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Managing Stress


Let’s talk about stress. Stress is our bodies response to pressure and it affects all of us. It can show through in our lives in many different ways. So how do we define it? Stress can be feeling overwhelmed and having too much on your plate. It can be anxious feelings about relationships or social/professional situations. Worrying about things that we can’t control can cause it. I know that one all too well. 


Stress can affect our minds and bodies in many different ways. It can cause over or under eating. You may find yourself mindless snacking or eating for comfort during stressful times/situations. Or, the stress may cause a loss of appetite or stomach pain leading to under-eating. Stress can affect sleep. I am sure many can relate to the feeling of laying in bed at night trying to fall asleep and your mind is racing with thoughts. Oftentimes this is caused by stress from the day or anxiety about future situations. 


We cannot control our bodies' natural response to certain situations, but we can control how we manage stress and how it affects us. Exercise is a great way to help manage stress. When you exercise, it changes the chemical levels in your brain such as serotonin, stress hormones, and endorphins - Otherwise known as a feeling of happiness! Exercise can also improve quality and quantity of sleep, counteracting the effects of stress on sleep. Any type of exercise or physical activity that you enjoy doing is suitable; weight training, pilates, cardio, etc. I recommend exercising 3-5 times a week and reaching at least 7k steps per day. 


Something that greatly helps me manage my stress levels is staying organized. For my personal situation; working multiple jobs, maintaining social relationships and being in the process of moving, I definitely feel overwhelmed at points where it is hard for me to concentrate because there are so many thoughts running through my head! I am sure many of you can relate to this. I keep a virtual schedule, a written agenda, and a wall hanging calendar in my home. I also use the app “check list” for my to-do’s. Before the week begins, I take time to write out my entire weekly schedule and everything I plan to get done that week. Seeing this in front of me helps take it out of my scrambled brain and allows me to take a breath and tell myself - “okay, I can get this all done”.. Relieving some of my stress.


Taking down time for yourself is also incredibly important. I consider myself a very extroverted person, however I need time alone where I am totally relaxed to recharge my battery. Through the day, our minds race with what we are going to do next, what has to get done, etc. Make sure you are taking a break each day to simply take your mind off of the stressors of work, things you need to get done, future plans, etc. This time will look different for everyone. For me, I enjoy having this time while I am preparing and eating my meals. I love to cook and I love to eat. I put on a good show or a good podcast and try to not worry about anything else for that hour or two. It doesn't matter what you're doing through this time or where you are, as long as you are resting your mind and body. 


Feeling stress is a part of being human. It is okay to feel overwhelmed, sad, and/or anxious. You are not alone! Trying different strategies to help relieve some of these feelings can greatly impact your everyday life. What works for you, may look different than what works for me, and that's okay! Take time to try out some of these strategies. You deserve to better yourself. 


Need more motivation or help? Reach out to Coach Emily today at EHoffman@etageathletic.com 



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