In addition to our practice of deepening our breath, we are adding some thoughts about responsibility and this one is definitely layered.
For those in the stress reducing case study, there’s some extra important benefits for you towards the end. Read all the way through for journaling suggestions!
Practicing responsibility during our workouts!
When we are in a class, or working on our own personal fitness routine, It’s our responsibility to think about our movement, our alignment and our choices in intensity. For example, If you’re squatting, or working on ballet plies, where is your shoulder alignment in relationship to your hips? Where is your knee alignment in relationship to your toes? Knowing what your body can do, and working on the details that may not be quite right yet is a great way to be empowered with practicing responsibility.
When it comes to intensity, it’s our responsibility to choose what works for us individually. I love applying this to Barre and Firestarter. But before we go any further, I want to make an important distinction. Trust yourself to know when you can push further or need to take a break. You will know the difference between the feeling of ‘Man, this sucks, its so hard, but I can keep going’ and ‘My muscle is maxed! I need to stop before I pull something.’ When you’ve done 500 plie’s and are asked for 16 more pulses, take the responsibility to choose between pushing the limit and challenging yourself, or taking the break if you’re at that max.
Firestarter is a 30 minute high intense cardio class. But tuck jump star jacks are not for everyone! You might hit your max with some high knees and basic jumping jacksl When I teach, I demonstrate a high impact variation of the exercise and a low impact variation. You are then empowered to choose which level in between that is best for you. Taking that responsibility.
So how does this connect to reducing stress at work?
What are the triggers that have you feel stress at work?
We can’t control other people, situations or circumstances. But we can control, or rather take responsibility for our response. When a crazy customer is screaming at you on the phone, remember you can’t fix crazy, but you can imagine ‘how does the ideal version of you handle this?’ Think of a time when you’ve felt super confident, happy and on top of the world, nothing can get to you! How does that version of yourself handle this?
Personal example. I hardly ever get angry. But earlier this week I got mad and frustrated when a client didn’t take my suggestion. However, I also knew I was on 4 hours sleep, super busy, and a little cranky. Instead of reacting, I waited, and by the time I got lunch and went for a walk it was no big deal and I had several other ideas. I took responsibility to clear my thoughts and do something that would bring ME back into balance.
While you are taking responsibility for your alignment and intensity in your workouts and be your best athlete, think about how you can take responsibility for your responses and be the best version of yourself when facing your personal stressful triggers.
Case Study Bonus:
Although our case study’s primary focus is the reduction of stress at work, you’ve also been invited to choose physical goals to achieve during our time frame. One of the participants very strongly urged me to provide nutritional support for themselves and the group. However, I am not a nutritionist. Even though in their opinion my knowledge is valuable, it is outside my scope of practice. So the best way I can support is empowering you to take responsibility for that department.
Very often I hear people say ‘I know what to do’ but then they don’t do it. In fact they often do 10 opposite things. They have an idea of what they think they should do, which may be correct, but it may not be. It sounds to me like a deep seeded excuse to stay stuck. Take responsibility and use your inner power over that.
Do you have something in the nutrition department you think would benefit you to change? If so, what is it? Common ideas I hear from people are cutting out bread, skipping desert, cutting alcohol down or out, increasing water intake, intermittent fasting, etc. Whatever you choose, make a commitment to stick to that for the next 8 weeks! (even if you are a week or two into the stress study, start this change from the beginning) If you do not know what to change and would like some additional support, my friends Jill and Carol are wonderful nutritionists! I would be happy to connect you with them.