We all cope in different ways.
For many years, I used intense exercise to relieve stress. Several years ago when I had a full-time corporate career, two kids under the age of two (one that did not sleep through the night at that point), I still got up at 4 AM to go to the gym to train because it was the only time I thought I could do it. I embraced the mindset of more intensity is better at all costs and paid a price for it. I may have relieved some stress, but I was not healthy. I learned from it.
Now what do I do? I train with purpose. I make sleep, nutrition, and recovery a priority. If I don’t sleep well or if life is extra stressful, I dial back on my training or give myself extra recovery days. I’m not always perfect at this, but I try hard to be smarter. I still train with intensity, but only as hard and as often as I need to get the desired result.
During stressful, uncertain times like now, movement may be a good way to decrease stress. However, I choose easy, lower level activities that leave me feeling better and not drained of energy.
My family craves movement too. They have been going for bike rides, throwing baseballs and softballs, playing basketball, playing Nintendo Just Dance, and all of these activities seem to boost their moods. For my racquetball playing husband, he seems to find comfort in swinging his racquet.
Thanks to my home gym, I am still strength training, going for walks, begrudgingly losing to my kids at the Just Dance game, and practicing some kettlebell skills at a lightweight just to move and break a sweat. A little activity can completely shift the energy around here.
Two weeks in, friends! I hope you’re hanging in there!