by Guest Blogger Alicia Hileski, LMT
Stress kills (maybe not directly, but indirectly.) It's a fact that stress is incredibly damaging to the body. The body naturally releases adrenaline and cortisol to combat stress by going into the flight or fight mode. This is for survival. However, when we consistently and daily carry stress in our body, we start to develop health problems such as anxiety, depression, digestive issues, headaches, heart disease, sleeplessness, weight gain, memory impairment and more. It may eventually end in death! This is why self-care is so important.
If our body is always depleted and we are in constant stress mode, how can we expect to care for our loved ones at full capacity? Think of when you travel on an airplane and the flight attendants give the safety talk. They always tell passengers to " please put on your own oxygen mask first before attempting to help others." How can we be expected to help others be well if we are not well ourselves?
Taking time to care for yourself shouldn't be viewed as selfish. You are simply taking the time to reboot, recharge, refresh and become an even better version of yourself. Ideally, this healthy version of you will trickle down the human chain to others and maybe with a little bit of grace, will brighten someone else's day.
There are many different variations of self care, including massage therapy (or any form of therapy for that matter), going for a walk, reading a good book, being in good company, disconnecting from electronics and the constant hustle and bustle of life are just a few. Maybe you just really need a nap! Whatever suits your fancy and helps you relax (and that isn't harmful to you or others). We all react differently to stress, so we are all going to have different ways of unwinding and relaxing.
It may be tempting to stay up late to cram in those last household chores or answer emails, but really, the world won’t end if the laundry is dirty for another day, or if the dishes are piled up in the sink. Sleep deprivation causes irritability, poor cognition, impaired reflexes and response time (think car accidents!) and can contribute to depression and anxiety.
Nicholas Garman, LMT NSCA-CPT
|Kalamazoo Athletic Wellness||
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