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How to Get Your Body Moving When You’re Mentally Exhausted

You’ve had a long day. It started by spilling your coffee first thing. Then, one thing after another went wrong.

Or maybe you just find you are tired all the time. At 5 pm, your brain switches to off-mode. You hit a brick wall and are mentally drained. You’ve tapped out for the day. There is no way you can pull yourself up off that couch to get moving.

Or is there? Is there a way you can find fitness inspiration and motivation to get your body moving and drag yourself up off that couch? Or a way to flip your train of thought?

You’ve come to the right place. There are a variety of ways you can push through when you are mentally exhausted - And come out of it better than ever. You know you will feel good after that workout, but it’s getting to that workout and completing it that’s the problem. Here are a few ways you can overcome that slump and kill all your goals.

1. Put on Your Workout Clothes

Go ahead - we dare you. You are going to feel pretty silly taking them off without putting in the work. It comes down to not thinking, just doing. When we stop and think about if we want to do that workout, your inner voice will likely shout back “no!” You’ve had a rough day - you deserve a break.

While sometimes this is true, it can’t be your excuse every time. You would never get a single workout in. You would never reach any of your goals. Put on your workout clothes, head out the door, and just get your workout started - even if it is just a quick 20-minute walk. Move a little and you’ll likely feel better. It will give you a chance to reset and mentally unwind.

2. Splash Cold Water on Your Face

Need a way to quickly wake up? Cold water to the face will do the job. It can restart your body and mind, putting you in a mental state where you might be able to find some fitness inspiration and motivation to get moving. It’s quick and easy. Run the tap to cold, then splash the water 2-3 times in your face. It might be the exact boost you need.

3. Write Out a To-Do List

If you have trouble sticking to your plans, make a list. Check things off as you do them, including your workout. Make a list of kills for the day - these may be work-related or personal. Plus, goals set intention. And you are more likely to do them when they are written down. Research proves this.

4. Publicly Say You’re Going to Exercise

Announce to friends at the office that you are going to the gym or going to do your workout tonight. It holds you accountable and when they ask about it the next day, you won’t want to awkwardly admit that you just didn’t feel like it.

Another side to this is finding a gym buddy or someone to hold you accountable. When you have to answer to someone other than yourself, it provides motivation to actually follow-through. This proves true for any habit you want to change or goal you want to accomplish.

One other tip? Start a blog or talk about it on social media. Put it out there, publicly. Again, it comes down to accountability. You say you are going to do something, so you’ll be more likely to do it.

5. Get Out of the House

Our environment counts for a lot. If it’s messy or cluttered, our minds can feel messy and cluttered. You may feel disorganized and disoriented. It’s not a good feeling. Clean up or get out. Go to the gym or change rooms. Find a place that is motivating.

One study even showed that colour and environmental changes caused people to eat healthier. Our surroundings impact us in many different ways. They affect our mood and our choices. Explore different locations and find one that gets you moving!

6. Eat Something

That tired ‘blah’ feeling might be due to low blood sugar. Eat a power snack - something that amps your energy back up. Have you eaten any food in the last few hours?

Like your body, your brain needs glucose to function. Without it, it’s hard to reach your fitness inspiration or motivation - you don’t have the energy or the willpower. Go for a small snack, such as yogurt, a banana, or whip up our delicious Beet Hummus & Homemade Pita Chips! It’ll bump your energy back up, minus the inevitable crash or any discomfort during your workout.

7. Go For That Power Nap

A short 10 to 20-minute power nap can increase your energy and get you out of that slump! Why 10-20 minutes? You won’t fall into that deep REM sleep. In turn, waking up won’t leave you feeling more groggy than when you went to bed.

Another important aspect to think about is keeping a regular sleep routine. If you aren’t getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night, your bedtime habits might be to blame for your constant fatigue and mental exhaustion. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day - sleep is important!

8. Do 20 Jumping Jacks

Just move. Do 20 jumping jacks or 10 push-ups - whatever gets your blood flowing and is accessible right now. Once you move around a bit, you might find that motivation you need. It’ll get the blood pumping through your brain, waking you back up and getting you ready to go!

9. Go Outside

Fresh air feels good - especially when you’re tired. It’s similar to the cold water in the face method. A fresh breeze can re-energize you. Plus, nature has an abundance of positive effects on our mental health. It’s mood-boosting, calming, and is proven to help individuals’ de-stress.

Maybe go for a walk around your house or around the block. Stand or sit outside for 15 minutes. Take a deep breathe and reset. Refocus and mentally prepare yourself for your workout.

10. Rest Up For Next Time

If all else fails… take a break. We all need it once and while, and it’s absolutely okay to take one. Relax. Take the night off. Order in. Balance is important too!


Take those bad days and try to squeeze a little bit of good out of them! Put everything that happened today behind you. Try some of the strategies above or just rest up for your next workout. Find your balance and find your motivation - you can do this!

Krista Bugden

Krista Bugden

"Believing in yourself is really half the battle," says Krista. Anything is possible and you really can achieve anything you set your mind to, is her motto. Physiotherapist, Piano player, skydiver, yogi, adventure traveler and energetic force of positivity, Krista is herself a (delightful) force to be reckoned with! As... Read More

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