As customary, I spoke with a newer client about her food, water, sleep, stress and workouts.
Here’s the report:
- She spent all day Sunday cooking healthy meals for the week with her husband,
- Moved from Diet Coke to a non-caffeinated carbonated beverage,
- Found a cardio option in her office building (included in her compensation),
- And completed her normal resistance training work out with out pain because she iced and rested a joint that concerned her.
The topper to all of this was a new stress reduction tool we worked out: “when stressed – address the stressor.” Like most of us, this client turned to food when faced with a stressful situation – it’s easy, available and works (temporarily). The stress also changed her normally positive temperament and energy to do things (like exercise.) Our initial solution brainstorm seemed lacking: an app, deep breathing, some kind of distraction, etc. Then, we landed on something brilliant and obvious: just address the stressor. Pouring her energy right back into addressing the problem minimized the stress enough to avoid the negative implications – unnecessary snacking, drinking, decreased energy, altered mood, etc. Win-Win -Win!
Let this client’s experience inspire you. Apply “when stressed – address the stressor” when an annoyance rears it’s ugly head. Now go out there and “crush it” – your body and mind will thank you!
Are you feeling it? That urge to let it all go? The temptation to indulge at every turn during this holiday, end-of-the-year obligation melee.
Well, maybe you did derail at Thanksgiving. Maybe you wish you didn’t eat the pastries left in the conference room every day this week. Maybe you haven’t finished your workouts as planned. So what. Letting less than ideal choices guilt you into additional indulgences is adding insult to injury. Let them go. Move on.
Taking a ten-minute walk, passing over an extra piece of candy or getting an extra hour of sleep will serve you exceedingly well in this holiday frenzy. Don’t let setbacks deter you; you’re too smart to throw in the towel. Hold on to what is important: your health, your livelihood and your loved ones. All your small decisions in the end WILL make a difference in your continued success.
You can do this. Keep your chin up. I’m rooting for you!
In the next twelve days there are a lot of opportunities to celebrate. And celebrating is good. Indulging during every one of those celebrations is not.
I encourage you to “pick your party.” Choose one event for indulging. Because, it is not one holiday dinner that causes holiday weight gain and unhealthy routines. It is the daily treats, late nights, changes in schedules, parade of parties and increase in alcohol consumption that leave us five pounds heavier and a lot more sluggish. Choose the celebration that would be the best fit and stick with it. Be present and engaged for your other events. Enjoy the people, the conversations and the reason for the get together.
I know this may sound like you are depriving yourself. Well, you are: fewer drinks, less indulgent food and limited short nights. But, you are also depriving yourself of the work required to “get back to healthy” when this holiday season is over. And in my book, that is a plan worth considering.
I wish you and your loved ones a very healthy and happy holiday season!
Clients share their stress levels as part of our weekly process. And because I adore metaphors, the idea of standing in water that is up to our eyeballs has fit the bill in capturing the very high stress levels for some this past month.
When life feels like too much, maybe “prioritizing,” “changing our expectations” and “scaling back” are NOT the solutions. (I realize I just lost of few of you with that statement.) Maybe, they are not even options. Maybe, we need to acknowledge that we are being asked to do too much and that it’s not possible to handle everything as well as usual for a while. Instead, we just have to keep temporarily plowing through.
In years of learning from and advising women on great stress management tools, in my opinion, the worst decision in this scenario is adding a guilt trip on top of it all. So, the next time life is asking too much and you have to keep going none the less, recognize all that you ARE doing and say “no thanks” to burdening yourself with a useless guilt trip.