Dear Cassey: How do I stop feeling guilty about taking a rest day?

Dear Cassey,
How do I not feel guilty for skipping a workout?
I have never been able to break free from a mindset of guilt if I eat badly or don’t work out. I know my body needs it so I feel guilty if I don’t give it what it needs all the time but that can feel so restricting!
My Own Worst Critic

comfy dog laying in bed resting

Hey My Own Worst Critic!

I’m so happy you’re bringing this up because most of us are our own worst critics! There is such a fine line between staying dedicated and allowing yourself some balance and it can be sooooo frustrating! It’s something that has seriously taken me YEARS of practice, trial and error, and grace.

You’re so committed to taking care of yourself, which is amazing! Finding that kind of motivation isn’t easy. But at the same time, you’re totally right. You can’t go hard all the time.

Rest is just as important for our bodies as the actual workout. Without a rest day every now and then, there’s no time to fully recover from the workouts you’re doing. All of those muscle fibers that you’re breaking down during a workout need to recover and rebuild so you can get stronger and see progress. Without that rest, you’re probably not going to progress as quickly. As weird as that sounds, it’s true!

If you’re someone who just feels “off” if you’re not active (ME TOO), try a much lower impact workout for your rest day. Things like walking, yoga, or stretching can be great active recovery options. You will still get your body moving so you feel good, but your body will have a chance to recover. And we could ALL use a good stretch day in our routines.

If the guilt happens because life gets in the way and you just can’t fit in the workout you want for a day or two, try to remember that the big picture is most important. One day won’t set you back. It’s all about how consistent you are over time 🙂

Same thing for eating! I don’t think regularly planned “cheat meals” are always helpful, but I absolutely believe in eating what feels good. That includes indulging when you feel like it! Trust me, I know that is easier said than done! But again – BIG PICTURE. When you look at your diet as a whole and see that healthy foods take up the majority of it, you can allow yourself a little more freedom to eat the “other stuff.” Those foods might not nourish you as well, but there’s something to be said about food giving you joy as opposed to feeling restricted. Gotta take care of your mental health too!

I hope this advice helps you shift your mindset a bit. I know it’s really easy to go “all in” to the point of feeling like you’re failing every time you get off track a little. But remember you’re human and perfection isn’t the key to a healthy lifestyle. If it helps, keep a journal so you can physically see how little a missed workout or a “less healthy” meal is affecting you. And if resting or giving in to a craving makes you feel good, I see ZERO reasons to feel guilty 🙂

You’re doing an AMAZING job!!

PS – If you have a burning question you want to ask me, I’m taking questions via text at 510-692-4556. Currently this only works for US and Canada. If you’re outside of those countries, you can leave a question below.

The post Dear Cassey: How do I stop feeling guilty about taking a rest day? appeared first on Blogilates.