May 31, 2019
Last week we discussed the importance of work -- especially
physical work -- and it's impact on the mind and body.
This week is a 180; we're talking about rest. Now, when we discuss
training we often talk about recovery in terms of food and sleep.
Sleep is a crucial part of rest, indeed, but it's not the whole
picture. Rest is both recovery, in a training sense, and
recuperation for your hormonal and mental health.
We know that psychological stress is stress on the body, just
like stress from lifting heavy weights, doing a hard conditioning
workout, or running a marathon. It's not as easily quantifiable as
a workout, but psychological stress causes elevated cortisol
levels, can impair mood, and, gone unchecked, can lead to "burn
out," leaving you in a deep hole mentally and physically.
No one wants that! So Coach D walks through some suggestions for
incorporating rest -- not just recovery -- into your life:
- Disconnect proactively -- before you hit
the wall, unplug and disengage from your work and media/information
consumption. Give yourself down time. Take the time to truly
- Meditate -- it's proven to increase brain
cortex thickness (thus improving cognition and sensorium) and
improve memory, willpower and drive
- Try yoga -- yoga is a low impact exercise with
an emphasis on meditation and serenity. Look for yin yoga classes
which emphasize long, slow, relaxing movements with deep stretches
-- great for lifters!
- Hot bath / sauna -- a simple, quiet bath can
help you calm down and relax after a stressful day.
- Journaling -- documenting your daily wins,
struggles, and thoughts can help keep your problems in perspective,
and prioritize long-term thinking.
- Set boundaries from digital world -- turn
off ALL digital devices before bedtime, preferably an hour before.
When you take time off from work, disconnect completely. Be clear
with clients and coworkers about you availability, and fight the
urge to check in when you're supposed to be off.
- Have sex! It's not just enjoyable in the
moment, it releases hormones that help relieve stress, increase
bonding, and strengthen relationships.
These are just a few suggestions. Take some time for yourself,
and rest. There's more to life than work, training, and recovery,
but you need to give yourself space and perspective to discover
what that is for you.
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