Stress Less to Weigh Less!
We all know how much stress can affect our lives; but in more particular our health and wellness. In high stress situations, we tend to eat more, pick unhealthy foods, and are way less inclined to move and exercise. What can we do to plan for these situations (because we know they will come up)? The following strategies you can keep in your pocket for when the stress comes knocking at your door.
Easier said than done, right? When dealing with extra stress, active relaxing might be a better choice. Active relaxing is a notch above couch potato. but a notch below a run or intense workout. A long walk, deep breathing, meditation, or a hobby to get your mind off things (knitting, painting, etc..) are great examples of this type of relaxation. The more you’re moving (even at a light pace), keeping your hands busy, and focusing on something else, the less you will be inclined to stay stagnant or eat for that matter.
Try practicing and getting involved with others to help reduce stress. Not only can you use them as a sounding board, but you can multitask going for a walk, hiking, a yoga class, or just having someone to keep you busy and accountable. You might also be helping your friend or partner with THEIR stress too.
We can’t ignore our bodies’ chemistry and reaction to stress. Remember to take your vitamins (especially magnesium, the stress-buster) and also don’t forget that other s word: Sleep! Many of us may find it tough to relax and shut our mind off to get those 8 hours. Practice deep breathing, taking a hot bath each night, reading a book, or listening to some soothing music. Trying to avoid the computer, phone, and tv will help to get your z’s as well. If you can’t seem to get a solid, straight 8 hours, try taking naps to break it up. Either way you slice it, taking care of your body will translate to less stress.
Speaking of your body…
You are what you eat. Nourishing your body with the right foods will help keep your body, and mind, stress-free. When leaving sugars and processed foods, your body becomes hormone balanced with less room for stress to creep in. Don’t forget that movement. Exercise can replace, or be as equal to, pharmaceuticals for depression and stress. Make workouts your way out of heavy stress. Only have a little time? Interval running or training (remember Tabatas!) can be just, if not more, effective than an hour long cardio workout.
Though it may not be possible to completely eliminate all stressors in our life, we can have the tools and ammunition ready. Treat yourself well and your stress will begin to melt away!