Posts tagged stress

Dismantle Your Stress Triangle

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Stress EffectsHave you heard of the stress triangle? You know how sometimes your shoulders get tense, your neck aches and your head feels as if it is going to blow off your neck.  These are the areas where most people hold tension-the “stress triangle”.  Stress can also wreak havoc on other parts of your system too – your skin, your internal organs and your emotional well being.  

By switching things up, I am realizing that I was not paying attention to the signs my body was giving about being stressed and burnt out. This past week – my shoulders have begun to loosen and my joints are no longer aching. I have been holding a lot of shit inside the past few months – some of it on purpose and some subconsciously – and it was starting to show up threaded in my daily life.  My stress triangle was nagging me – and when I went to lift or do anything that required overhead movement, I was in pain.  My joints were starting to burn and ache regularly. My acne on my face was coming back in full force. I was off balance and it wasn’t until this week – that I stopped,  took a breathe, and noticed, I FEEL better.

Yesterday, during my yoga class was hen I became aware that I felt different/better – my shoulders were not tighter than security at the White House. I could move…I felt like a huge weight had been lifted. I think acknowledging that I was feeling uninspired and burnt out – making it real made a huge difference. At times, I put pressure on myself about pushing on because let’s face it: How can I – Miss Blog About How Awesome Working Out Is – be uninspired and unmotivated?  Well, I’m living proof it happens and it’s also a reminder to everyone out there — no one’s life is perfect, or happy all the time. We all have peaks and valleys that happen.  I have learned the key is to keep focused on moving forward and be kind.  Sometimes that’s harder than whatever you are going through but just like anything else, it takes practice…

Read This

Be Inspired

Do Something THat Makes you Sweat

Laugh

Take Your Cat To Work Day

Workout

1 Hour Title Boxing Class

 

 

 

Thriving Under Pressure

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I have been doing a lot of looking into ideas and strategies about thriving under pressure. Being able to jump into action, make decisions, act upon happenings under stress. The type of stressors depends on the situation –but the overall idea that you can process that stress and not let it stop you in your tracks.

Last week, during my second Krav Maga class, i had that light bulb moment when I realized that this is exactly the type of training I need. Each class ends with some sort of high stress activity where you are asked to practice the skills you learned earlier in the class. It’s to help you get comfortable doing them automatically. During this last one and the first class’s activity, I become keenly aware that I do start to panic and I didn’t freak out because I knew there was no real danger – it made me realize that I need to force myself to practice being outside of my comfort zone more and work to push myself harder.  It was seriously mentally a breakthrough idea for me!  I have been aware of my mind being the biggest obstacle to me progressing physically and career wise and to understand that a lot of it is fear and not being comfortable without stability and planning was mind blowing to me.  I found some interesting ideas and info on this whole idea and will share more info and updates in the days, weeks and years to come!

Why We Choke During Tasks That Require Our Procedural Memory

When you practice something over and over again, the knowledge of how to do that task gets burned into your unconscious and into your “muscle memory.” Your body can instinctively remember how it feels to do something right.

When you start to think too much about the task you’re trying to accomplish, you block the pathways to this muscle memory. Over-thinking things shuts off your instincts, which know what to do, from kicking in.

The Key to Being Clutch When Using Your Procedural Memory

To excel under pressure and be clutch with tasks that require procedural memory, you must distract yourself from the task at hand. Instead of over-thinking what you’re doing or are about to do, you must trust that the hours of training and practice you’ve put in before that moment won’t let you down.

Distract yourself. If you’re lining up for a golf putt, distract yourself from the mechanics of your putt by counting backwards or singing. Our guitarist above can close his eyes when he starts to feel nervous when playing in front of an audience (as an added bonus, scrunching his eyes shut will make the girls think he’s deep).

Develop a mantra. Sports psychologists often counsel their athletes to develop a mantra they can repeat when the pressure is on. Mantras are just another way to keep you from over-thinking what you’re doing in a high-pressure situation. Baseball Hall of Famer George Brett’s mantra when he was up at bat was “Try easier.” A basketball player could use a mantra like “Relaxed and smooth,” for when he steps up to the free throw line. When you’re on the putting green, use the immortal mantra of Chevy Chase in Caddyshack: “Be the ball.”

Focus on the target, not your mechanics. Another tactic you can use to avoid paralysis by analysis is to focus on your target, instead of your mechanics. For example, when you’re trying to bowl a strike, you don’t want to think about your approach, so you should focus and aim at an arrow on the lane instead. When firing a gun, focus on getting a clear sight, not on your trigger pull.

