Discover more from Lou O'Reilly takes out the trash.
Not as long as last week.. see, I am keeping my promises. Context on the other hand...
Hello there, friends how are you doing this week? Thanks for stopping by again - it’s great to have you here.
Last time I wrote to you, oh my smokey stars that was a long novel. There was just so much to get through and the “first” of the special emails containing useful stuff, rather than me just shaking my fist at the fitness sky about how rubbish it can be at times.
If you managed to get to the crux of it, the topic was hydration. Drinking enough fluids so that you are not dehydrated and feeling awful. And that’s important, because while we aren’t trying to change the world, we are trying to just feel better than we did, without huge expense or effort or commitment of resources we don’t have.
Did you manage to drink a bit more this week? What did you drink? How often? How did it go? Let me know in the comments or flick me a message back.
None of these strategies we’ll talk about are the silver bullet to success. You aren’t going to have an extra cup of tea and then start jumping on the couch Tom Cruise style. It doesn’t work that way. But, making small, actionable changes in a way you can control, allows you to build up at a pace that works for you. Slow and steady wins the race, and all that. Except it isn’t a race. It’s just you, doing small things that in time will help you feel better. Good, isn’t it?
This week, a thing to practice - and it’s totally cool if you’re not ready to take another thing on, but if you can, it’s ways to manage stress. It’s been a bit of a challenge to write this, because while I have plenty of lived experience in stress, and done a bit of study on it, I’m not a doctor, or a specialist and I want to be absolutely clear on it until you’re totally sick of me. So if we’re cool on that, let’s push on.
Stress is more than just the feeling you get when you’re under the pump. It does all sorts of things to your body that you might not even be aware of.
Things like increased blood pressure which can put a bit of a strain on the old heart - that’s the main one, and you need to know that it would be a heavy dose of consistent, chronic stress to do that. But other smaller things can happen that are still a super pain in the butt, like your immune system can take a bit of a hammering, your sleep can be affected, you forget stuff all the time. That kind of thing.
The main thing, is that stress can make us feel gross. And the whole point of this email is to figure out a bunch of things that we can control, that will make us feel better. So it’s important to kick the stress to the curb if possible.
Easy for me to say and write about here, I know. Believe me pals, I have been bloody stressed this week. Covid just freaks me out and given I was at the airport at the same time as the joker from Aussie, it’s been all go around here.
But let’s cut to the chase. If we’re stressed, here’s what we can do to try and chill out a bit.
First. If your stress is chronic, if it all feels too much, if you feel chest pains, or breathlessness - if the stress is scary, you need medical attention. A cheeky email from me is of no use to you. Get thee to a doctor and tell them “I am stressed, and I’m worried about it”.
If it’s not that bad, just a mild case of the bleurghs, some things to try to get back on an even keel could be exercise or joyful movement, taking a few minutes out to regulate your breathing, or even stopping what you’re doing and find something fun to do instead.
With my own stress levels, I’ve found it isn’t necessarily not knowing what to do, but it’s the push to actually go and do it. Do the thing that will calm the farm a bit. So often, I’ve felt the full force of stress and I’ve just swallowed it back, kept on pushing on, and as a result, it’s knocked everything out of kilter.
I don’t think I’m alone in sliding my stress to one side to deal with later while I’m on a deadline, or overloaded with work, or stuck in traffic and late for an appointment.
So the thing to do this week, is 1) figure out what things help you relieve your stress, and then, prioritise actually doing the thing that relieves your stress.
That, and also keeping your fluids up that you had a go at doing last week.
Just two things to practice, keep up the fluids, and prioritise chilling out a bit.
Thank you as always for your remarkable support of my emails. I wish you all an enjoyable and chilled out week. Next week’s email is a biggie.. figuring out how to get to sleep and stay asleep until you need to get up and be productive :o)