There’s a lot going on in Booyahville right now, and I’m feeling pretty stressed. Ok, wicked stressed. Like lay awake all night and stare at my ceiling making lists of all the things I need to do stressed. Before yesterday, I hadn’t seen the inside of a gym in 7 days (hence the absence of your regularly scheduled Work It Out Wednesday/Bridal Bootcamp). We all know that exercise can help relieve stress and boost your immune system (you don’t have to take my word for it – the studies are out there), and the resulting endorphins and adrenaline are a nice boost in your mood, regardless of what is going on in your life. Blah, blah, yadda, yadda. I know this – it’s a fact – but it seems that my natural reaction when super stressed is to start to remove things from my day that seem superfluous and time-consuming. Often the first thing to get cut from the docket is the time spent on ourselves, and we end up sacrificing our personal wellness for something that’s more “important”. There are times when skipping the gym is definitely okay (guilty as charged, especially when I need rest/my body needs a break), but when you’re stressed, it’s even MORE of a reason to lace up those sneaks, put on your these-pants-make-me-look-bootylicious spandex crops and go sweat it out at the gym. Why? Let me tell you – with GIFs. 😉
1. Taking time for yourself can have a meditative effect (aka get to your zen, baby).
If all you’re focused on is breathing and not passing out while doing burpees, it gives you the space and time to disconnect from all the craziness. When I am working out in the gym, and actually exerting myself, my mind is blank. All I’m focused on is breathing through the up-down motion of a push up. Not my ginormous to-do list. Being able to exercise gives you a much-needed mental break.
2. Planning a workout gives you the sense of your ability to control the things going on around you.
Sometimes, when it feels like things are spiraling out of control, the fact that you hold the reigns on a portion of your day is a really good feeling. When push comes to shove, the only thing that gets me through these super stressful times is being uber organized and blocking out specific times to focus on the things that need to get done one at a time. Call me a control freak, but my workout is a little portion of my day where I am in charge. 😉
3. Two words: cathartic outlet.
Let it all out, darling. Slaying a workout is a great way to let off steam, whether it’s by breathing it out in downward facing dog or beating the sh*t out of a punching bag in kickboxing. Or running sprints. Or planking it out. Whatever you choose. 🙂
Let me tell you – I told myself I would not guilt myself over being MIA for the gym this week (and I’m really trying not to), because that is not going to help me have a more productive day today. But I wish I had pushed myself to get to the gym earlier in the week. I feel enormously better, more awake, less stressed and ready to take on my day than I have in the past 7 days combined. Bottom line – don’t skip your workout when you’re stressin’ big time, because exercise in and of itself is a powerful tool to combat stress. Instead, do whatever it takes to get yourself to the gym (set 5 alarms, sleep in your workout clothes, make your gym buddy guilt trip you via text at 5 am). The hardest part is getting out of bed, but once you’re there, you’re sure to knock it out of the park. However, be ready to adjust your expectations. You may need to make adjustments to your intensity and/or allow more time for recovery between sessions – and that’s okay. And while you’re at it, have fun, laugh and focus on the positive – it’s your YOU time! 😀
I hope you guys all get out there and have a super BOOYAH day today!
PS: Just in case: