Feeling Stressed? Take a Class at the Diva Dive (and Read Burnout)!
I don’t know about you, but I am in a constant battle with my anxiety these days. If work, bills, relationships, kids, and school weren’t stressful enough, we are also living in the middle of a pandemic and a societal reckoning. It’s enough to stress anyone out.
That being said, there is always one thing that makes me feel better during the week: an hour at the Diva Dive. As soon as you walk through the studio doors, most likely with music blaring and one of the badass teachers greeting you at the door, you step into a world separate from the daily hustle. After a stressful day, there’s nothing like flying through the air, spinning in beautiful spirals, and pushing your muscles to become the prettiest little acrobat there ever was.
But don’t just take my word for it: there is research that explains how physical activity helps to alleviate stress!
Over the holiday break, I read a book called Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by twin sisters Emily and Amelia Nagoski. Emily is a former sex educator and Director of Wellness Education at Smith College. Amelia is a professor of music. They examined how stress was affecting their lives, as well as their clients and friends, and decided to write a research-based book to help women unlock their stress cycles, fight back, and create positive change. Total girl power!
In Burnout, the Nagoski sisters explain that stress is a biological process, or cycle, in our bodies that has a beginning, middle, and end. However, there is a disconnect between what causes this process and what ends it. The constant stressors of our modern society like kids, bills, the state of the world, etc. are not things we can run away from like, say, a lion.
So what can you do to end the stress cycle and let your body know that the lion isn’t chasing you anymore?
One of the best ways to end the stress cycle is physical exercise, according to research found in Burnout. Moving around and shaking things out allows your body to relax and end the stress cycle, which is, again, a natural, biological process happening in your body that we must see through to the end. A long hug and a good night’s sleep can also help end the cycle.
For the longest time, I felt like my time exercising at the Diva Dive was just a way to trick my brain into doing physical fitness by spinning, flipping upside down, and climbing up poles: fun things that you can’t do in your typical gym. As it turns out, exercising at the Diva Dive also helps me end my stress cycle at the end of the day!
As the Nagoski twins say, wellness is not a state of being, it’s a state of action. Take care of yourself, take care of each other, and consider signing up for a class at the Diva Dive to end your stress cycle during the week.
Happy New Year!