I’m sure all of us have some level of stress. Whether your kids are babies, or whether your kids are in high school or college and beyond.
There is stress, no one can say life is perfect.
Let’s talk about first how stress affects our health, so we can start to tackle this all together.
For starters, stress affects our sleep.
When our sleep is off, our nutrition is off, which can throw our energy off, which can throw our exercise off, which can throw our stress off.
Do you see the cycle going there?
Believe it or not, stress also plays a part in our hormones.
Stress puts our body in constant flight or fight mode, which causes our body to produce higher levels of cortisol. Cortisol is what tells our body when to work and when to shut down and preserve energy.
Think about it, with high levels of stress our body is constantly preserving energy which means it shuts down all of the other systems including those that burn fat. Therefore, we start to preserve fat for when the stress slows down.
However, when we are stressed we tend to make poor food choices.
It’s another cycle we run into because when you’re stressed, you’re going to turn to food choices that may not best support your body.
All of those poor food choices can lead to problems with our sleep.
Which brings our cycle back to the top. Due to these three factors having higher levels of stress is going to essentially cause weight gain or prevent weight loss.
It’s safe to say at the end of the day stress = health concerns.
So, how do we prevent stress? Step one, you need a healthy outlet for your stress.
In other words, it’s time to look at your movement or exercise. It doesn’t have to be high intense movement, something as simple as going for a walk can reduce your levels of stress.
Step two, focus on your schedule.
I’m a paper planner person. Yes, a lot of people who swear by their phones, whatever works for you plan your week out to help avoid stressful situations.
On Sunday nights I sit down and open my calendar, I have the sports schedule, my work schedule sitting, anything I need to know about for my kids like tests or things going on throughout the week, as well as the lunch schedule for school.
I take 15 to 20 minutes and make a list of everything you have going on for the week.
Write it into your calendar, things like their school projects that need to get done, write it into your calendar, knowing what’s coming up going into the week.
Sure, there are going to be things that are gonna throw it off, but having a plan going into the week is going to help alleviate some of the stress.
With that plan comes routine.
What parts of your day can you turn into a routine? For example, the mornings. Start your day a certain way almost everything is as often as possible.
Maybe you make your coffee as soon as you get started with your day. Go take your shower or do a workout. When you’re done with that your coffee’s ready to go. You drink your 32 ounces of water. Boom, you’ve now knocked a bunch of things off your to-do list.
Plan your meals for the week.
You don’t have to go full force meal prepping, however planning your meals for the week allows you to know what you’re going to tackle going into the week.
It’s going to allow you to turn to healthier foods versus quick runs through Taco Bell because you forgot to plan dinner for the night and the meat is not thawed.
Last but not least… put your technology down.
I’m going to go there. I know we love the scroll, but the scroll is causing us to consume too much information.
How often do you sit there scrolling on your phone and especially these days with all of the mess going on with the world? Do you sit there and scroll getting more and more worked up over what you’re seeing but you can’t put it down because you’re addicted to it?
Put your technology down, get off social media, that right there is going to lower your stress levels…not to mention the whole blue light situation.
Overall, you can see tackling your stress is a key component of your health.
Listen to the full podcast for all of the details and MORE ways to manage your stress in the stream above, on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app by searching Be Your Best Self Health Chats.