You probably know what it’s like to feel ‘stressed-out.’ What you might not know is that high levels of stress left unattended for long periods of time can wear you down emotionally and physically. I work with adults and/or children on a daily basis that are experiencing the affects of stress. The thing is, stress in life is unavoidable. The key is recognizing the signs and learning how to manage them.
What is stress? In its most basic definition, stress is negative or overwhelming physical and psychological reactions as a response to the world around us and how it effects us.
Symptoms of stress? Symptoms of stress are different for everyone. Listing all of the potential symptoms would be endless. The American Institute of Stress lists 50 common signs and symptoms of stress.
Some of the most common physical symptoms associated with stress include rapid heartbeat, headaches, body aches, tight muscles, neck/jaw tightness from clenching your teeth, insomnia, lack of energy, tiredness, high blood pressure, stomach problems, skin rashes, hormonal imbalances, rapid increase or decrease in appetite, sexual dysfunction, and sweating.
Emotional symptoms may include anxiety, depression, unstable mood, extreme anger, irrational fears, repetitive behaviors, forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, hyperactivity, heightened problems in relationships, feelings of irritability, restlessness, obsessing over things, crying a lot, and nightmares.
Stressed out. I’ve been there more times than once and I’ve always recovered and moved on…temporarily. I’ve mentioned before that sometime close to the end of last year I wasn’t managing stress very well. Instead, the stress was managing me. The one thing that is different about my experience with stress this time was changing my mindset from finding a temporary stress band-aid to finding a long-term stress busting combination. Right now I feel great and even amazing at times. The stress is still there. When did feeling stressed out stop? When did I feel in control again? What made me happy and relaxed. I know the immediate signs of stress on my body. Over past few weeks I kept a daily journal. Now, I know what I need to do to put myself in a better position to handle the stress.
First and foremost it’s time with my family. That should be a given but, it’s not. If we’re not careful, life takes over and family time becomes less and less. Family time is priority!
Nutrition + Fitness = Stress Busting Combination
Disclaimer: This combination is subject to change at any time.
- 3 meals and 1 snack (maybe more but definitely no less)
- the more fruits and veggies the better
- not fearing the [healthy] fats and including them in my diet on a daily basis
- eating enough calories to sustain what I’m asking my body to do
- stop obsessing about protein
- gluten free diet
- water, water and more water
- daily probiotic and digestive enzyme
- move 6 days/week
- purposeful runs AND just-because-I-love-running runs (don’t over focus on running to train)
- stretch and use the Stick daily
- include a yoga session at least once a week
- morning workouts (set the tone of my day from the start)