Feeling blah every day after work? No energy to do anything but flip on Love Island? Girl, same! I was right there with you. Hey, y’all, I’m Becca, and I’m here to tell you how I finally kicked exhaustion to the curb for good.
My dream was always to be a graphic designer. And, finally, after years of freelancing, I got that full-time job offer.
It was everything I dreamed it would be – Except for the hours. Good God, I was exhausted. Clients, stakeholders, bosses texting me from 8 am to 8 pm. Fix this, fix that. And I wanted to be on it. So I’d drop everything, every time a text came in, to get that work done. I’m all about that hustle. Respect that hustle.
But when those alerts finally stopped, so did I. I spent so much energy each day being on, that I had none leftover when I was off. I crashed. Hard.
RuPaul’s Drag Race Marathon? Check! Asleep by 10:30 pm with the tv on? Check! Still, exhausted in the morning? Checkity check!
Here was my problem… I was mentally exhausted, but not physically exhausted. I drained my mental capacity away with work, without recharging my body at all.
I needed to boost myself! I needed a way to give myself long-lasting energy and a mood boost that would carry me through the workday.
Like so many of us, I’ve been working from home for the last year (feels like so much longer!), so I knew I had some extra time in my schedule to make some lifestyle changes. Not a lot, but I realized I could carve out an hour every day around lunch and actually take some me time, as opposed to just saying, “oh I’ll cover that project during lunch.” Sometimes, you gotta make time for yourself.
I realized what I needed was a way to reset my brain – and exercise sounded like the best bet. I loved hitting up the gym before I got a full-time job, because it helped keep me focused and motivated. But once that job started…the gym was the first to go.
Luckily, my apartment building has a gym (score!), so I knew that I had the ability to make a change. But I also knew that with my busy schedule, I needed some type of accountability to keep me on track – making sure I was sticking with my plan to go to the gym every day!
A full-time trainer sounded really expensive, and signing up for something like Peloton was out of the question because I already had a gym I could take advantage of. Instead, I needed a remote trainer who could work with what I already had.
That’s when I found CoPilot, a remote training platform that allows me to connect with my trainer in a bunch of great ways without having to meet up in person. Not that I don’t love meeting up in person, but that stuff gets expensive, real quick!
Instead, CoPilot relies on remote training, which basically works like this:
CoPilot tracks your workout movements through your iPhone and Apple Watch, providing real-time corrections and adjustments to your workout. It was so cool. IfI was doing a sit-up, and my form is all out of whack, my trainer’s voice will pop up, letting me know. It’s the perfect combination of real-time and live interactivity.
When I first met up with my trainer, Jill, I told her I wanted to be at the gym every day, for 45 minutes. See? I’m all about that hustle!
Jill appreciated my enthusiasm but warned me that I could overexert myself and end up getting hurt. She asked me why I wanted to do 45 minutes a day, and I told her it was so I could stop being so drained by the end of my workday.
That’s when we clicked. She totally understood where I was coming from, and she helped me put together a workout plan that focused on boosting my energy.
Exercise releases endorphins, which boost your mood. My workout routine needed to focus on keeping my mood up while helping me get better sleep at night. So, we decided that 3 days a week, we’d focus on a serious cardio workout, while the other 4 days would be just for walking. That way, I could get some positive exercise without hurting my body.
Here’s what we came up with!
Ugh. Mondays. Mondays mean catch up on all the work that clients emailed about on the weekend. Weekends are sacred. After a cup of coffee, I plug through ‘till 12:30, which is when I take my lunch. And by lunch, I mean work out.
After coffee #2, I head down to the gym. My trainer wants me to incorporate some weights, which isn’t as fun for me as cardio. But, the little bit of weightlifting I’ve added has made a sizeable difference in my confidence, my energy, and my metabolism. A little extra weightlifting means a little extra at Happy Hour on Fridays.
Jill guides me through a 15-minute circuit of light weightlifting to get my muscles warmed up. After the circuit, I hop on the elliptical, where we focus on 30 minutes of interval training. That’s more my speed.
And just like that, my 45 minutes are up. Time to grab a quick bite and get cleaned up before the next client zoom meeting at 2 pm!
Tuesday is a walking day. I hop on the treadmill and put on the podcast Frenemies for 45 minutes later, and it’s back to the home office.
