This time of year can be stressful. It is delightful with all the fun festivities, parties, and traveling! However, all that takes a toll on my stress levels.
Add a 10 month old to the mix, and things get a bit more complicated. (a very good kind of complicated!)
We have all heard that exercise helps to reduce stress, right? Well, what if I told you that I’m not exercising right now to reduce stress?
Yep, it’s true. See, when you are stressed, your body produces an excess amount of cortisol. When you exercise, that also puts stress on your body, thus producing more cortisol. Your body doesn’t know the difference between good stress- exercise- and bad stress- (shopping, travel, you name it). All it knows is that it is being taxed and so it needs to produce cortisol.
Chronic stress can cause things like digestive problems, heart disease, sleep issues, weight gain, anxiety, and depression. You can read more about it here.
I know that by trying to keep myself on a strict gym schedule, it is only going to stress me. I want to just enjoy this season with my family. With all that we have on our schedule right now, sticking to a workout schedule would be just another task on my never ending to do list.
Exercise should never be a stressor in your life. It should be something you enjoy doing. Something that is fun and something you look forward to. When it becomes something you dread or something you just need to get done so you can check it off your list, I encourage you to reevaluate what you are doing. Maybe you need a break from formal “exercise”, or maybe you need to find something else to do that better suits you.
It is hard sometimes to not compare ourselves to others when we are trying to honor our bodies, especially in such a social world! I won’t lie, it is hard to see on instagram where someone just ran 10 miles before breakfast or killed it at the gym that day. However, knowing when you are stressed and listening to your body is way more important in the long run!
It’s hard sometimes to see on istagram or where ever that someone just ran 10 miles before breakfast or killed it in the gym that day, but healing our bodies and listening to them is way more important in the long run.
I’m not going to be a complete sloth, I plan on doing lots of playing with Baby D, walking the malls, and living room yoga when I have time. All the “exercise” I will be getting are things I enjoy and that feel right and natural to my body. I’m not going to force anything or “plan” exercise until after the holidays.
It is good to give your body a break and allow it to rest and relax. So yes, sometimes exercise does relieve stress. However, there are times when exercise causes stress.
During this time, I’m also going to make sure I nourish my body well and get lots of good sleep. I want to start my new year off refreshed and recharged!
(Slap Ya Mama Salmon anyone??)
I know this isn’t for everyone. Everyone deals with stress differently. For me, reducing my workouts honors my body and helps my body to deal with stress more effectively.
How does stress effect you?
Have you ever decreased your workouts to help deal with stress?