Arré Checklist: Five Workouts to Turn Your Inner Pains into Major Gains


Arré Checklist: Five Workouts to Turn Your Inner Pains into Major Gains

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

Folks with some kind of anxiety disorder live by a simple mantra: Nobody can criticise us as viciously as we criticise ourselves. It’s helped a lot of us become a more headstrong, courageous people. After all, constantly repressing your inner turmoil takes a lot of strength.

And speaking of strength, the second best response to mild social anxiety disorders – like, say, introversion – is exercise, as anyone who has suffered for even a couple of days will tell you. (The best response is to broadcast it on social media, of course.) So follow the mantra of Instagram Fitness Bloggers, who swear by the simple #WitnessMyFitness! Here’s a small list of very handy exercises to give you some serious #AnxietyGoals.

1. Running… from your problems

The #RunnerForLife hashtag applies to both your vain treadmill selfie as well as your very real separation anxiety disorder. For optimum results, first you must allow even the slightest inconvenience in your relationship to trigger your deepest insecurities. Then prove your high school ex right for dumping you and become a major flight-risk to your current partner. Then, when you’re nicely warmed up, let your innate lack of understanding of human connections take over and run away from them like they are bad carbs. Not the first wet napkin to inhabit your ever-growing gym baggage, amirite?

2. Lifting (the burden of existence)

“Do you even live, bro?” your friends condescendingly ask, mocking your sheer inability to enjoy life’s simplest pleasures based on your fuckall work-life balance. Don’t take that lying down. Channel all that pent-up aggression into simultaneously lifting two 25-kg dumbbells with each arm. The lifting isn’t the hard part, of course. It’s realising that the two dumbbells represent a fulfilling career and an emotionally satisfying love life respectively, and you just can’t seem to balance the two. Once you’re done, put the dumbbells down, breathe in and return to your natural form i.e. existential angst and/or browsing nihilistic memes. #FitFam

3. Stretching – any given issue, 30 reps

Want to get ripped to shreds? Stretching any given issue to the point of OCD will do that to your self-esteem. It helps if you do this with the help of a spotter, because that way you can bounce your fruitless enquiries like, “Why did XYZ invite me to his wedding reception but not cocktail party? Are we not that close anymore? Do people not want to hang out with me anymore?” or “Oh my god, when she said that every Cigarettes After Sex song sounds the same, was she was taking a jab at my musical preferences – and by extension me?” Keep at this until your spotter dejectedly realises that no amount of #TransformationTuesdays can make up for your lack of rational thinking.

4. Spinning: Out of control (advanced level)

Somewhere between binge-listening to Prateek Kuhad and polishing off that second bottle of wine, you will come to terms with the fact that there is no point in running after #gains because your #losses are – ironically – your biggest strength. And these losses form the vital protein supplement your anxiety needs to grow into an unhealthy disorder anyway. So sit back, chow down an entire bag of flavoured makhana, and go crazy while worrying pointlessly about that one thing that one person you don’t speak to anymore said on your last visit to the therapist.