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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Maine chapter.

Last semester I decided that I was dedicating 2022 to be my year of self care. I started off in January and began removing things from my life that were no longer serving me, thus freeing up time for activities that brought me joy. When oving through the months, I found that focusing on myself felt tough between completing coursework, working, and self care. It was difficult to find time to even buy myself flowers. On top of that, I was diagnosed with celiac disease in May, and now I have a new outlook on life and what self care means. Yes, I still enjoy facemasks and nights spent at home, but self care is not only mental, it’s physical as well. 

As a society we seem to treat going to the gym as a punishment for eating “poorly.” I have to strongly disagree. When you go months of having absolutely no energy, sleeping at every chance, and barely making it through the day, having the energy to go to the gym is an accomplishment. Working out is an opportunity to use the additional energy you once didn’t have. I remember the first day I made it to the gym one evening to work out, rather than passing out on the couch from exhaustion. I called my mom so excited that I could FINALLY be active.

Being new to the gym is tough. There, I said it. It’s confusing, packed with people, and your favorite spot is taken half the time. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go, though. As a newbie myself, I consistently am perplexed by the machines, and get nervous that I am using them incorrectly and will injure myself. While I was trying to get back into the gym, I took it slow with short strength training workouts followed by a walk. I remembered how much I liked following a plan in high school. I found the Nike+ training app, and began one of the programs meant to kick start you into training and catapult you back into going to the gym regularly. I’ve learned it’s okay to be totally lost. As long as you are doing your best, that is all that matters. 

Getting back into fitness and taking care of myself physically has been challenging, but it’s a challenge I am happy to take on. I truly hope to never go back to the girl I was in January, constantly exhausted and drained. This year of focusing on myself, my goals, and my happiness has brought me true growth that I look forward to building on in the last few months of 2022!

Hello! My name is Julie and I am a 3rd year Media Studies major with a Marketing minor at the University of Maine. I work as a Marketing Director for the Chez Renee Team at Realty of Maine and I absolutely love my job. In my free time, I enjoy photography and videography and love spending time with my two cats!