Did anyone else immediately think of these guys?

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Can you believe it’s been over 20 years? My how things have changed since the early 90’s…

So if you read the blog regularly I don’t think I’ve kept it a secret that lately I’ve been a little bit stressed. Ok a lot stressed. Between my car situation being up in the air (I should find out today whether the insurance company decides to total it or not) and some personal matters, I’ve had some pretty major things weighing on my mind.

The effects of stress on your body and emotional well-being can be pretty significant. For the past couple weeks I’ve been having trouble sleeping, my jaw aches constantly and I’ve had a giant knot in my mid-back – not to mention all the time and energy put into worrying about my troubles. Since everybody goes through stressful periods from time to time, I thought it would be a good to talk about some tips for taking care of yourself during times of stress.

Tip #1: Eat well. When I’m stressed my hunger is definitely revved up but it’s during these times especially that I know it’s important to listen to my body and give it what it needs – and if sometimes that means caving in to a piece of chocolate than fine – I try to enjoy it to the fullest and then go back to the healthy stuff.

Sometimes you gotta have a little chocolate 🙂

I like to try to keep in mind that first and foremost food is there to provide my body’s fuel and when I’m stressed my body really needs the best I have to offer.

My all-time favorite go-to healthy meals is a smoothie.

They’re quick and simple and you can pack a lot of nutrients into one cup. Try blending 1 c frozen blueberries with 1 c almond milk (or milk of choice), 1 Tbsp almond butter , 1/2 tsp cocoa powder and a small handful of spinach – it’s one of my favorites. 🙂

Tip #2: Get out and move. I know that when I’m stressed to the max I have a little tougher time getting motivated to exercise – every move can sometimes feel like an effort – but I always make it a point to at least get out and try and do something to get the endorphins flowing. I try and listen to what my body needs and am careful not to push myself more than I can handle (Case in point: yesterday’s 6 mile run turned into a slow 4.26 mile walk/run but I still felt the benefits).  My favorite stress busting exercise is kickboxing – nothing feels better than taking your worries out on the punching bag. If kickboxing isn’t your thing or you’re looking for something a little more mild another great stress reliever is yoga.

I always feel more relaxed after some time on the mat.

Tip #3: Make down time – if you can. I had a list of things to do this weekend a mile long. Saturday I had some energy so I took advantage of that and dove into some of the home organization projects I’d been wanting to get around to. Yesterday, however, was a different story. Even the smallest task seemed daunting so I took it as a sign to just relax and I spent the day vegging out watching a Kourtney and Kim Take New York marathon – hey, to each their own ;). And after getting that out of my system, I have some renewed energy to revisit my to-do list today.

(These guys took the opportunity to relax too :))

Tip #4: Surround yourself with family and good friends. When you’re stressed you might feel the urge to whole up and shut yourself off from the world – and while a little bit of alone time is necessary, I try to also make it a point to get out and spend time with friends doing things I enjoy. Being in stress mode can put you in a one-track mindset and it’s important to give yourself little breaks to relax and get your mind on something else for a little while or if nothing else a chance to use a friend as a sounding board to gain a new perspective on a problem. I’ve got lunch with my friend Melissa and her new baby tomorrow and a Skype date set with my best friend – talking my troubles out with her always makes me feel better

Tip #5: Focus on one thing at a time. When you have multiple things in your life causing you stress it can feel like the world is crashing down on you which can seem really overwhelming. Remember you can only do what you can do, take it one day at a time and try not exacerbate stress by worrying about all the what-if’s – try and take things as they come.

Lastly, remember that in time all stress will pass and perhaps most importantly you’re going to be ok. 🙂

I hope you’re enjoying your Monday and that your week is off to a great start!

Kristi

What are your tips for handling stress?

when it can be easy to focus on the bad it’s important to remind yourself of all the good things in your life.

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