Go back and remember a time when life got on top of you, wrapped its arms around you and squeezed you so tight that you barely had time to come up for air. Probably a fun time, correct? I doubt it.
I recently moved from Texas to Louisiana and had no choice but to embrace the chaos. The process of buying and selling a house, leaving friends, quitting jobs and kids changing schools is a stressful time. My life is in a state of chaos.
When life puts you in the spin cycle you either embrace it and work through it or pull the covers over your head and hope it all goes away. Either way, it’s happening sweetheart.
However, when your regular routine is smashed to pieces, it helps to have something to hold on to, a rudder that can guide you through your temporary upheaval.
For me, that’s exercise. Crazy right? With so many stress relieving options available, I went with one that causes temporary pain, discomfort and mild sweating. Silly me.
However, unless you’ve been under a rock, exercise is known as a fantastic stress buster and it’s less risky and way healthier than other legal or illegal options out there.
And rather than crawling underneath a rock and waiting for the madness to pass, set aside time to move your body, sweat and raise your heart rate, so you can feel better about life and cope with chaos legally.
Use the suggestions below as a guideline to maintain your sanity when the shit hits the fan.
1. Put on your walking shoes
Every day, weather permitting, I take my dog for a walk. It’s great exercise for both of us and all it requires is a pair of shoes and some open space. It couldn’t be any easier.
There are numerous health benefits when it comes to walking and there’s no need to rehash it here. However, the hidden benefit of walking (that not many people know) is that it reinforces our natural human contralateral (opposite arm opposite leg) pattern of movement.
The contralateral act of walking activates the left and right hemispheres of your brain which can help you think clearer and reduce stress which is a must when life gets on top of you.
2. Get some space, no matter how small
The picture below show how much space I train in. Yes, this is my bedroom where all the exercise magic happens.
I think having a dedicated area to call your own, no matter how large or small helps support the exercise habit because when your life gets crazy. Because the gym is usually the first thing that moves down the to do list when life your gets out of hand.
3. 10 minute movement breaks
There’s a misconception that when it comes to exercise that longer is better and when you don’t have 20 minutes – 60 minutes to train, you may as well not do it all.
However, 10 minutes of exercise has great health benefits and doing this a couple of times a day during the week will help reduce your stress and put you in a better frame of mind.
Here are some training suggestions you can do in the comfort of your own home.
Rest one minute after each circuit and do as many as you can in 10 minutes.
Rest one minute after each circuit and do as many as you can in 10 minutes
Punisher squats – 20 seconds of bodyweight squats followed by a 10 second squat hold. Repeat this sequence eight times. Ouch.
Do 3 minute walk/warm up, then 15 seconds of a bodyweight exercise (Jumping jacks, running in place or high knees) followed 15 seconds of rest. Repeat this cycle for five work/rest intervals. Then cool down for 3 minutes.
However, if that doesn’t appeal to you, you can go for a walk, do housework, yard work, stretch or foam roll because all movement is good movement and it beats doing nothing at all.
4. Be flexible
Although making time to move is extremely important for your health and well-being there’s going to be a time when you’re hungry, stressed and have a to do list as long as your arm. The last thing you want to do is get your sweat on.
This is the time when you cut yourself some slack, take a few deep breaths , go eat something and concentrate on your honey do list. Exercise will be there tomorrow and the next day and the day after that.
There’s no need to stress about exercise. You’re already doing enough of that.
Exercise is a fantastic stress reliever at the worst of times. It can clear your mind, keep your sanity and hold you together while the world is crumbling around you.
Yes, exercise is that good.