Training for a Sprint Triathlon As Self-Care

 

As counselors, we all know the powerful benefits of exercise — both physically and mentally. However, at the end of a physically AND mentally exhausting day of work as a school counselor, the last thing I want to do is exercise. At the beginning of the school year, I was incredibly motivated to balance my work, family, social life, and self-care, but as the months wore on and burnout set it, I found myself cutting some self-care practices, mainly working out {which is ironic, because if I had been exercising, I would have had more mental and physical energy to avoid burnout}.

As a way to revive my motivation, I decided to set a goal for myself by training for a sprint distance triathlon. I found a beginner race in my state with distances that were manageable for me {150m pool swim, 10 mile bike, 2 mile run}, so I signed up and began training.

When the excuse-mill started in my head as to why I should skip my workout on a particular day, I shut it down by reminding myself that I have a race coming up. My goal was only to finish the race in one piece {no time goal}, but even to do that, I still needed to train quite a bit. Luckily, this mindset helped me successfully complete the race!

                      

{I literally cried when I crossed the finish line because I couldn’t believe I did it.}

The point of this post is not to convince you to do a triathlon, but rather to encourage you to find something that will motivate you to incorporate exercise and other self-care practices into your life. Maybe you do want to compete in a race, or perhaps you want to participate in a walk for a good cause…either way, having an extra reason to keep your body healthy {other than the simple reason that you will be healthier} will keep your mind healthy too and may motivate you to keep going even when you don’t feel like it. This in turn, will make us all better counselors as we take care of ourselves like we take care of our clients. Even though I’m not training any more, I’m still making sure I don’t push physical activity to the bottom of my priority list. When I consistently incorporate exercise and other self-care into my life, I have more energy at work and can give more of myself to my students and faculty.

        

 


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