Wednesday is a little different than Monday. I still go through my 15-minute weightlifting circuit and perform my interval training. Except I split my interval training into two, 15-minute sessions. One on the treadmill and one on the rowing machine.
I swear, the 15 minutes on the rowing machine feels like an hour. I may talk to Jill about swapping it to 10 minutes and making the treadmill an even 20.
Either way, I’m a little sore after, but nothing I can’t handle! Off to grab a smoothie for lunch!
Walking day again. It’s not the most exciting exercise, but it helps me clear my head. Today, I need it! Too much client handholding has got my brain turning into mush. But 45 minutes later, I feel much calmer, and have a new plan on how to tackle that client’s problem!
I love my Friday exercise. Friday is just run straight for 45 minutes. Now, I know that plenty of people hate running on the treadmill, but that’s not me. As I said, I’m all about that hustle, and 45 minutes of straight running is pure hustle.
Though it is really helpful to have Jill tell me when my heart rate is too high or when my steps are getting off balance. Thanks to Jill’s coaching, my gait has been more consistent, and I feel way more balanced. Plus, I haven’t gotten hurt yet. Not so much as a pulled muscle.
After my workout, I devour my grain bowl, then get ready for the last zoom call of the week. Once that call is over, I can finally get ready to hit up that weekend Happy Hour, relaxed and ready to unwind.
So that’s just a snapshot of what my week looks like now. I’d love to tell you that my entire life was turned around, that I got a promotion, landed the dream man, and wrote a best-selling book about my life, but that’s not what happened.
Instead, I got some smaller, but super significant changes that have positively impacted my life.
Remember how I said I’d fall asleep at 10:30 with the TV on, dazed and drained? But then still wake up the next day feeling completely exhausted? I’m pleased to say that’s no longer the case.
Sure, I have gone to bed feeling achy from a hard workout. And sure, I’ve woken up a little sore from running the day before, but it’s way different now.
Today, when I go to bed, I go to bed physically tired, but not mentally drained. And when I wake up, I feel brighter and more alert. Less groggy. I’m not gonna sugarcoat it and say that every day I wake up elated and ready to conquer the world. That’s an exaggeration.
Clients still are exhausting! But I wake up actually feeling that you know, I got some sleep the night before. That’s a win.
I’d always been in decent shape, and I’m happy with the way I look. Sure, it’d be fun to look like a supermodel, but that wasn’t what I was doing this for. I was exercising to get my sanity back.
But, one of the plus sides has been that my metabolism has had a little boost. When I previously had to be pretty careful, counting out my calories every time I’d go out for dinner, I can afford to be a little more relaxed. Yeah, I will have a side of fries with that! Vodka Soda? No thanks! I’ll take a glass of pinot.
I’m not eating like an Olympic athlete or anything, but it’s nice to eat a little more like when I was back in college and not have to worry about my clothes still fitting. That’s another win.
It seems counterintuitive that I’d have more energy after working out, but life is weird like that. After I’d worked out, I found that my mental energy would be much higher for the rest of the afternoon. So while my muscles were aching, my brain was powered! My thoughts, which previously had been either racing or sluggish, were finally focused and useful. I found that I did my best work of the day after my workout.
Then, after work was over, I didn’t feel as drained. Sure I was glad that my workday was done, but I didn’t slump to the couch like a zombie in a trance. Instead, I found myself going to the movies, taking walks, and even (eep) going on a few dates.
The positive energy even lasts through the weekend. When normally I would just sleep and sleep and sleep because I finally had a moment to myself, I now have the energy to take advantage of that precious 48 hours of free time! That’s another big win.
This is the big one. I’m just happier. Thanks to working out every day with CoPilot, my mood is better. I am happier each day, and less stressed when little work emergencies hit. I keep a cooler head, and can creatively tackle any problem that comes my way.
I always dreamed of being a full-time graphic designer. I had no idea that it would be so mentally exhausting. I didn’t want to sacrifice my dream in order to protect my sanity, and thanks to CoPilot, I don’t have to.
So yeah, that’s my story. I know it’s not the flashiest one ever, but CoPilot made a huge difference to me. I got my energy back! Now when I watch Love Island after work, I can make it to the end of the episode (or the 2nd or 3rd…) instead of conking out 20 minutes in. Sleep? I sleep like a champ! And I wake up feeling refreshed and positive.
The story by CoPilot member Becca L.