Stress

This is the upside-down world we live in: in most situations in the modern, post-industrial West, the stress itself will kill you faster than the stressor will—unless you do something to complete the stress response cycle. … Physical activity is the single most efficient strategy for completing the stress response cycle.

“Burnout” by Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski

Working on getting a handle on the stress thing is an on-going process. I feel like I’ve made some progress at least this week.

Unfortunately, I’ve been working from home most of the time, and then my regular badminton and volleyball were canceled this week.

However, I went on my first outdoor run with my Vibrams on Thursday, and then I played badminton with some friends today and last Saturday.

I went farther than I planned to (and perhaps should have) on my run. It was quite refreshing running outside in the cold and my legs didn’t get sore as quickly as I anticipated given I was breaking in the Vibrams. I was sore for several days after the run, but it felt good to get outside again. I’m hoping to go for another run this week.

I’m just getting back into badminton now. As of today, I’ve played 4 times in the past 3 weeks, which were the first times I had played for about 1.5 years. I’m still rusty. My accuracy and reaction time have decreased quite a bit, but I’m hoping those come back quickly as I play more often.

Besides physical activity, I’ve been trying a couple other things to work on stress.

I’ve been trying to get more sleep. I let myself stay in bed until I feel quite awake. Admittedly, most mornings that means I’m still getting up by 5 or 6am, but there were a couple mornings this week where I managed to stay in bed until 7:30am.

I’ve also been working on how I’m framing things. I’ve talked about this quite a bit in my recent blog posts. Especially at work and with house hunting, I’ve been trying to focus on things that I have influence over, and letting go of things that I don’t have influence over. I’ve also been trying to think of things more as game and less as a problem where I’m trying to find the optimum solution.

Additionally, I recently mentioned the documentary I Am Not Your Guru to a friend. After mentioning it, I decided to rewatch it. In rewatching it, I was reminded of another matter of perspective:

You wanna know what our biggest problem is in this room? I’ll tell every one of you, if you’re willing to hear me, what your biggest problem is. You think you shouldn’t have them. ‘Cause problems are what make us grow. Problems are what sculpt our soul. Problems are what make us become more. If we can realize that life is always happening for us, not to us–game over, all the pain and suffering disappears.

Tony Robbins

So one of the ways I’ve been trying to reframe things these past couple of days is that things are happening for me, not to me. It often takes a while for it to sink in for myself, but when it does, I find that I feel empowered with options I didn’t see before.

PS: I’ve decided to do these quote-sharing blog posts on Monday and Thursday (instead of Tuesday and Thursday) instead now. I find that this schedule is a little more spread out and thus a little more manageable.

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