Deal with your emotions or they’re bound to bubble up later
Just like your bike, your body needs regular maintenance and a lotta love. It’s important to take care of ourselves and not ignore problems—or they’ll get bigger and more expensive.
When life throws us obstacles, it’s helpful to have some tools in our back pocket. Here are a few tips for maintaining your mental, emotional and physical well-being.
Top up on air
Proper tire pressure can help you roll faster, absorb trail gnar, and increase traction and comfort. The same principle goes for your body; proper breathing and oxygen intake will increase your ability to deal with stress, help you perform at your best, increase energy, alertness and flow.
When you’re faced with a stressful situation and you take a deep breath it’s much easier to absorb life’s blows. In order to replenish oxygen continuously and steadily we need to get in the habit. Practices such as Pilates, Yoga and meditation are great tools for honing our breath work.
Maintain your drivetrain
Without proper care, our body can be pushed only so far before it starts to fail. Your body is like a bike, it needs to be well taken care of using the right tools.
In order to keep a good cadence in life we must roll with problems as they come up. No matter how small the issue, it shouldn’t be brushed aside—ignore it and it could come back to haunt you later. Failure, rejection and loss can often drive you to focus on the negatives. Work on maintaining a positive perspective and practicing Stoicism. Persevere when you’re frustrated, seek growth in every situation, surround yourself with positive people and keep steady.
Check your headset
A bit of a dirty mind is okay, but without consistent lubrication and adjustments your mental health could go downhill fast (not in a fun way!).
Eat well, exercise, learn new skills and meditate. These are all proven ways to keep your brain healthy. Having a healthy mind doesn’t mean the absence of depression, anxiety or other psychological issues, it means addressing problems, practicing resilience and maintaining a focused, flexible and productive mindset in good times and bad.
Sometimes we don’t have the tools to handle mental health on our own, and that’s okay. Call a friend or a professional mechanic for a little help.
Take care of your frame
I don’t just mean working on having a nice rear triangle 😛 it’s important to nourish and care for your whole body! Lubricate and strengthen your joints by eating healthy fats and consuming quality protein. Ensure you’re getting enough rest, ideally 7+ hrs of sleep per night. Listen to your body, if you have a nagging pain or something just doesn’t feel right, go get checked out.
Emotional first aid kit
We typically bandage a cut or ice a bruised elbow, but our first aid for emotional injuries is often left unchecked. When we let emotional problems fester it doesn’t do anything except prolong a messy explosion of stress and feelings.
Physical pain is the body’s way of telling us that something is wrong. This goes for emotional pain as well. A study by the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Rochester found that suppressing emotions may increase the risk of dying from heart disease and certain forms of cancer.
When you experience an emotional injury, take some time to stop and address the problem. Treat the wound, hug a friend, shed some tears if it really f-ing stings, and then get back out there!
…Okay get your mind out of the gutter! I’m talking about the importance of regular checkups by your doctor. Making time to see your family physician at least once per year can keep you healthy and reduce your chance of serious health conditions down the road.