The Credit Card Approach to Stress

Stress is an ever present aspect in most of our lives, and it effects us physically, mentally, and emotionally whether we like it or not. Unfortunately, stress has a great impact on our performance and recovery as athletes not just physically but mentally as well. We all know how it feels to try and get an intense session in after a rough day, its almost impossible. So when it comes to managing our recovery it is important to factor stress into the equation. However to really take it into account you have to look at the sum of all kinds of stress. I like to think of stress as a credit card, as i experience physical, mental, or emotional stress, I'm putting charges from each area on the card. The different kinds of stress from different aspects of my life are added up on that card and as the balance grows, the interest also grows, meaning small charges effect the total balance that much more. If i control it and keep the balance low i won't get over my head, however if i don't manage it, it will continue to grow to a point where it is everything i can do do just pay off the interest. Its important to resist approaching each kind of stress as separate, when in all reality, they compound each other, and together they add up and negatively effect your recovery and performance. Stress, in my opinion, is the silent killer of recovery because we too often focus on the physical and ignore the mental and emotional stresses of our everyday lives, when really, the physical stress we endure is relatively low compared to the daily stress of work and family, the things that take up the majority of our time and effort. So, try to keep that stress balance low, and just recover.