Don’t slow down. Remember how with tasks that require working memory you should slow down? Well, forget that bit of advice for tasks that require procedural memory. Studies show that the faster you get going, the better you do. Football coaches understand this and will often try to throw off opposing kickers by calling a time-out right before they kick the ball. This technique is called “icing the kicker.” The idea is that giving the kicker more time to think about the kick will increase his analysis and anxiety, thus blocking his procedural memory from guiding the ball through the uprights. If you’ve ever mountain biked, you’ve probably witnessed the truth in this. If you see an obstacle up ahead on the trail and cautiously slow down in anticipation, you will often awkwardly hit the obstacle and fall over. But, if you swallow your fear and keep up a quick pace, more often than not the bike will sail right over the obstacle.

What a Week It’s Been and It’s only Weds!

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No One Likes An Eeyore

I’m having not the greatest of weeks so far. I know there is hope to turn it around but man, yesterday really sucked in so many different ways and I am full of emotion about it. Today’s heavy lift didn’t help keep my emotions under wrap either.  I am sure I am not the only one that ends up not being able to keep my emotions in check when I am lifting heavy shit if I happen to be trying very hard to keep those emotions in.

Do you ever feel at times like you are living your life and you just cant keep up? And you can’t figure out how it got so harried?  You have too much to do, get yourself wrapped up in too much, overextend yourself and the chances of you keeping it all straight are slim? And you are moving at a thousand times a minute? You arent paying attention to details? Yeah?! That’s what I feel like this week.  And I am having a hard time not exploding into tears every time I let myself think about it.

Today during the back squats — my last rep I was attempting 200# and just didn’t get it and couldnt figure out how to abandon the bar so I almost hurt myself and sure enough –had to walk away and the tears started flowing. It has nothing to do with the lift or the very, very ugly abandonment of the bar. It was all the shit I have been dealing with this week — I want off the boat right now!!!

I got in a minor fender bender yesterday — and no big deal but its like the fourth time I have done something to my car in the past month or so including scraping the crap out of Scott’s car with my car a few weeks ago.  I am moving so fast, and not paying attention to details — Something has to got to give soon and I have to be the one to figure out what that is, because it  ain’t gonna happen on its own.

Breathe, Breathe, Breathe.   I’m going to spend some time this evening alone, deep in thought trying to calm my insides so I can think rationally and make some clear decisions about what in my life has to go. I simply can’t do it all and there are things much more important in life than some of the smaller shit I am doing.

And I know — most people think I am always upbeat and happy. For the most part, I am. Life is good — my family has health and we are happy. The problems I am having are not life threatening problems to put it in perspective but they are effecting me and being able to live my best life. And like everything else, I will work through them and get back to my happy place.

I think it’s really important for me to share the highs and lows and be authentic and honest.  Seeing the world with rose colored glasses is great but you have to know when to take them off and see things for what they are and deal with them. I am very plan oriented though so I wont be sitting and wallowing in this for more than a day or so — I’m very much the kind of person that has to feel  whatever it is I am feeling but that will lead to a plan to get myself out of it. No one likes being an Eeyore.

Some days you’re the bug, somedays you’re the windshield – tony blauer

Workout today was strength – back squats!!
warmup
800m jog
DROM
Drills
Hamstring/Calf stretch
Good mornings
Back squat with PVC

Skill
Back squat

WOD
1-1-1-1-1-1-1
Back Squat
115,145,155,165,175,185,195 – failed at 200#

PR by 15# at 195#

Worn Out WOD

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A morning visitor hanging from our garage

I gotta be honest — I am feeling overwhelmed. It’s the busy season for my company, and especially my team which handles new parents enrolling their families in online schools. As a fellow parent, I know it’s stressful sending the kids to school and I can only imagine the extra stress these parents are under, learning a new way to educate their kids. So it’s really rewarding helping them –however you can feel their stress and anxiety, so it’s tough.

So I’m busy at work –home life is busy too. Kids are back in school in a few short weeks. I had to scramble to find the kids camps for next week. Apparently even though school doesn’t start yet, camps stop offering sessions a week prior. What are working parents supposed to do?

