THREE COMMON TYPES OF STRESS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT
MY 4TH OF JULY
I could barely keep my eyes open that night and I ended up going to bed around 7pm. Normally I turn in fairly early because I also get up early, but 7pm is a whole different level of early. I’m definitely not old enough to be eating off the senior menu, and I’m 100% certain I am not eating for two, so I was able to cross off some of the more common causes for my fatigue. I started worrying that I was coming down with something. As I went through the previous week of my life it hit me why I was so exhausted. I was tired due to one of the three types of stress, emotional stress.
The three types of stress are emotional, mental and physical. These types of stress will impact you in different ways, so it is important to be aware of them.
1. Emotional Stress – this is what I was referring to in my story about the 4th of July. I was physically unable to stay awake and felt a little off, so I attributed this to possibly getting sick. When I started to look back over the previous week, I found my answer. I had recently moved into a new apartment. This was exciting but there had been some challenges on the day of the move that were highly emotional. Then came the added stress of unpacking while running a business and managing a full graduate course load. On top of this my dog Hess had to be taken to the vet for an emergency earlier in the week. It was no wonder I was worn out. My body had reached its limit. Emotional stress will have you feeling like you have suddenly hit a wall. Often you have been going “all out” for days or weeks causing the increased drain on your adrenals and suddenly your body will just tell you it needs to rest.
2. Mental Stress – this is often confused with emotional stress and they can often go hand in hand. The big difference between the two is that with mental stress you have been thinking hard or using your brain for an extended period of time. Think about a time that required extreme concentration or focus. Often with sport you become mentally exhausted because of the concentration needed to perform at a certain level.
3. Physical Stress – the third type of stress is physical stress. Athletes in motorsports are familiar with this as this goes hand in hand with the mental side of the sport. Training and racing are a combination of physical and mental. The physical stress is where you are physically tired, sore, and although you may be able to mentally concentrate, your body is done for the day.
Training at an elite level requires a higher level of performance and dedication. Similarly, it also requires that you should be aware of the potential for certain negative side effects. Prioritizing recovery and sleep are important in avoiding burnout and fatigue. Additionally, maintaining nutrition, mindfulness and other self-care practices becomes extremely important. Reaching out to trusted resources when needed for support should be part of every athletes’ holistic plan.
MY TEACHABLE MOMENT
Sometimes I need to step back and review my own routine. Just because I’m a coach does not mean I have everything perfect, all the time. This mini crash allowed me to review my routine and reflect on the fact that I was not getting enough sleep recently. I made it a priority to reestablish my bedtime routine, my morning routine, and my nutrition. I’m only five days out from this incident but I have been consistently sleeping eight hours a night because I make it a priority to do so. I have also been revisiting how many days of the week I work, and how many hours. I hope this was helpful to you. If you have questions about how stress can impact you, please reach out. I’d be happy to have a conversation.