If you’ve been a Lightly We Go reader for any length of time, you might be aware of my complicated relationship with the gym. I’ve written before about feeling especially anxious at the idea of exercise, especially in a confined space with other (fitter) people, but also about how the act of working out often does wonders for my mood. Gym fear, though, was one of my anxiety’s last strongholds following my difficult first year at uni. Four our five months ago I couldn’t cope with the idea of working out in any way – but on returning to uni at the weekend getting back into the gym is one of the things I am most looking forward to. In fact, in the final few of weeks of last term, I was getting up and going to the gym almost every other day. I know that gym fear is something a lot of people struggle with, for a huge variety of reasons, so today I want to share just how I managed to rid myself of gym anxiety – hopefully for good.

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Think ‘Freshers’ Week’. What comes to mind? I’m getting a blind, endless mix of alcohol, hangovers, and club nights with stupid fancy dress themes, not to mention a healthy dose of anxiety, stress and homesickness. When I was preparing for my own Freshers’ Week this time last year I was absolutely terrified; although I enjoy drinks and parties with friends, the idea of a full week of clubbing and exhaustion was, simply, abhorrent. I understand that for many students this really is their idea of great fun, but to me it seemed like this great big hurdle I had to get over before I could actually start uni. In the end, I actually enjoyed my Freshers’ Week – and if you’re feeling like I was last September, read on to find out how you can too.

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