Cassidy Urbany - 7th August 2020
Muscle Recovery: How to Recover After Exercise
The world is a lot right now, to say the least. 2020 so far has been a year full of sadness, weirdness, empowerment, and negativity. We were given Tiger King, COVID, murder hornets, more police brutality, excessive racism, strong activism, and changes in society. Our world has more than enough going on right now and so do we. We have been stuck in our homes for weeks on end, we have had to separate from our loved ones, we have lost our jobs, we have missed out on graduations, travel plans, and other meaningful events. We have also been vigorously fighting for social justice for black communities all over the world. With that, we have been putting our full energy, minds, and bodies out there in order to win this fight.
Since we have gone through a remarkable amount this year, it is important to remember that our mental health still needs our attention and is being sacrificed. We need to be resting, recovering, and treating ourselves with care in order to come back and fight this year with even more strength and power. How are we supposed to be there for this world if we can’t even be there for ourselves? Here are some things you could be doing to take care of yourself during this time with the intention of recovering as a stronger and healthier you:
Set a timer and put your phone away for that time. The things on your phone are not going anywhere, they will be there when you come back. There is a multitude of apps that will lock your phone for you and will help you with this (I personally like the app Forest as you grow a little tree by the end of it and it’s rewarding). Scrolling for hours on end causes us to feel hypervigilant and unsettled. It overstimulates our brains and makes us feel anxious and overly alert. I have noticed this within myself which is why I have gotten into reading as it calms me down and brings me to a calm state of wellbeing.
Meditate and just rest
Once again, set a timer, lay or sit in a calm and darkroom. Turn on a guided meditation and turn your notifications off, or turn off all your tech devices altogether. An easy way to calm yourself down is by drinking cold or hot water and paying attention to how it feels going through your body. Focus on the present moment and how your body feels. Tighten each muscle group and pay close attention to how it feels, then release, then repeat.
Read a book or listen to a podcast if you are feeling a sense of disempowerment or hopelessness. Start a conversation and learn & teach within it. Communication is one of the easiest and most effective ways to educate yourself. Take action. Donate, sign a petition, protest, get your voice heard, and share.
Feel your feelings
Understand within yourself that your feelings and emotions are valid. Realize that you are disconnecting yourself from your feelings for protection, however feeling them will heal and teach you. Write your feelings and thoughts out in a journal. Validate your feelings inside yourself. Do something that brings you joy, take a shower, practice yoga, eat your favorite food, bake cookies, visit your friends, or set your room up as a zen area.
Listen to soft music, and breathe. Try a measured breathing exercise to calm your racing heart. Inhale into your stomach for 4 seconds through your nose, hold for 2 seconds, exhale through your mouth for 6 seconds. Your stomach should be expanding on your inhale.
Call a close friend or family member. Spend time in nature. Look into local organizations and reach out to get involved. Reach out to an old friend. Volunteer at a company you are passionate about.
Go on a walk or run. Practice a grounding technique. Do a 15 minutes pilates or yoga routine. Go on a bike ride. Lift weights and train. Create a to-do list and smash your day. Find an accountability partner to do check-ins with to keep yourself on track. Move your body and increase those endorphins, even if it just a walk around the block.
Remember that slowing down and resting is not the rival of change, it is energy and fuel. Listen to yourself. Do this for YOU!
Guest Blogger Profile:
Hi, my name is Cassidy and I am from Santa Barbara, California. I am a 21-year-old psychology student, an adventurer, & a wellness enthusiast.
Growing up in California as a competitive surfer is what sparked my interest in health and wellness. Being part of a sport that is built on mental and physical strength is what caused me to learn at a young age how important our bodies, minds, and overall health truly is.
My main goal in life is to educate, spread positivity & motivation, as well as emphasise the importance of our bodies and minds. I dream of a world where everyone's brightest and truest selves thrive and are seen.