2020 has brought an unusual high level of stress to everyone. When life becomes overwhelming, the line between self care and unhealthy comfort mechanisms can begin to fade. We are creatures that need balance to thrive. And the thought of tackling everything being thrown at us can be alot!
What can we do to help us adjust, move forward and take care of ourselves?
If we break down healthy living into 4 categories, we can simply focus on one area at a time, making small improvements that are not overwhelming.
Our bodies NEED quality sleep, good nutrition, regular movement and stress management habits built into our routine.These areas allow us to feel our best and allow us to handle things happening in our lives.
The quality of our sleep and the amount of sleep are both critical to allowing the body and mind time to recover from the stress of the day. If we don’t allow that time for our bodies to recover we head into the next day in a deficit. I think of all the actions we take throughout the day as bank deposits or withdrawals for our health.
Some things to consider in supporting our sleep habits
- The temperature of your room, a cooler room supports better sleep
- Light: The darker the better. (this affects our circadian rhythms) Try blackout curtains
- Noise: A quite room, or do you sleep deeper with white noise??
- Length: giving yourself adequate time (7-9 hours a night!)
- Consistent Schedule: Develop a routine, and stick to the same times each night
- Distraction: Leave your phone in another room
- Screen Time: Reduce blue light and turn off all screens 1 hour prior to sleep
The fuel we supply our body has a great impact on our energy levels,moods and allowing us to thrive.The gut is actually our first brain.
Ways in supporting our bodies
- Eat regularly, and quality foods
- Limit caffeine consumption after 1 pm ( to avoid disrupting our sleep)
- Eat lots of Veggies
- Avoid highly processed, sugary foods.
- Drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water each day.Good hydration helps maintain our bodies fluids, energizes muscles and helps keep our kidneys work efficiently, oh and it also improves our skin
- Incorporate lean protein, healthy fats and good carbohydrates at each meal
We are MADE to MOVE. Without enough movement we experience decreased energy, slower digestion, reduced elimination just to say a few. As challenging as it could have been pre- pandemic to get moving, Lockdowns and extreme winter weather has increased the challenge.
Some Tips to get up
- Build in regular movement breaks into your workday. Get up from your desk and head for a walk to the water cooler, weather that is at the office or in your kitchen. Incorporate a few push ups and some situps each time you get up to grab a glass of water.
- Feeling your energy declining while sitting at your desk?? Set your watch for 5 minutes, Get up and do 30 Jumping Jacks, 10 Squats, 5 Burpees continuously for 5 minutes.
- Book in your workouts!!! This time is essential for you!
- Get outdoors
- Stretch in the morning and at night
We will not be able to remove ALL stress from our lives forever but great stress management will reduce the amount we experience and feel in our bodies. One important thing to understand with stress management is there simply are things out of our control, we should not focus here. We should shift our focus onto the things within our control. Understanding what stresses are in each group will allow us to take the necessary actions. Starting with the awareness of what creates stress for us in our bodies. Then grouping them into two categories, something we can change (never being able to find my keys in the morning), things we can’t change
(Online schooling my kids from home). Things we can change we want to do a little each day/week, things we can’t change focusing on positively supporting our body/mind so we can cope the best we can.
Things to greatly impact Stress Management
- Journal for 10 minutes each day. Each morning write down 3 things you are grateful for.
- Ways to simplify your morning routine
- Schedule 15 minutes of quite time for yourself each day. This can be when your kids/spouse is still sleeping
- Talk to someone you trust (even if it’s you plants!)
- Eliminate areas of overwhelm or frustration in your house( create aspot for your keys to hang, clean out a closet or junk drawer)
- Practice find bright moments in your life. Once a week write down the things that brought you joy this week.
- Do a random act of kindness for someone unexpectedly
- Take four deep breaths ( deep down into your diaphragm)
- Do a 10 min guided meditation
Breaking things down into these 4 areas and picking one that speaks to you and focus on that over the next week to month. Then work on another.
The coaches at Black Bar Fitness are happy to help you build skills and guide you in these areas to create a happy, healthier you!!
Book your Free No Sweat Intro Here https://blackbarcrossfit.com/ . We can help!