Thank you for being patient with me for a week for those who regularly check-in. I had the boys to myself all week. It was fun and challenging, especially topped with still settling into Miami. Anyhow, writing on the fly as my structural choice tends to be a good reflection of the current status of my life. In this case, my no words all week. 😳
I was additionally curious what it would feel like to take a few days off, and honestly, while I didn't feel too anxious about it, I did miss the catharsis that exists in creating the blog. This leads me to the bridge to Friday Favs. Tonight, I thought it would be fun to offer more insight into how I think about some of my wellness practices. Being dedicated to this way of life for decades has some perks—one of them being that I've tested and iterated many different approaches.
So here are some of my favorite ways to unwind and release from a healthy perspective.
Movie montage workout. Okay, so I'm a kid from the 80s—the sweet spot for badass movie montage workouts. I was probably 7 or 8 when I watched Rocky Balboa train in the snow to avenge the death of Apollo Creed at the hands of Ivan Drago. A few years later, I would watch Jean Claude Van Damme get a coconut dropped on his stomach as a part of his training regiment for an underground tournament of blood. Inspiration can come from the strangest places when we are young and impressionable. 🤪 Over the years, I would find the type of environment, workouts, and music that would create my montage. At this stage in my life, I pull from the plethora of a master playlist to dial into the specific exercise and push I need at the moment. For a great physical release, I think there is nothing better than getting through a full workout (whether it's sport-specific training, lifting, or even physical therapy) with a good movie montage sequence. I only need to hit one stretch of songs and put together a great mash-up of sets. I get my body grooving. And I'm tapping into the deep energetic science that can now be fine-tuned with modern technology and some self-testing. If you want to try it out, my recommendation is to put together a group of songs that can do any of the following individually or collectively:
Raise your heart rate
Give you an ideal cadence of a movement you want to reproduce. There was a website for this, though I could not dig it back up after some searching.
Give you chills (likely a dose of dopamine hitting your system)
Get into a flow. Piggybacking on the movie montage workout is something similar, though yet can expand beyond the simply physical. Flow is an interesting area to unwrap. Check out this resource for its origins. My experience has come mainly from the physical sense, which I prefer to tap into being outside in motion. When I feel the air flowing on my skin, through my hair, and even directly into my face, it is scintillating. I'm sure part of it is feeling in control of my body, though I think I love the connection to Earth even. It may be a little woo-woo for some and right up the alley for others. When we connect to the elements, we deeply connect to ourselves and bring us closer to flow. We are engaged in the natural world. It ancient terms the elements being water, air, fire, and Earth. Very little science, lots of fun - check out this movie touching on the subject.
Go to the cave. There may be an image that comes up for you when I say the word cave. Whatever that may be, wipe it clean and start over. Think safe and comfortable space. It's just for you. It's restorative, and you can feel whatever it is you need to feel. Maybe know you have a new picture? Perhaps you have the same? My current preferred cave is the sauna. As I've recently outlined, I like to sweat. Sweating in the sauna alone with my thoughts and feelings is ideal for me. I've had many gratifying moments of therapeutic release in the hottest of rooms! No worries if sweating is your cup of tea. It could be a corner of a room with headphones. It could be a bathtub. It could be anywhere. It just needs to be 'your cave.'
Detox like a rockstar. Speaking of sweating, these all lead into each other. Once upon a time, when I first started training for triathlons back in 2004, I quickly learned how sensitive the boundaries of hydration could be. I would suffer disproportionately if I had a few adult beverages the night before a long or strenuous workout. I would soon learn the principles that applied to hydrating and recovery to maintain fantastic endurance prowess were very similar to keeping rejuvenated from a rockstar lifestyle. Now, I didn't party like a rockstar though I had my CTJ moments around drinking. And like you may have learned from a biopic about rockstar lifestyle, it takes work and discipline to stay on track, such as detoxing. Now, detoxing can mean different things to different people. Plus, it's an exciting marketing term these days. 🤔 I'm talking about the actual definition: to abstain or rid the body of toxins or foreign substances. The key to the definition in my mind is 'or.' We can refrain, and it's a helpful tool to practice abstinence in a healthy and balanced way. However, most of us cannot sustain abstinence from all the possible toxins across the board in real life. How good are we at avoiding processed sugar for example? Here's where or rid the body comes in quite handy. I like to practice this every day, ideally by getting plenty of water and contrasting in. Though, you don't need every day just to rid the body of potential toxins. I can flush with a fast, lemon water, and hydrotherapy. Even if I can't kick a headache through breathing, I use the latter two to 'push it out.' The release from a good day or even half-day of detoxing I found to be so gratifying.
And there you have it. My snapshot insider look at how I think about some healthy unwinding and release habits. Let me know your thoughts, questions, or a favorite release and unwind healthy habits for you.