Monthly Archives: November 2017

Managing Stress (workout and pancakes included)

I’m lousy at moping

I had every intention of moping today.  My week was a little tense because BOTH of my kids lost their marbles.  I thought there was a universal rule that said only one kid could go nuts at a time, but apparently, that’s not a thing.  Anyhow, we survived but I was still feeling a little drained from it, so I preplanned that I’d come home after training today and lay on the couch with a pillow over my head and ignore everybody until I felt satisfied with the quality of my pity-party.

I finished work and was ready to head home for the moping, but decided I’d first do some yoga because I didn’t want my hips to be tight when I was trying to feel sorry for myself.  Then, I got home and threw a blanket on the couch to get my space “mope-ready” and I showered off my sweat because I didn’t want to stink while moping.  Then I decide to unload the dishwasher and put a load of laundry away.  I didn’t want an unkept house to be on my mind while I was trying to stew over “real” problems.  Then I  put on some Crest whitestrips and an eye mask.  I let those process while I organized the pantry and vacuumed.  At this point my day of moping is out of daylight and that’s when I realized I haven’t blogged in a while.  So here we are.  I’ve yet to mope, but fully intend to as soon as I’m done sharing this valuable information with you:

Are you feeling  stressed?

Apparently, everyone has problems.  I admit that this week I was slightly insensitive to this fact as I assumed no one’s problem were as “real” as mine.  Obviously this is completely untrue and in hindsight my problems are almost too mild to even be categorized as such.

My point:  We all get stressed.  We all have moments where we think that one more tiny little thing is going to be the thing that sends us of over the edge. Those moments in life are inevitable.  As sure as they will arrive, they will also pass.  But what should you do when you’re in the midst of it?  When it seems like pacing and wringing your hands is the only option, know that you’ve got tools and actions that might not erase your problems, but will help prevent them from doing chronic, long term damage to your body.

Here are 5 healthy ways to manage a period of high stress:

1) Workout

You definitely knew I was going to say that.  What is the absolute most effective workout for stress reduction?  Honestly, this can vary from person to person.  Going for a walk, hike or run, especially out in nature, is a great place to start.  Boxing, weight lifting and yoga can be equally effective.  Increasing your heart rate and circulation is key.  Consider the extra blood and oxygen that is circulating around your brain to be flushing out any fears or thoughts of worry and self doubt.

Try this basic do-anywhere circuit for a clear mind and a tight core:

1 minute of each:

Moutain Climbers
Bicycles
Prone Pikes
Supine Pikes
Saw Planks
Legs Up the Wall Crunches

Repeat

2) Eat Carbs

Believe it or not, carbs are your friend when managing stress.  They help raise your serotonin levels (which helps manage anxiety and depression) and improve your quality of sleep.  This doesn’t mean refined, sugary carbs all day long, but having a banana, a baked potato or even a bowl of whole grain cereal can help you keep your sanity.

Try this pumpkin pancake recipe from well plated.com:

 

3) Listen to Music

Have a playlist ready to go.  Anytime you hear a song that pumps you up, add it to a playlist in whatever music app you use.  Then, when you really aren’t in the mood it’s already there for you.

I doubt my playlist is your cup of tea, but I love mixing a few empowering show tunes into my list.  Here is a top pick from me:

 

4) Be a friend

Often when you’re stressed you feel isolated or alone. Instead of waiting for someone to reach out to you, seek a friend that you can assist.  If you don’t have a friend in need, a random act of kindness to a stranger can be just as rewarding.

5) Clean something

This might be the last thing you feel like doing, but have you ever regretted organizing a closet or scrubbing something to a new level of shine once you’ve actually begun?  Start with something small.  Tackling an overwhelming project can sometimes add a whole new level of stress.  But cleaning out your linen closet or organizing you bath products can set you up for a quick success and can be a cathartic way to sort your thoughts at the same time.

Those are my top 5 stress busting strategies

I’m sure you’ve got some effective strategies that I’d love to hear. Share with me!  You might be changing someone’s day!

Side note: Isn’t it interested that the best way to manage a problem isn’t always to solve the problem?  It’s often just a matter of changing our mindset while the problem works itself out organically.

For your comic relief, remember, no matter how many problems you have…a bridge doesn’t have to be one of them.  Watch my YouTube video then join me for yoga on Saturdays at 11 or anytime online: