6:00 a.m. “Why isn’t my alarm going off?”

6:15 a.m. “I would be going to the gym right now.”

8:00 a.m. “Damn. That sleep was awesome. I have so much energy.”

Pre- breakfast. “What to eat? I have so much time. I could have anything. This is exciting.”

Post breakfast consumption. “I didn’t even work for that.”

Midday. “Maybe I’ll workout this afternoon.”

After work. “No, I committed to resting today.”

End of the day. “I need to get to bed. LEGS TOMORROW!”
Sound familiar? If you’re a workout junkie (or just an endorphin enthusiast), the decision-making cycle of whether or not to go to the gym repeats itself multiple times throughout the day. This is especially true on rest days when you aren’t going, and have all 24 hours to think about what that hour may have done for you. We learn pretty early on that rest is essential—whether we injured ourselves or we’re simply exhausted, we understand that while the weekends provide us refuge from mental work, we need to give our bodies their weekend as well.

Easier said than done.

When you’re on a roll, you want to run with it (pun intended) because you know that when one rest day turns into ten, the motivation is hard to find again. So, how do we ride the wave of rest day woes, not convince ourselves that we’re doing less for our bodies and remind ourselves that we’re actually giving our bodies a gift?

Just like banging out 20 burpees (without passing out) takes practice, sleeping in and feeling great about yourself also takes practice. Here are a few ways to start re-defining how you think and turning negatives into positives.

Stop insta-guilt-trippin’…
Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, start scrolling through your Instagram newsfeed looking for reasons why a rest day or even a cookie was a bad idea. No ideas are bad (especially when they involve chocolate chips) and you will get to whatever goal you want to. You can also guarantee that half the #FitPics on commercial pages are photo shopped. You still fly.

Tense up!
That’s right. Stand in front of the mirror and flex those badass muscles you’re working with. Even if they’re tiny, they’re something! Don’t forget the work you’ve put in. Let me repeat that: don’t forget the work YOU have put in. Those muscles didn’t happen by accident.

Laugh at yourself…
because it’s actually ridiculous that you’re beating yourself up, even if just a little bit. You consistently go to the gym every week, all year long. Think this rest day is going to magically redefine the way you construct your daily schedule? Just read an article on habit creation and you’ll realize it’s much easier to stick to your habit of going to the gym than to change it. Don’t forget what you’ve created. You done good, son.  

Now, go on.

ENJOY YOUR DAY OFF. Do something crazy, like sleep ‘til noon. I don’t know– you have a WHOLE EXTRA HOUR. So. Many. Optionsssss!

About The Author


Ali Matalon is a fourth year honors student at Northeastern University. She’s studying Political Science and Business with a concentration in Entrepreneurship and Innovation and minors in International Affairs and Global Social Enterprise. Ali is from Kingston, Jamaica and is especially keen on understanding ways in which all members of society can encourage conditions under which we can all thrive economically, socially and health wise. She’s a spoken word poet, spinning® instructor and fitness enthusiast!

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