Finally, back to school! As a parent I am excited, but I remember as a student I wanted more summertime. Now, I feel having an anchored schedule allows for a more normal routine as parents. Otherwise, I know I am a leaf blowing in the wind during the summer months. Every week is usually different due to my kids’ activities. For me, the inconsistent schedule allows for different types of stress to set in.
When we feel stressed and tired; rest and recovery should take priority. In the past, I would beat myself up thinking I needed to do more rather than rest. I have known for years that stress is stress no matter if it’s good or bad stress. Good stress (eustress, from exercise) and bad stress (distress, from life), can wreak havoc on your body if you’re not aware you’re accumulating it up inside of you. It can show its ugly face in many ways.
I have found that consistent mediation and prayer practices have helped me manage my stress. I have also used frequent scaled exercises based on my Oura Ring readiness score. At the Performance Ranch, we believe that a workout doesn’t have to be hard to be effective. Your workouts should be scaled to your current state of fitness, fatigue, and movement ability. To help me get my mind right, I use the Calm app daily for guided practice and sleep hygiene.
For me, this summer has been a lot of “distress.” As some of you know, Roxy the Gym Dog, had a litter of puppies on June 28th. Roxy had complications during pregnancy and we lost 6 of the 9 puppies. We had to have an emergency C-Section and spay done six days later. Read the full story HERE.
This was a difficult time for me, but I had to remain positive and encouraging for myself and my family. I felt myself blaming my inexperience of whelping puppies as the cause of our loss. But my 8-year old said, “Dad, we have 3 healthy puppies that we can take care of.” This helped me pull out of my funk. But you may have heard, “When it rains, it pours.”
Swimmer Puppy Syndrome
Three weeks later, my wife discovered that 2 of the 3 puppies developed “swimmer puppy syndrome.” This growth development issue was caused because the surface they slept on was too flat. Upon discovering this, my wife and I scoured the internet and developed a treatment plan for them. Usually, “swimmers” are euthanized due to the lack of knowledge and the time involved in rehab.
We learned that we needed to keep towels/blankets inside the whelping box to allow for their bodies to develop shape. We also learned that they needed something with more traction for their paws to grip and help them stand up. Drawer liners came in handy here. We also created braces for their legs. I made a small harness from paracord that kept their legs in position as well as helped them stand up.
After one week of intensive therapy, the puppies were able to walk and stand without the braces. Fast forward 4 weeks to the present time and you would have never known they were “swimmers.” The puppies are great, they run and gallop like normal 7-week old puppies. The best thing is the pups have been accepting their training so far. I have re-discovered my love for training dogs.
This will be the fourth lab that I have trained and I am excited to use my experience to help Remi be the best dog he can be. I plan on having him in the gym and the duck blind in the coming years. He already follows me around the house and loves treats.
Some form of stress will always be present in our lives, learning how to handle it may improve your overall wellbeing. Here are some tips from the Cleveland Clinic.
- Exercise when you feel symptoms of stress coming on. Even a short walk can boost your mood.
- At the end of each day, take a moment to think about what you’ve accomplished — not what you didn’t get done.
- Set goals for your day, week and month. Narrowing your view will help you feel more in control of the moment and long-term tasks.
- Consider talking to a therapist or a member of the clergy about your worries.
We are here for you as a resource. If you would like more information on stress relief or how to start an exercise program just send us an email at email@example.com. You can also schedule a free strategy session HERE.