Welcome to the 21st century.

Unless you’re a member of an undiscovered indigenous group in the Amazon or a professional Zen Buddhist living in a mountain monastery, it’s hardly a relaxing time for most of us.

Relaxation doesn’t accidentally find us.

Recovery doesn’t accidentally find us.

Calm doesn’t accidentally find us.

Yet we desperately need those things.

We can’t be busy, excited, or rushing all the time. We need periods of quiet rejuvenation.

De-stressing doesn’t accidentally find us.

We have to go get it.

Starting today.

De-stressing isn’t “blowing off steam”

De-stressing is different than “blowing off steam”, which some people like to do with high-energy, aggressive activities.

Such as:

  • pounding the shit out of something in a kickboxing class
  • pounding yourself into the ground with high-intensity workouts
  • screaming at the other idiots on the roads inside your car

This isn’t always bad. (After all, how is that imbecile going too slow in the fast lane going know what he’s doing wrong unless you tell him?)

In fact, it’s pretty awesome and important for us to turn our healthy aggression outwards instead of inwards.

Better we go ape on a punching bag, run some hard miles, or visit a Rage Room to get our frustrations out than shout at our kids or seethe silently until we explode.

But these activities — again, even if they’re healthy and appropriate — still get you riled.

They’re good stress… but still stress.

Same goes for recreational activities like:

  • watching TV or films
  • surfing the internet
  • playing console games

Electronic stimulation, while fun, is still stimulation. So — unfortunately for all you Candy Crush and Call of Duty fans — anything involving a screen is out.

What counts as de-stressing?

Here are a list of things that count as de-stressing.

  • a relaxing walk
  • being out in nature
  • listening to relaxing music
  • mindfulness practice and meditation
  • massage
  • deep breathing
  • laughing (may we recommend this guy?)
  • snuggling a loved one or pet
  • yoga, gentle mobility, and/or slow stretching exercises
  • a solid, awesome, Kleenex-destroying cry, if you need it (crying actually helps us get rid of stress hormones)
  • indulging in a trip to the spa to get your hair washed, cut or get a facial.  Men too!!
  • gentle swimming or water immersion (such as a hot tub)
  • relaxing in a sauna
  • having sex (and here you thought getting healthy wouldn’t be fun!)
  • singing along to your favorite song (the breathing for singing competes with “anxious breathing” — and you end up diverting worry energy into belting out your power anthems)
  • physical, non-competitive play, like dancing or tossing around a frisbee
  • moderate, occasional drinking — like, one beer or glass of wine once or twice a week… enjoyed slowly and mindfully

In other words:

Think of de-stressing as purposefully chasing relaxation.

And notice how many of these count as self-love and self-care. Which, by the way, you need and deserve.

What’s your oasis?

Ask yourself:

“What truly relaxes and calms me?”

What’s your oasis? The thing that makes you go quiet inside?

Start writing your Owner’s Manual.


What to do today

  1. Do 20 total minutes of de-stressing.
    You can do the 20 minutes all at once, or in smaller “chunks”.Try a few minutes at a time at first, if necessary. It all adds up.
  2. Find your oasis. Write your Owner’s Manual.
    Try some of the things we’ve listed above. Or come up with your own. This is YOUR game. Find what calms you and makes you go quiet inside. Then write it down so you remember.
  3. Help yourself remember to de-stress.
    Set a reminder in your calendar or cell phone, or write your habit on a post-it note.You can also tie this habit to something else you normally do, like going to the bathroom.

Eat, move, and live…better.

This post is one our daily coaching lessons, created by Precision Nutrition and delivered by us at Your Nutritional Blueprint, for more detals of the program we offer, please visit here.
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