And on that note — what’s up with camps ending at 330p? Can’t they do at least 4p? I want my kids to be able to experience some of the super fun camps but does it have to be at my expense. I have to leave an hour earlier this week to pick HB up from her camp at 330p. That’s really the middle of my day. It’s very frustrating. Camp is super expensive and if they do offer after care  — it costs extra. It’s hard on parents —

I am also feeling overwhelmed just with the house in general. I can’t seem to keep it clean no matter what i do. I am trying to carve out time each weekend with Nate and HB to go through their rooms  — organize, declutter and get ready for a new school year. It’s not the doing it –it’s finding the time to do it. That’s the issue with a lot of what I want to do at my house — not enough hours in the day  and weekends go by way too fast.  I am sure I am not alone  –it just gets to be overwhelming at times. I want to do so much more, but the reality is — not everything will or can get done. Sigh.

I am also feeling worn out — going away wears you out. I’m also according to my lady doctor, going through pre-menopause – so I’m all over the map hormonally. Getting older is such a joy — I can only imagine how much harder it would be if I wasn’t in shape. For about a week each month , I feel like a truck hit me when I try to get up in the morning. I know it’s shocking to some of you. I am so trained to get up early — thank GOD i am because if I wasn’t, there would be no way in hell I would get up based on the way I felt this morning.  Sluggish, had some rough dreams, unsettled.  And it showed in my workout today — I just wasn’t feeling most of it but if I skipped today, then Friday would be my make up day and I enjoy sleeping in a bit on Friday.

Warmup
400m run
x2
10 pushups
10 squats
10 ring rows

Skill
SDHP

WOD
3rep Max SDHP – I did 65lbs because i am struggling with technique and bending my arms too early, muscling it up. I did try 90lbs but went back down so I can work on doing it properly.

As many rounds as possible in 10 minutes of:
7 Wall Balls 20 lbs
5 Burpees
total: 10+3 (10lb)

We were told that we had to reach the 10ft target for it to count, so I went with a lower weight to ensure I hit it every time. If you have been following me, you know I am not a fan of Wall Balls OR Burpees. So a WOD with them together = evil.

Managing Stress

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Our body’s old response to modern stress can be dangerous

I have had lots of discussions about this with my doctor over the years. Our bodies are not designed to handle stress the way we have to deal with it in modern day. Consistent and pervasive stress can cause serious issues – physical and mental.  Learning how to manage or alleviate stress is really good for overall health — and guess what? EXERCISE helps with that. (You knew I would go there…)

The chemical reaction to stress in the brain is for short-term danger. Frequent stress weakens the system and causes problems.

It’s thought that when the stress system turns on and off, on and off, on and off repeatedly, controls eventually break down, says Nim Tottenham, an assistant professor of psychology at UCLA. “You start to get a deregulation of the system.” At first, this tends to make people super reactive to any stressful incident, but sometimes, after too long, their systems may become so overwhelmed that they don’t even respond adequately anymore.

An Unexpected Rest Day

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It’s been quite a busy day. I woke up all raring to go workout when I realized I couldn’t turn my head to the right. I was dressed and thought oh I will go — then I stopped and said nope, not going to push it! So I went back to bed — so Thursday is officially my rest day. I will go tomorrow morning and of course on Saturday.

I’ve been under a lot of stress at work –it’s good busy stress but a lot of it nonetheless. It’s times like this when you need to make sure you are taking the time to relax and create some sort of order in your life so the stress doesn’t just start taking over and you may make the wrong decisions.

I’m not sure if my neck strain is due to the stress or if it was all that shoulder work yesterday — but in the end it doesnt matter, it is what it is.

Long weekend here I come

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The weeks seem to be be getting tougher for me as the summer moves by – which is not ideal.  I need to figure out a way to recharge my battery – exercising works to a point of course but to completely unplug from our current hectic lives and restore the balance in my head. I need to focus on a strategy targeted towards getting me away from the toxic people I have to interact with daily. When you are forced to be around people who in no measurable way meet your criteria regarding quality and integrity – it tends to wear me down.  I am trying all sorts of approaches to make it bearable – but there comes a point when it just isn’t anymore – I think I am teetering at that edge and need to find an escape route. And it is up to me — I am the one who is in charge of where I am and where i want to be.  I have to keep reminding myself of that and not let mean people get under my skin. Mean People suck.

Running and relieving stress

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I have mentioned the past few weeks about my stress levels and how high they are right now.  Some say running is a great way to way to handle stress. Any exercise is really but here is some info on running and why it’s so good!

