Hello, my friends! Long time no see would be a tad bit of an understatement LOL. Perhaps you noticed (or hey, maybe you didn’t), the my blogging schedule has been anything but consistent… whoops. I was doing so well there for a while and then you know what happened… Life , man. I’ll spare you the details of my crazy life in this post. I actually just posted a life update, if you will, in my last post so click here to read that if you haven’t yet. Let’s just say that my life had been pretty crazy there for a while and let’s just say I was stressed. Wait, that’s an understatement… more like STRESSED THE F OUT.
So, that is what today’s post is going to be about… STRESS. I know that I am not the only one going through stressful times so i thought this would be a very relatable post for everyone (myselfincluded). Let’s talk about the effects of stress and a little later, ways to get through the difficult, stressful times.
Effects of Stress:
- tense muscles — lead to headaches/migraines
- rapid breathing– panic attacks
- affects hormones– increased cortisol levels/epinephrine
- GI issues– stimulated appetite– increased heart burn
- — nausea– vomiting/ feeling sick or having “butterflies”
- — affects digestion– diarrhea or constipation
- Stress induced acne/breakouts
- makes PMS worse
Long term stress can lead to hypertension, heart attacks, stroke, high blood pressure, and high cortisol levels.
All no bueno. When I am stressed (aka the last month or so) i have definitely struggled with headaches, breakouts, anxiety, increased appetite (give me all the food), and really bad PMS. Being stressed is definitely a horrible feeling and so not fun.. especially in circumstances that are outside of your control.
But that doesn’t mean that everything is 100% outside of your control. There are ways to manage the stress in your life in an effort to make it through the tough times. Here we go…
- Tell yourself “It is what it is”. Look at your current situation and ask yourself if there is anything you can do to improve it. If there is, by all means do something. If there isn’t, accept it and move on. There is no point on dwelling on something that you cannot change.
- Change your outlook/perspective. Instead of thinking of your current situation as a “problem” think of it instead as a “learning opportunity”.Switch your perspective from a negative outlook to a more positive one.l
- Don’t compare yourself to others. Now this applies to all day everyday… but even more so when you’re going through stressful times. You will not feel better comparing yourself to someone else’s so-called “perfect life”. We all have secrets that no one else knows about. No one is perfect no matter what they portray in real life or especially on social media.
- Know that this too shall pass. There is an end to the stressful situation that you are going through. Nothing lasts forever and there is comfort in realizing that. Change is an inevitable part of life.
- Believe anything else possible. You can easily come out of your present, crappy situation feeling better than ever. You never know what is going to happen tomorrow, three days, or three weeks down the road. Believe that you will come out on top… and you will.
- Know you are not alone. Turn to someone who you trust and let them know what you are going through, whether that be a friend, family member, or even a therapist. You’ll feel better knowing that you have support from those that care about you instead of feeling like you are going through life alone.
I know that all the above tips are mental and i know that it can be hard to be “mentally strong” when times are tough. But i truly believe the quote…
“Happiness can be found in the darkest of times if one simply remembers to turn on the light.”
(10 points to Gryffindor if you tell me who said that quote haha- I am a Harry Potter nerd don’t judge me lol).
Here are a few more physical type of tips to help combat stress…
- Get your sleep. Skipping out on sleep will leave you groggy, extra emotional and leave you unable to process your thoughts and emotions to the best of your ability. So get yourself some quality zzzs.
- Have a healthy outlet. Whatever this may be for you- whether that’s the gym, yoga, art, music, or going for a walk with your dog… use that as your time to breathe, reflect, and destress. Don’t get so caught up in your stressful situation that you forget to do things that make you feel good. *Please note that I say “healthy” outlet. 10/10 would NOT recommend turning to alcohol, food, drugs, etc to help you get through the tough times.
Been there, done that, and i assure you that there will be consequences and it will not end well. And you will not end up feeling any better about your situation either. So please, find a healthy outlet to destress.
- Yoga. A friend of mine (hello to you Alison if you are reading this lol) wanted me to mention how helpful yoga can be when it comes to reducing stress and she is so right. Yoga has so many health benefits in general but in regards to stress, yoga helps with tight muscles, breathing techniques, and can help you feel more relaxed. (This is definitely something I want to try).
- Sweat. I may not do yoga (yet) but I do enjoy a good gym session… especially when i am feeling particularly stressed out. Exercise releases endorphins in the brain that will help you feel happier, which will also help with your quality of sleep. Double win!
So, there you have it. Some tips that I have used and will continue to use when i am going through the stressful situation that tends to be my life.
Stress is never fun. It affects your body, physically and mentally, and can leave you feeling drained and just plain crappy. My strength in the gym has suffered, my appetite has gone crazy, headaches… you name it and chances are we all have experienced it at some point. Yay life! But switching my mentality to a more positive outlook and sticking to my training and nutrition despite the chaos has helped greatly.
What are some of your favorite ways to help manage stress? Which of these strategies have you tried in the past and which will you try in the future? Have you ever handled stress poorly and what was the result? Leave a comment and share your experiences.
I hope you guys enjoy this post because I feel like it’s so important. Everyone goes through stressful times, so knowing how to handle them is key. Please hit that “like” button and share this post on your various social medias so we can all (try) to make coping with stress just a wee bit easier.
Talk soon (yes, I really mean that lol… stay tuned),