«Everything is poison in all things
Everything is poison, the poison is the dose ».
Lyrics by Mouss Kelai from the band Mass Hysteria – From the song “Tout est poison”, on the album “Matière Noire”.
Hello, Young Padawan
That’s it, we are back in the daily routine. Idleness, beach, shells and bikinis have given way to everyday life, routine, and stress.
Switching brilliantly from vacation mode to the metro-work-children-sport- … -sleep rhythm is not easy, not to mention the missing hours of sleep. Yes I know everything, but don’t worry, I don’t know anything about what happened in your swingers club. Not a clue.
In our daily life, we are constantly at an average level of stress, from day to night, without ever a moment of quietude, nor without ever being chased by a wild animal at the risk of losing their life, and this is where the shoe pinches (not about getting killed, try to follow, ed). Because an individual born for the roller coaster on a daily basis knowing only timid hills will create chronic diseases linked to this stress which never goes away, or this surplus of rest which has become toxic.
Come on, I’m going to explain all this to you so that your return to your daily work routine with vitality and efficiency rather than tired and stressed.
Challenge, but not too much.
This part is for “Shiva” people, to those who are doing things all the time thoroughly without ever sitting down, and who regret that the days do not have 26 or 27 hours. “ It would be perfect to finish the homework of the youngest, prepare tomorrow’s meeting or tidy the laundry which is waiting in the laundry room … ”.
But where is your moment of total rest, as the top athlete does? Because they have understood everything about human functioning, they know how our body works and goes through so-called “meditative rest phases” to improve their performance. And we are supposed to do the same, just like our animal friends, except that we have forgotten everything about what we are made for. Our modern lives are not adapted to the biological rhythm of the human body. So it’s essential to understand how we operate to get as close as possible to it.
As I explained in the introduction, we are made to live through short periods of very great stress, during which we produce a hormone called cortisol. It helps us to react quickly and well, if by chance we are chased by a boar, for example. Yes, it smacks of lived experience. Let’s say it almost happened to me when, visiting the beautiful mountainous countryside of Corte, Corsica, France, I found myself face to face with a wild pig while I was peeing. Yes, your faithful servant pees, we are now intimate. In short, my cortisol arrived immediately, in a second, and made me make the right decision: no need to run when your wild pig is busy eating chestnuts. So I got dressed and walked away as gently and calmly as possible, and he didn’t give a damn, from the top of his I don’t know how many pounds, lol. If I had to run at this precise moment, I would never have sprinted so fast in my life, because intense stress, thanks to the production of cortisol, multiplies our cognitive and physical capacities. It’s the “superman” hormone. Thank you, Mother Nature.
This hormone is supposed to be secreted in large quantities in a relatively short period of time. However, today, we secrete small doses of it, but constantly, making us stressed on a daily basis, for nothing (all things being relative, ed.), since no wolf or boar on the horizon. No more “warrior’s rest” either, those long restorative poses we used to have once back in the tribe, in safety. This is why some people reach the point of no return, called “burn-out”. It is exhaustion due to too much catabolism caused by the permanent presence of cortisol in the body, which becomes toxic in the long term since we are simply not made for it. So let’s try to set up moments to get as close as possible to what we were born for. Learn to empty the minds through meditation, for example, or simply learn to ease off.
After a long vacation in idleness mode, it is vital to get back to work as gently and serenely as possible. If you feel busted from the first three days of work, it’s because you went too hard, and it’s not good. The main thing is to find the right rhythm for a peaceful return. For example, if you gave up absolutely everything this summer, you can start over with work the first week, balanced nutrition the second, sport the third, etc., so as not to become exhausted or demotivated. If you feel that adding one activity a week is too much, let another week go by. Listening to your body allows you to go further and make all the difference in the quality of life.
Rest, but not too much.
This part is for exhausted people, or those who feel permanently tired, to those for whom going for a day to tour the museums of their favorite city or a day of hiking in the mountains is hard to do on a weekend.
Rest is necessary. During a moment of stillness when we are at peace, the warrior’s rest, a nice reading under an olive tree on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, the body produces a hormone called oxytocin, to make us go into anabolism. It is thanks to physical or emotional rest that we repair our body or mind, thanks to digestive rest that the body cleanses itself, but conversely, the effect is just as perverse as too much activity, because it is also a stress for the body to rest too much.
Perhaps you noticed it during an extended vacation, or if you have had one day your leg in a cast: after a few weeks of inactivity, the body and the mind become lazy, or even worse: mood and skills decrease. And for a simple reason: too much anabolism creates atrophy of the adaptive system, since overproduction of oxytocin. It is not uncommon to see, after a long sick leave, for example, that people have difficulty, even fear of leaving their homes, or of returning to work, for example. Just as it is very easy for someone who has had several jobs to look for a new position when it can become real distress for those who have always had the same employer all their life. Or those who are afraid of driving on the motorway because they never take it. We can apply a thousand examples to this phenomenon: the lack of challenge stultify the heart, body, and mind. We’re never as good as when we are in the performance. Afterward, we can choose small challenges, like a shy guy who would say to himself: “Every Wednesday, I’ll talk to the cashier for thirty seconds”. This is enough to go in the right direction. With small challenges, great successes, and valuing yourself during their achievements is very important to progress.
We are made to have high levels of stress over a short period, then a return to total rest. No permanent stress, nor whole weeks of sleep-fridge-television. Recovering does not mean being in a coma. Unless you want to stick to chronic physical or mental health problems.
Everything is poison, the poison is the dose. There you have the keys to a successful back to work routine. You need balance, like everything in life. So the golden rule: if you tend to be lazy, motivate yourself and do more things, but if you are Shiva, motivate yourself, and do less.
And so to conclude this little article on stress and rest hormones which do us as much good as bad if their dosage is not adequate, here is a simple little juice recipe, which will bring you all the minerals and all the energy you’re going to need for this back to work period of time.
The juice of vitality
Note: This recipe requires a juice extractor, also called a “slow juicer”.
For about 20 oz of juice.
A medium bunch of celery
2 pinches of vanilla powder from Madagascar
1 inch-sized piece of ginger (or more if you’re crazy about ginger like me, but beware: it is spicy !, lol).
If the lemon or the apple are not organic: remove the skin.
On a cutting board, cut small pieces of celery, small enough not to saturate the machine because the celery is very stringy.
Cut the apples into small pieces, keep the skin if they are organic. Cut the half lemon into pieces also, do not remove the skin if it is organic, you will thus benefit from its essential oils.
Put the whole thing through the machine, alternating apple, lemon, and celery so as not to saturate the machine. Pour the juice into a tall glass, add the vanilla powder, stir vigorously to have everything together, it’s ready. Drink it at room temperature, without ice, and slowly, so as not to stress your body.
This juice will bring you the top of great minerals while having a very balanced taste for a green juice since the apple brings the sugar and the vanilla the sexy side.
Here you are, you will now be able to adapt your daily rhythm to the needs of your body and this in a definitive way, in order to no longer suffer this modern life and enjoy every moment that matters.