As I contemplate living fuller, healthier, longer and, simply, better I usually approach it from some very basic principles. Exercise hard, and regularly. Don’t eat (too much) crap. Get good quality sleep. Decompress and destress. Mostly you see me writing about exercise and diet but today I want to talk about destressing and decompressing.
I’ve touched on it before; stress is a killer (anxiety, weight gain, heart disease, weakened immune system, poor sleep and more). That being given, reducing your stress would be ideal. Of course, reducing your stress can be something of a challenge; we all have bills to pay and kids to raise, and jobs and family are probably our biggest sources of stress.
So, if we can’t reduce our stress, we need to mitigate its effects on our lives. In the linked post I wrote about cortisol, the stress hormone. It is when we let it build up in our systems that we feel the negative health effects. The solution, then, is to bust up the cortisol, and when I say “destressing,” that is pretty much exactly what I mean; bust the cortisol.
Well, yesterday I wrote a little bit on disconnecting your devices and connecting with your friends and families. Sometimes that’s just not enough.
In the high summer, when work was going crazy, I was going crazy with it. I was badly stressed out and I needed a break. I didn’t need people; I was so wound up that any human contact made things worse. I was short with my wife and kids and I needed to disconnect.
Fortunately for me, my main summer exercise allows me to do just that. I put the kayak up on the car and headed for the river.
So long people.
So long car.
I don’t know how long I was out there. I took a book and drifted. I took a rod and caught a couple of fish. Mostly I just disconnected and relaxed. And when I was done reading, and drifting, and fishing, and relaxing, I was miles downriver. I got a good hard workout paddling back to the car and got home relaxed, refreshed and happy.