Life

Dealing with the Stress Monster

I’m so lucky to live only a few hours away from this little piece of paradise called Panama City Beach, Florida. Some days me and the fiance just pack up the car and go for a quick daycation. In fact, we just made it home from another trip!

…..Yes, I know it’s halfway through October… but Florida only has one season and that’s Summer!

Side note: I watched my first ever sunset on the beach and it was absolutely unforgettable!


I needed this daycation. Like, NEEDED it. BAD. My routine had been pushing me to my limits, both physically and mentally. I’ve caught a cold. My ankle is swollen from being on my feet too much. My body is sore and tired from forcing gym workouts when I should’ve rested. Every day was a battle with depression.

You need to know when to take a break. And not only that, but you need to actually take it.

Long-term stress is a monster to our bodies. Stress creates a hormone called cortisol, and when that hormone is in high numbers, our bodies begin to shut down in response.

 

Negative effects of too much stress

 

Sugar becomes your frenemy

Stress causes a blood sugar imbalance due to the body heavily relying on glucose for immediate fuel to help fight off the stress. So what do you crave? That entire box of chocolate chip cookies in the pantry, or in my case, a jumbo bag of peach rings and as many packs of twix bars as I can find.

 

Your metabolism slows

Chances are, you’re packing on the pounds. High insulin levels resulting from stress lead to a decreased resting metabolic rate (the calories you burn at rest) and some real stubborn fat storage.

 

Your immune system weakens

I know for sure when I’ve pushed myself too much because I always catch a cold. Stress over time actually lowers your immune system and makes you more susceptible to illnesses and diseases. It also doesn’t help that most of us rely on unhealthy coping mechanisms such as drinking, smoking, or eating endless amounts of junk food.

 

And if you’re a gymrat like me?

Though exercise is GREAT for relieving stress, if you feel as if the world is crashing down on you, maybe you should skip the super intense rage workout. It’s hard to focus on your workout if your stress has taken over your thoughts, and this could put you at risk for injury- especially if you’re throwing heavy weights around.

And you’re just so tired ! Your sleep schedule is probably suffering, you’re more easily fatigued, and your muscles are tense. These all do not add up for a great workout.


So what do we do?

 

Exercise!

I know I just told you not to! Instead of picking up the weights, however, find something less intense. Walking, swimming, and biking are all wonderful ways to get your heart pumping. And this time of year is perfect for outdoor activity!

Yoga is another great idea. It will help alleviate muscle tension and leave you feeling refreshed.

 

Get away!

That daycation to the beach I just took did wonders for me. I completely forgot all my worries as I laid in the sand, soaked up the sun and listened to the waves crash.

Find your getaway. The outdoors is a great stress reliever. Go enjoy the ocean waves. Get lost in a quiet state park or find a hiking trail. Dip your feet into a local spring. Let the fresh air carry your worries away.

 

Eat good-for-you foods!

It’s so tempting to pick up a bag of sweets or order an extra large pizza all for yourself when you’re battling life’s pressures. But stress has already pushed your blood sugar up to insane levels. Shoot for foods rich in probiotics and antioxidants which can support your immune system and reduce your anxiety and stress. Dark chocolate, Greek yogurt, green tea and blueberries are just a few great options.



If all else fails, a cuddlesesh with your favorite fur baby will always put your mind at ease.

 

How do you destress? Leave a comment below!

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