Running is particularly great as a stress relief technique for a few reasons:

  • Endorphins We may as well mention this one first: these feel-good hormones that are secreted when we run (sometimes leading to what’s commonly referred to as “runners’ high”) can make us feel less stressed and more happy and relaxed even after we stop running or other exercise.
  • Release Pounding the pavement can provide a release for negative emotions and an outlet for frustrations.
  • Escape One of my avid runner friends has always remarked that she’s ‘running away from’ the stresses of life when she runs. Running does provide a nice change of scenery and a sense of going somewhere else, on top of the other benefits.
  • Support There are many outlets for runners to hook up with other runners. There are also opportunities to turn running into a public service, like when participation in a marathon leads to helping a good cause. Support for training is also available to marathon participants, which makes sticking with running a much easier endeavor.
  • Fitness Physical fitness does more than just help relieve the stress of bikini season–it can supply energy and stamina to manage the stressors of the day and the challenges of life.

from http://stress.about.com/b/2010/06/02/running-toward-stress-relief.htm

In a Funk

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I am officially in a FUNK and it is pissing me off and making me sad at the same time. I got up this AM all raring to go. Not really that tired and wanting to have a good workout. My eating has been on point the past few days and I have renewed focus. And my workout started great — I even was able to do 10 reps of chest press @ 100lbs both rounds. Feeling good…off to a great start.. got through the regular workout great. The final PT station is what screwed me up! I got through round 1 – 100 jump ropes, 30 Tabatas, and 15 Burpees with a weighted vest. 2nd round – 20 jumps into the jump rope, my back started spasming. I had to rush to get the vest off and started to walk around in hopes of loosening it.  I tried to restart the jump rope with no vest but realized WTF am I am doing – my back was hurting. So I stopped – and left.

I am so FRUSTRATED. This has been a rough month for me physically and mentally. How do I reset?  A friend told me to take a few days completely off to let my body heal. What’s crazy about me is that the thought of that sounds impossible to me. Why can’t I run? Will I gain weight? The thoughts that go through my head are all pretty irrational.   TO completely rest, watch TV, relax. WTF does RELAX even mean?

My wise husband told me that we all have peaks and valleys and when you are in the valley, keep walking because you will eventually reach the next peak – even if it’s not the biggest peak in the area.

Just keep swimming…

Warmup:
2 min jump rope

Core:
general stretching
2 rounds:
Stability Ball crunches
ball scissor twists
ball 83s – ball between your legs, legs straight. When you do the sit up, bend your knees with the ball and touch the sides of your ankles.
2 rounds:
reverse crunch on your stomach
stomach back kicks

workout:
2 rounds:
PowerStation: 100lb bench press (10)
OH sit-up
35lb kettlebell figure 8s (20)
75lbs power clean squats
plyo-push-ups
double rope waves

PT Station:
Wearing a Weighted VEST
100 Jump Rope
Tabatas 15, 10, 5  x2
burpees 15, 10, 5

Things that make you go hmmmm

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There are times when you wake up in the morning and you mentally and physically aren’t where you need to be to workout.  You aren’t feeling it. Sometimes you should ignore the  voice, but other times – you should listen.  Today was one of those days when I should have listened.   I just wasn’t feeling like myself and even on the way to camp, my voice was saying you need to rest. But commitment and routine won out.  All was going fine until I started the circuit and whacked the upside of my nose with a 45lb barbell.  You can probably imagine how much that hurt. I am grateful that I didn’t break my nose and no blood was seen.  So, I stopped to regain my composure, resumed my split jerk, head to jump ropes, finish that and as I am walking to the wall ball squats, I get whacked with a jump rope.  I yelled out a loud angry DAMMIT!, stopped again to compose myself and resumed the workout with a lot of angry energy.

My nose still hurts and mentally I am beat up. I do have to hand it to my Plumbline Ladies though. They know when I am not myself and were there to push and support me through the rest of the workout. My girl Kim was there for me all the way.

Anyway – I am happy that’s done for the day. I have to really figure out WTF is going on internally with me. I seem to be out of sorts in all areas of my life right now.  The dr office incident, the getting hurt this past month, and Nate has strep. It’s a lot of stress and I don’t seem to be getting a handle on it like I usually do.

Things that make you go hmmmm!

Plumbline Training workout:

Warmup x 2
shuffle
pushups
checkpoints
skip jumps

Core x 2
partner ball toss 14lb
partner situps
25 reverse high 5 pushups

workout
20,16,14,12,10
45lb split jerks
100 jump rope
wall ball squats
200m run
25lb kettlebell swings

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