Your body doesn’t differentiate between different forms of stress.
In the last few weeks in the clinic I’ve noticed an increase in the amount of people who are reporting that they generally feel exhausted, sore, overworked and/or tired. The weather has taken a turn and it’s much colder, we are getting to the mid stage of the sport season, and busy periods for different types of work are approaching. With this upon us we need to be aware of the overall stress our bodies and minds are under.
Despite the fact that we see stress at work and physical stress from the gym or sport as different stressors, our bodies do not take this information in separately. Our bodies understand these inputs as just one thing – stress!
I like to think of how full my stress ‘bucket’ is. Things like work, relationships, emotional stress, and sport and gym all contribute to the filling up of our bucket. We need to be monitoring how full our bucket is, because if we overfill the bucket, the bucket will start to overflow. This overflow is a recipe for burnout. This overflow is also a recipe for injury.
Some of these stressors are out of our control, but some stressors we are able to control! This is a friendly reminder that it is okay to swap a run for a more gentle walk, or a heavy weights session for a gentle stretch or yoga session. Our bodies can do with the break from a heavier or harder workout and will probably thank us for it.
The reduction in overall stress could stop us from breaking down or burning out, and even help us to avoid injury!