Human health and performance are built on a foundation of interdependent pillars: mindset, nutrition, movement and recovery. The EXOS 4-Pillar Methodology focuses on each pillar and how it affects the other three, a “whole-person” focus that is increasingly important in times of stress.
Part one of this four-part series provided helpful tips and resources about how we can address mindset to prevent or alleviate anxiety. In part two, we learned more about nutrition and its role in supporting brain and emotional health. Part three focused on the importance of movement. Part four will focus on purposeful recovery and its anxiety-reducing benefits. Taken together, all four posts in this series provide a 4-pillar guide to managing anxiety in stressful times.
Recovery: Get enough rest to boost immunity, mental health
Scheduled recovery days help the muscles and brain regenerate after workouts and other everyday stresses. Recovery can be active, such as a moderately paced walk or stretching. Passive recovery options include up to 10 minutes in a sauna or steam room, or massage therapy or cupping to release the muscle fascia and help the mind and body with healing. When you’re ready, Mercy Fitness Center Massage Therapists are taking appointments and can help you with passive recovery options in a safe and sanitary environment.
The most important form of recovery is quality sleep. Many people experience sleeplessness resulting from stress, yet the average adult needs seven hours of quality sleep each night. Set yourself up for a good night’s sleep to allow the brain to “clean house” and support mental health:
- Set your thermostat to between 65 and 72 degrees before bed
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day of the week
- Practice breathing techniques to relax as part of your daily bedtime routine
- Keep electronics out of the bedroom to help the brain prepare for sleep
- Skip the alcohol, which can interfere with restorative REM sleep
- Incorporate a total of 30 minutes of purposeful movement every day
If sleep still eludes you, it may be time to reach out for help. Contact Mercy Clinic sleep specialists to tackle the problem and get the sleep you need for better health.