We won't surprise you by saying 2020 has been a very stressful year. And it's only August...
Let's get a little bit more serious about stress. Many factors can affect your stress level, it could be work, the infamous Co-Vid19 pandemic, being lockdown for multiple weeks, your relationship, kids, PMS - see our previous article - or your latest injury.
You always realised too late you have been under a lot pressure and you have forgotten . During these stress periods, you feel moody, your performances decrease, and your recovery is strongly impacted. We cannot avoid stress. Stress is an emotion so you can learn how to manage so it doesn't affect too much your daily life.
At Ahera, our goal has always been to help you to feel awesome in your body, and more confident than ever.
What is stress?
Before explaining how we can decrease your stress level, it is important to understand what is stress? The definition of this word has always been at the middle of endless discussions between scientific. In their latest researches Psychology of Stress and Coping, Angela R. Wendorf and Amanda M. Brouwer have defined the stress as "the interaction between three elements: perceived demand, perceived ability to cope, and the perception of the importance of being able to cope with the demand."There are two types of stress: the positive or the good one - before getting married, before shooting the last ball of the game - and the negative or the bad one - injuries, extra workload at work, or illness.
In addition, stress is considered as an emotion or a feeling so just as any kind of emotions and feelings - Muscle pains, love, ... - it is personal emotion so no one will never ever experience it as you are at this right moment.
Today, we will focus more on the negative stresses, you might have to face from time to time. Stress can appear on two different levels of your life: psychological also called emotional or physical.
One of the first signs and very easy to identify of highly stressed period is your change of mood. It will change from very happy to very sad and vulnerable. In addition to your changes of mood, you will experience low quality sleep, feeling tired but not able to sleep, or wake up at the middle of the night.
As your brain won't be able to remain focused for long periods of time, you will lose in efficiency in your daily tasks, or in your focus, or remembering a simple training session created by your Personal Trainer or simply do silly or ironical mistakes - your brain will decide to do the exact opposite of what you are supposed to do.
The combinaison of these three physiological factors - change of mood, lack of sleep and mistakes - might lead, in worst case scenario, to a total burnout; feel like quitting everything and a massive loss of confidence.
Your emotions and performances are very closely related. This is why if you are emotionally stressed your sports performances will be affected in many ways, you can hear pretty often "My focus is somewhere else than sports at the moment" or "I can't get my head out of work" from a teammate who is not performing as well as usual.
In addition to the performance stand point, there are other physical signs that can indicated your level of stress is way higher than usual: repetitive headaches, heart palpitations, anxiety or sleep issues.
How to deal with it?
There are multiple factors in order to reduce stress on the emotional side. You can start by giving yourself a break, enjoy a couple of days off in order to break the routine, cross the large amount of small things written on your To-do list. Do not hesitate to go back to your comfort zone for a couple of days. No need to challenge yourself everyday like crazy, this is not productive.
But also take some time for just yourself, learn how to meditate and breathing techniques. Deep breathing is one of the oldest technique used by people in order to manage their stress, we highly recommend this article or also this video done by Meghan Livingstone. Try to do multiple five-minute sessions throughout the day in order to really feel improvement on your stress level.
Being stressed consumes a large amount of energy, this is why you might feel drained even before the beginning of your daily sport sessions. Sports should always be enjoyed and a peaceful moment and definitely another stress addition.
We recommend you slightly reduce your volume of training, do shorter sessions, or maybe try a new sport.
For example, if you are a runner why not trying cycling or swimming? These are two endurance sports, perfect to keep working on your stamina. You will get better in no time as you begin, and this will be relaxing for you.
Stress is a personal emotion that you will have to learn how to manage by understanding yourself better. Do not hesitate to take notes on "How you have manage to deal with a specific stressful period?" so you will be able to go back to your notes later on.
We hope we have provided you few tricks in order to crush your workouts all year. If you do not want to miss our latest news and coming articles, make sure you subscribe to our mailing list.
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If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. Our team of personal coaches will answer all your questions in no time.
Make sure you look after your body properly in order to be able to give 100% during your coming workouts. Do not forget, you have started this journey for yourself so make sure you have fun and avoid to always do the same routine.
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