How ironic is it that I would stop discussing 30 days of health on this one post in particular? I truly have no excuse. Reducing stress is not the easiest task to complete, but it is one that is vital to being able to let that belly fat go.
I won’t be shy to say that yea, I was going to post all 30 of these suggestions last April. In fact, I even had the majority of them already written. So, what’s the excuse?
April 1, my step mother passed away. I thought it would be wildly inappropriate to start blogging about health each day of April when obviously there were higher concerns on the table. So, I scheduled everything to start posting a month later. And the month went by, almost unnoticed.
I let the previous 22 days of lazy health suggestions post without a second thought because I was swamped!
In April, my mental dedication to being healthy completely shifted. I went from having lost nearly 10 pounds from the start of the year to end of April, to having gained 5 back between April and now! Why? STRESS!
Just as before, I’m not going to get into the icky-sticky details of what science has to say. You can find anything you’re looking for on the Internet, even if it is far from the truth. There will be as many articles to back me up as there will be against me. But again, I’m not a doctor – I’m just someone trying to share my experience of health in a very candid way because I’m sick of all the articles out there regurgitating the same, stupid information. Drink cold water! Drink warm water! You get the point…
Scientifically, feeling stressed triggers the same chemicals in your body as a fight-or-flight response. As you can imagine, that fight-or-flight response will instantly try to sustain itself by burning calories.
This sounds good, right?
If you don’t have the healthy calories for your body to burn in its ultra-stressy mode, it will start pulling them from areas of your body you don’t want to let go – eating away at any previously established muscle and turning you into a blobby version of yourself. With stress, your weight may not fluctuate more than about 8 pounds of water retention, but the way your body holds itself will seem drastically different. If you were a comfortable size 4 before, you’re surely squeezing into tight spaces now without necessarily having gained even one little pound.
Don’t let stress eat away at you! LITERALLY!
For me, I need to learn to let go. I am a person that doesn’t like projects to be drawn out. Yet, I am a manager. How do I not have never-ending projects as a manager? Right?!? So, I have to learn to let go of clearing my to-do list and finding that same feeling I had as a college grad where you could pack up right at 5pm and walk away from your job for an entire weekend. I literally have to simulate that feeling for myself by creating a routine.
Every Monday, for example, I know that everyone is busy so I get busy doing what I need to do without many meetings or team members to attend to. I also benefit from Monday being at the start of the week when I have the most energy and focus. So naturally, I pack everything important onto my Monday. Every big task is there, waiting for me. Throughout the week, when a time-consuming project comes on board, I schedule all major follow-ups for the next Monday. I’ve learned to let go of that “do it right now!” feeling that always has me so stressed.
I have other days for other things throughout the week, which I find helpful. However, it is still easy to get lost in just the daily task list. So I go even further. Every morning, I set 3 intentions. These are reminders for major tasks that need to take precedence over all other tasks in that day. I spend very little time on anything else until these three tasks are out of the way.
Another healthy tip I have is to not always use those 3 Commits (a great app by the way) to dedicate to tasks. Just one task can be a major, time-consuming feat. On those days, I use my other 2 commits as daily mantras. “Today I will be patient,” is a great example. “Today I will take a 15-minute break to stretch.” Another great one to help reduce stress is, “Today, I will meditate.”
How easy is that? It is as easy as you make it, always.
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