Friday, March 20, 2020

How stress during social distancing affects you

Social distancing is affecting all of us in different ways. In Hawaii, schools are closed, parks are closed and there is talk of making all visitors mandatory quarantine for 14 days on arrival.

For me, not much has changed since I now work from home, but the stuff going on outside is a little crazy.

I have seen many people posting on social media about how this is a stressful time. And it is. So I want to talk to you today about stress.

During stressful times, you might be tempted to give into stress eating. This is a common way for many of us to find comfort during times of anxiety. Not only does it curtail progress toward our health goals, but it also can negatively impact our immune system. Others might be tempted to work out to de-stress and often times begin over-exercising.

Both of these things actually add to your body's stress.

Think about it...

Normally, our bodies can handle a certain amount of stress. Imagine that you have a stress bucket - everyday life goes into that bucket and you’re probably thinking about things like dealing with kids or family members at home, work stress, traffic issues that might make you late, worrying about loved ones and friends who might be going through something, paying bills. Things like that.

But what also goes into your stress bucket that impacts the stress on your body are things like not getting enough sleep or not sleeping well, not slowing down and taking a break, not eating well, not exercising or exercising too much.

All of these thing fill up our bucket and can make it overflow every day, every single NORMAL day

Now think about where we are today, the added stresses we are dealing with being home from work, working from home for the first time, with kids or family to take care of, worried about getting sick, paying bills…the list seems endless.

So today, when you think about or catch yourself stress eating or turning to exercise to relieve your stress, think about your stress bucket.

Instead focus on eating healthy. Snack on whole foods that are going to boost your immunity like fruits and veggies. Try yoga or meditation or a walk to destress - so your body and cortisol levels have a chance to calm down.

There is A LOT that we can’t control right now, but we can control how we treat our bodies.

I am still working with my clients through the FASTer Way program and I can tell you honestly that they are feeling good and feeling calm because they are learning how to fuel their bodies to get well and fight disease. They are learning how to exercise enough to burn fat and build muscle but protect cortisol levels. They are learning to listen to their bodies and dial it back when they need to. 

And they are leaning into their group for support and guidance.

You can learn more about the program here.

I hope that if you are feeling overwhelmed that you will think about what I have shared today. And you will do what you can to take care of yourself even when it feels like you can’t.

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