By Athlete Ambassador, Brad Jennings of Explore the Backcountry
A crucial aspect of a healthy body is a healthy mind. Unfortunately, unforeseen events can lead to the onset of added stress and derail a healthy, active lifestyle. Coping with stress can be difficult, as symptoms may present themselves in differing ways depending upon the situation and person. Despair, fatigue, irritability or depression may set in and one may cope by binge eating, substance abuse, and material therapy (i.e shopping). These unhealthy coping mechanisms can lead to a slippery slope of further and prolonged stress. Finding healthy alternatives are essential in ensuring one has a quick recovery.
Here are my top 3 ways to overcome stress in a healthy manner:
1. Get Outside
The healing powers of nature cannot be overlooked. Get outside, immerse yourself in nature and relax. A simple walk through your local woodlot will do wonders to help clear your mind and retain focus. If you have the time and resources, why not take to the water for a paddle or hit the trails for a cycle?! If there’s time on your side, try and work in an overnight excursion. A night spent camping out in the great outdoors will quickly whisk you away to another world and removes you from any potential stressful reminders you would encounter in your daily life.
If you’re feeling the burden of severe stress, it may be hard to find the motivation to get off the couch and resume training or attempt a workout however, exercise is one of the top forms of recommended stress relievers. Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins, chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers. Additionally they improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress. Mix up the intensity depending upon your mood and alternate between differing workouts to avoid repetition and stagnation. For added stress relief, incorporate the outdoors. You’ll really notice a difference!
Talking to someone about how you feel seems like an overstated piece of advice, but it is highly recommended as stress can leave individuals bottled and secluded within their own thoughts. Isolating your mind from constant reminders is a great step in the process of removing and reducing stressors. You don’t need to book a trip to the psychologist; simply spending time with friends and family, or joining a social group does wonders. For the ultimate power trio why not attempt a group workout outdoors?!