Auto-Regulate Your Life
How do you manage stress? Do you push through until you collapse or just avoid your problems by binging Netflix until 2am?
A couple weeks ago I wrote about the auto-regulatory training methods for training and how more is not always better. If you missed it go take a quick read HERE to provide more context. The simple idea is to base training around your body’s readiness to manage stress. Following this style can lead to long term progress and results without burnout or preventable injuries. The same principles can be applied to everyday life!
Stress has become a growing problem in today’s world. When it comes to health & fitness people often separate things like training and nutrition into one bucket. Then other aspects of life like money, relationships and fun are put into a separate bucket. This reality is all aspects of life are intertwined.
If you are stressed from living paycheck to paycheck, do not have a supportive community in your corner, or always feeling anxiety from the obstacles life throws your way then it doesn’t matter how hard you train or how clean you eat. These things affect your recovery and ultimately your body’s ability to adapt to things like training and nutrition.
So how can we manage this? It’s time to take a holistic approach by looking at the whole person and create a lifestyle to support every goal. We can apply some training principles to our life by auto-regulating where we put our intention.
This is where we can begin the discussion on life “balance”. I have a different approach in complete balance. You can only juggle a few major priorities at once. Something will have to take priority over the other. The key is realizing that this is OKAY.
I believe you can have three major priorities in your life at one time, however they will be ranked on importance. Meaning when push comes to shove they make get shuffled.
For example let’s say we created the focus on 3 buckets such as:
If they are listed in that order when schedules conflict you will choose a family obligation over Monday night football with the guys. And a work emergency over vacation time with family.
Another example would be if you have a goal to run your first marathon then it is likely that you will prioritize training, sleep and nutrition over spending time going out with close friends. This is a worthy sacrifice and ultimately can be temporary. After your race you can shift back to spending more time connecting with the people in your life.
The same can be true for work. You may sacrifice things like sleep or training in order to accomplish the things you want and create stability in your career or business. This may even mean putting family obligations on the back burner.
Balance is simply about identifying what is most important right now and at what cost you are willing to trade out these priorities.
If you become stressed, burned out and overwhelmed then it is a good idea to take a break from training and focus on self-care. Go meditate, schedule a massage or plan a weekend get-away to unplug. Moving self-care to the top priority may cut out training in the short term, but will lead you to an optimal position of reaching long term goals.
We have all been on the grind with long hours to make moves in our career and create financial security. It won’t matter at the end of the day if we don’t have a community to share it with. Shifting focus temporarily to prioritize a social life may be the fix you need to connect with those close to you which can in turn allow you to show up and be more present when you get back to work.
And sometimes it’s about sacrificing the short term “fun” for the long term goal. You may need and want to isolate yourself so you can attack your training head on to get where you want to go.
The best way I have found to do this is to get your house in order. Create goals and a clear “why” for what’s important in your life. From here this will be the guide for you to choose what’s important. Prioritizing your energy from day to day, month to month or even longer.
Once you realize that priorities can shift at any moment based on your needs and goals as an individual you can step into the life you want to live and actually take bigger strides for the long haul,