Look to your left and to your right and you will see a fellow human dealing with something on some level. It is the modern condition. For example, a recent study of Americans found that 84% of adults reported experiencing at least one emotion associated with prolonged stress in the prior two weeks. Feelings ranged from anxiety (47%), sadness (44%) and anger (39%), and two out of three (67%) adults expressed that the number of major socio, political, economic, and environmental issues are overwhelming to them. Stressed out, overstimulated, overworked, depressed, repressed, or just plain tired and in fear of the future, we are all in need of some recovery time.
And, this is before we consider our workout routine. Our bodies do not discern between the source of stress, the body receives it as a cumulative physiological load. Recently we have witnessed an evolution in our collective understanding of the complexity of health and fitness and athletics and especially an explosion of interest in the importance and supporting science of training and recovery, whether for elite athletes or fitness enthusiasts. The balance between stress and recovery has been proven crucial for improving performance. On the flip side, training and therefore adaptation and any potential performance will diminish if the balance is not maintained. Thus monitoring of stress and recovery in all of its forms is vital.
Stress comes in many shapes and forms, psychological, academic, training, or performance-related, and can overload our natural stress-coping ability elevating the risk of injury.
We asked our Animal Flow community to share how they incorporate wellness into their every day lives. Our Regional Leaders and Master Instructors responded with an eclectic mix of morning routines, emergency remedies, and evening wind-downs. Check them out to find the ones that resonate most with you.
“I start my day with breathwork.”
“The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is to drink a huge mug of hot water and lemon.”
“An important A.M. ritual for me is to listen to an audiobook on my way to work.”
“The first thing I do in the morning is stretch my body to wake it up gently.”
“If I have time, a quick walk to the beach to ground myself and breathe. The sound of the ocean and breathing in the salty air does wonders for me. Movement always helps as well, but it’s easy to forget that sometimes. I remain calm when the shit hits the fan. I keep a level head and handle the situation.”
“I scream. At the top of my lungs. You know that point where you are so stressed that your entire head feels like it’s going to explode from the inside? Just scream the fuck out. If you are shy scream into a pillow. The best would be to have a friend or partner scream with you.I encourage screaming in my Animal flow classes,it gets scary to the outsiders but all in good heart.”
“First I close my eyes and take a few breaths to calm my nerves. When stuff gets really hard, I find boxing is my go-to. An alternative I found helped during this past year, was knitting. It gets me focusing on my breath, and I just work one stitch at a time!”
“To manage a stressful day I turn on my favorite music and move!”
“Write in my 5 things journal: 1 thing I loved, 1 thing I learned, 1 way I progress, 1 way I contributed, and 1 thing that I am.”
“At the end of the day I always thank the universe for all my blessings.”
“I love to end the day with a head massage using some essential oils to help me relax and fall asleep.”
“Every night I make time to unwind and remember to wash my face and take care of my skin.”