Happiness Club: Let's face the Music and Dance
"There may be trouble ahead...there may be tear drops to shed...let's face the music and dance!"
Happiness club: Exercise
Can you think of a time when you knew you had been procrastinating and were just not ready (so to speak) ’to face the music and dance’? This is how I was feeling about The Happiness Club this month as I knew I failed to relate to the others the way I would have hoped and was trying to avoid our next topic, exercise (something that simply ceased to exist for about a month or so).
The irony is that when we feel down or stressed we think we will be safer and more sane if we retreat in to a quieter world only to find ourselves feeling worse off and isolated from the world around us. Instead of keeping active whether that be, connecting with friends or exercising, we may find we are circling the same monotonous routine because we just do not feel up to it. But this can become a habit and we find ourselves wondering, when did I last have fun with my friends? or when did I last exercise? Although it is good to have time out from ‘life’ once in a while, separating ourselves from the things that make us feel good seems silly, but we still do it. Of course life happens and we do what we feel is right in the moment.
Hindsight is a beautiful thing because it reminds us that next time we find ourself slipping away we could make sure we don't leave it too long to do those things that actually make us feel good.
So as I felt a little guilty for not relating last month I was pleasantly surprised (it is always nice to feel like you are not the only one) that we all felt it was a little bit of a failure for us in terms of doing more things together as we had done in the first few months here.
We realised that although we have not been connecting as much, we have been relating more to family who have visited and also to ourselves. This has involved contemplating some tough questions regarding our purpose, our future aspirations. Some of us have realised that Singapore is more like home to us and that we prefer to live in a tropical climate. Having time to relate to ourselves last month was important despite our reservations it wasn’t with each other.
This months topic on exercise left the group in a little divide. Half of the group have been actively exercising at least twice a week whereas the other half (I am in this group) have not made exercise a priority allowing work, projects or ‘whatever other excuse we could think of’ get in the way. So we kept apologising to our ‘fit’ members when answering the questions especially when it came to setting goals.
As we begun our topic on exercise an outdoor fitness class began below the cafe we were at. I could be making this up but I'm not. Apparently they do this often in this mall. It was a great way to start our evening and got us wondering why we chose to sit at ‘I Bake’ eating cake instead of kick starting our evening with some physical activity that involved our whole body!
The BIG Problem: THE MIND
When we first got to Singapore we were swimming or taking part in exercise regularly. Being active at least 3 times a week had begun feeling necessary as part of our weekly routine. So it was hard to accept that for some of us this was becoming a distant memory.
For those of us not exercising as much, we knew the biggest reason for this was simply, ourselves. One member described it as being ‘defeated by our mind’. Sure, there were factors/excuses such as, our partners were our workout buddies who gave us the motivation we needed. If they worked late and were too tired after work we would allow this to become our excuse. We found it difficult to workout in the evenings, on our own, at the gym etc. Whatever the reason the fact was that we simply allowed the excuses to take over and as a result got comfortable with fitness taking a back seat.
Thoughts and Goals!
- When thinking of the last time we exercised: Being in a country like Singapore guarantees you swimming at least once a week so it didn't make us feel too bad. However, it was the quantity and consistency that had let some of us down which we wanted to focus on.
- Outdoor exercise is endless here and collectively we have taken up tennis, basketball, swimming, hiking, cycling, skating or rollerblading. We know we can do more of at least one of these exercises a week!
- We didn’t want to give ourselves a hard time and realised that even though exercising regularly wasn’t happening consciously, walking more could easily be done.
- With the discounts it offers, Groupon is a great way to get people motivated to exercise in different ways. We thought it would be fun signing up to pole dancing which judging by my friends pictures gets you working on your whole body. She also looked amazing doing it and said it was a lot of fun. That got us inspired and some have already booked classes!
- The runner of our group considered looking into a 10k run to challenge herself more.
Whether we have not exercised for a month or have been working out a few times a week we know there are always ways to up our pace and take part in more fitness. Here is to a more healthy, active month! Time to toughen ourselves up, tone up and feel fabulous!