which will in turn put your success in perspective. Seeing how much you’ve advanced will only help you recognize how amazing you are when you set your heart and mind on something.
The divorce alone isn’t the only difficult part of the process. All the attached routines, habits, and choices you’ve made during your marriage suffer, too. If you’ve shared a gym, a personal trainer, or a jogging route, you might feel much less inclined to keep up with your exercise plan.
Taking a new approach is like taking a breath of fresh air: you embrace the liberty that comes with divorce and you the accountability for appreciating yourself. Nobody else will do it for you. Exercise is the healthiest, most effective way to move forward and start discovering what it truly means to love yourself and feel good in your own skin. No time like the present to begin!