To be perfectly honest, I don’t know how to tell you how to “work out” and stay sane. I am trying to figure out the same for myself and I’ve written about it before (many times actually) but I really don’t know.
I know that I stopped thinking about it as exercise. I don’t move my body for anyone other than myself. I don’t keep track of my weight. I move to incite mental stability and wellbeing, not aesthetic beauty.
I am active in ways that are not related to typical exercise. I reject any and all notions of what it means to be fit because I can’t afford to define health and fitness for myself the way most people can without it actually causing damage to my health rather than improving it.
So I move my body in weird ways that most people wouldn’t think about as exercise, like half-made-up pilates/yoga and dancing and stretching that only happens when I’m alone in my room. Focusing on my muscles for a while and testing them. Solitary methods of movement and concentration. I also believe that not moving and learning various breathing techniques and meditation is equally as important as being active.
I’ve basically stopped comparing my level of health and fitness to others and live by my own standards and am active whenever the fuck I feel like it.
That is how I stay sane, but it isn’t foolproof and doesn’t always work and sometimes I get triggered into backtracking, so I don’t know really.