Kick the Sunday Stress
Somehow, it is finally Friday and then you blink once, maybe twice, and suddenly it's Sunday evening. And the stress kicks in for another early Monday morning and another work week ahead. Is it just me or should three day weekends be a permanent thing?
Anyway, I've been really stressed lately, but I’m realizing I’m not alone. With our hectic daily schedules, sometimes we don't even pay attention to the fact that we are actually in a stressed state. And while stress is a good thing AT TIMES (it can enhance physical performance due to the release of adrenaline & it may enhance our cognitive state by helping our brains to focus), chronic and long-lasting stress is no good! 🙅
So what actually happens when we're stressed??
During stress, we may lose our appetites or we may eat to fulfill emotional needs (typically this isn’t the carrot and celery stick type of snack that we’re choosing). Cortisol is released when we’re stressed, which lowers blood sugar and causes us to crave sugary, fatty foods🍩. When the body is in a stressed state, it holds onto body fat [the body thinks we are in danger and tries to save us energy] and makes weight loss difficult, which we all know is an added benefit of our healthy lifestyle changes. The body is not a superhero when it comes to multitasking, so digestion gets put on the back burner during stress because the body is focused on returning itself to a relaxed state😎. We may experience headaches, fatigue, trouble sleeping, and muscle tension as a result of stress. For me personally, when I'm stressed, I also feel overwhelmed and anxious. All these negative side effects from stress can actually further affect our bodies by causing conditions such as high blood pressure, depression, and obesity just to name a few.
BUT the good news is that there are many ways we can manage stress levels to get the most out of our healthy changes!
1. Identify the stressor and make a plan- prepare for it, write out your to-do list🗓 & remind yourself that worrying isn’t going to make the situation better.
2. Feeling anxious? Get moving- go for a walk🚶 or head to a workout to let your mind relax.
3. Get adequate sleep- when we’re tired 😴 , we don’t perform our best, which leads to stressing about not doing well in something.
4. Begin relaxation techniques- yoga, stretching, deep breathing & meditation (check out Headspace and/or Calm, guided meditation and breathing apps). Give yourself 10 minutes before bed to follow one of these sessions- it'll help ease your mind and allow you to fall asleep. OR give yourself this time during lunch break in the middle of a crazy day!
5. Envision yourself facing this stress and challenge- what are you going to do to help yourself get through that time? Envision yourself succeeding at every step!
6. Tempted to eat? Ask yourself why you’re going to eat- are you physically hungry or are your emotions and stress causing you to eat? What types of foods are you reaching for? Is it cookies or is it nuts and fruit? Cookies 🍪 - you may just be “stress”-hungry. Reconsider and try having a piece of fruit 🍎 instead.
7. Set aside time for your favorite hobbies- listen to music, read a book, go hiking, meet a friend or family member for coffee, make a new recipe, etc. Whatever it may be, just do MORE of what makes you happy.
One of my favorite sayings for you if you're feeling this way- “This too shall pass.”❣️
This upcoming week, tackle those stressors one day at a time. Take a deep breath & remind yourself than you can handle anything you put your mind to. Sending lots of ɢᴏᴏᴅ ᴠɪʙᴇs your way this week🌞! Xx Hale