The last two years have been ummm… interesting. For some they have been really tough. For others just different. A few thrived despite all the ambiguity. Most of us didn’t. I loved the phrase being used a lot at the start of the pandemic of ‘we might all be in different boats, but we are in the same storm.’
What I have seen since has been eye-opening. We might have got used to things changing, having to test regularly or needing to check rules but those two years have left their mark.
In the teenage sports world I have seen far more enquiries focusing on high levels of performance anxiety. Maybe low-level anxiety that was manageable before just isn’t when it comes on top of constant change, gaps in training or feeling like the ground may shift underneath your feet again.
In the adults it feels like burnout is on the rise; a body and mind that have been pushed too far with too little recovery time. And burnout is horrible because most of the people we see it in are high achievers who are used to solving problems by working harder. You just can’t do that with burnout. You have to stop.
With clients I try to promote the idea of using relaxation techniques to start to give your body and mind some space to recover. But telling an athlete they need to do a mindfulness class – or lie down – usually sees me get a look of pain – sitting still? Slowly eating a raisin? No thanks. That is dull and embarrassing.
I do get it. Which is why when Lexie ( https://pulseyoga.co.uk/ ) asked if I would be up for working with her on something to get reluctant relaxers to actually relax I had no qualms saying yes. The outcome of that conversation only 6 months ago launches next week!
It is an Audio Guide filled with 31 different techniques aimed at those who need to relax but probably don’t have the time. It isn’t formal or time consuming. You can do lots of them sitting. Some walking around. Most are only a couple of minutes long. The techniques are evidence based, the music is good (we filtered out anything that sounds like you could be in a spa!) and they are all used by Lexie in her Yoga with athletes or me in my sport psychology clinics.
The techniques are spilt into six chapters: Settle, Ground, Focus, Perform, Reflect and Sleep.
- Settle can help you fully relax when the day has been tough.
- Ground is good if you are feeling anxious at all. Most of the techniques work well if feeling any level of panic.
- Focus is good when we know we need to be on top form.
- Perform is where I snuck in lots of my sports psych techniques – helping us go and succeed in our goals.
- Reflect is for the end of the day when we need to build gratitude in order to sleep without rumination
- Sleep does what it says – and it really does. I was very glad I had a comfy sofa as Lexie recorded that chapter.
Power Down to Power Up comes out on Audible on March 31st and we can’t wait to hear what you think. You can pre-order or wish list it now at: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Power-Down-to-Power-Up-Audiobook/B09W36S8MG