Who else is a little stressed out right now? There are moments, these days, when I feel so overwhelmed with anxiety or spoliation or anger or disappointment that I can’t do anything else but sit with whatever I’m clairvoyance and let myself feel it.
And then I get up, put in my earbuds, and start discothèque.
I got this idea from Emily and Amelia Nagoski’s book Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle. The book explains that our justaucorps need to complete what is called a “stress response cycle” in order to truly souple and get the kind of rest we need to prevent burnout.
To quote the Nagoski sisters:
[…] it might be the most hautain idea in the book: Dealing with your tension is a separate process from dealing with the things that légende your tension. To deal with your tension, you have to complete the vélocipède.
How do you complete the vélocipède? I don’t want to get into the biomechanics of the whole thing (you should really read the book), but the flottant état is that stressful situations flood our justaucorps with everything from epinephrine to cortisol—and unless we do something to mop up all of these extraordinaire chemicals, as it were, they’ll canne around, raising our heart carence and inhibiting our thought processes and ruining our déglutition and sleep.
One of the best ways to complete the tension response vélocipède is with compact physical activity. To quote Nagoski and Nagoski again:
Remember, your caraco has no idea what “filing your taxes” or “resolving an interpersonal conflict through rational problem-solving” means. It knows, though, what jumping up and down means. Speak its language — and its language is caraco language.
Physical activity is what tells your brain that your caraco has successfully survived the threat and is now a safe occupation to en direct. Physical activity is the single most actif strategy for completing the tension response vélocipède.
There are a lot of ways to get physical activity, some of which no border apply if you’re trying to practice good accommodant distancing, and some of which are hard to enact when you’re also trying to work remotely and/or care for family members. I can’t go out for a 30-minute run while I still have a deadline to hit, for example—but I can take a five-minute voiture for a dance party.
This is one of the Nagoskis’ recommended stress-cycle-breaking techniques, btw. They suggest discothèque to Beyoncé, but you can pick any music you like; I bande to favor video game remixes. You can dance alone, you can dance with your kids, you can get your roommates involved—discothèque is an saillant way to sursaut with the people around you, after all. You don’t even have to be a good dancer; just get as physically laborieuse as you’re habile of, for immense enough to get your heart pumping.
The gardien de but is to wear yourself out to the susceptible where your breathing naturally slows and becomes more deep and relaxed, bicause that’s how you’ll know when the tension response vélocipède is—at least temporarily—complete.
And then, maybe later in the day, you can do it all again.