Early summer in Wyoming is a magnificent season! The wildflowers are blooming, the river is rushing, the days are long, and the animals are frolicking. The sun is shining, the weather is sweet!
We have a lot on our plates these days. The summer months have the responsibilities of the rest of the year, but with more distraction! Outdoor recreation is high on the priority list. I feel like I have to make up for a long and dark winter. How to soak up all the summer sun?
To ‘regular American folks,’ a weekend could mean relaxing with the family and getting some reading done. Here in Jackson a weekend could include climbing a Teton, biking to Jackson Lake Lodge, or running a mountain race! Plus, we’re competitive about it. We see other people’s accomplishments and we want to keep up! With a remarkable community like this, it’s a lot to ask of yourself!
It’s great that we value exercise, but we ought to pencil in some rest time into our busy schedules. Balance is key to success!
This lack of rest can carry over into our work week, creating unnecessary stress. Really, this behavior of ‘over-doing it’ is like shooting ourselves in the foot. We think we’re getting ahead athletically by pushing hard. We think we’re getting ahead by filling our days to the brim with activities or chores to get it all done so that we can go play. And around here our play is exhausting to our bodies!
Today my room mate said to me, ‘I wish it would rain today so that I don’t feel guilty about staying in and watching movies.’ It’s can be stressful to have such spectacular weather!
High levels of stress on our minds and bodies has direct affect on the way we recover. If we don’t lend enough time to recovery, then we spin our wheels in getting stronger, faster, better (and maybe even affects positive traits like patience). We over-do it then have to suffer the repercussions. We end up getting sick, injuries do not heal as quickly. Over time increased stress can actually decrease thyroid function, increase abdominal fat, and create cardiac issues.
So to make a plan for summer… Let’s not rush through it this year! Take time. Time to sleep. Time to breath. Don’t be forced into bed by late nights at the bar~ Make it a choice. Take time to sit and read a book. Time to snuggle up on the couch. Turn off the cell phone. 8 hours of sleep… Every night!!!! It’s just as important as the big plans outside! Don’t feel obligated to go out and push it all the time. Even if the sun is out, it’s O.K. to hide in your cave for a few hours. Trust me; it will make your adventures sweeter, your workouts more effective, and your work days more bearable! Besides, taking time to reflect could actually stretch out summer’s time!