Stress in 2020.
How are you? Genuinely.
Take a deep breath and scan your body for any tension.
Because let’s be real: 2020 continues to be a hot mess.
From natural disasters to pandemics, economic challenges, & more, there is A LOT going on right now. If you’re experiencing heightened levels of stress in your life, you’re not alone.
I’ve experienced my fair share of obstacles this year & I can’t think of anyone in my life who hasn’t.
In fact, it’s one of the primary drivers of the concerns clients are coming to me with right now, whether they realize stress is at the root of their symptoms or not.
It’s contributing to:
>> unwanted weight gain, especially around the midsection, without changes in diet or exercise>> inability to fall asleep or stay asleep
>> waking up after a full night of sleep and still feeling tired
>> salt cravings
>> intense afternoon fatigue and an inability to get through the day without coffee and/or sugar
>> changes in appetite–either lacking an appetite or eating a whole pizza in one sitting (nothing inherently wrong with that, but if it’s not a conscious choice, there may be something deeper going on)
>> being set off into tears or a tantrum when anything goes wrong>> reaching for booze (or your escape of choice -e.g. food, cannabis, social media, retail therapy, etc.) as a coping mechanism
>> getting sick more often and wounds that won’t heal>> lacking motivation to work out, opting for another episode on Netflix instead
Stress affects how you think, feel, and behave. It manifests as full body fatigue, making workouts feel harder, as digestive issues like heartburn, stomachaches, and as a foggy brain, leaving you scattered, impulsive, touchy, and doubting yourself. It also wrecks your libido and, for another night in a row, you find yourself reaching for the ice cream instead of your partner.
Particularly in 2020, stress can be rooted in feelings of overwhelm and a lack of control.
But, here’s the good news: When it comes to your health, there’s a lot you CAN control during this time to replenish the body.
>>Assess your current stress load. The perceived stress scale (google it) is a widely used tool for this. Often we don’t realize we’re stressed until we quantify it.
>>Identify stressors which can be physical, psychological or even chemical. Financial concerns or an endless to-do list may be obvious, while others, like over training and toxic body care products are easier to overlook. It all adds up.
>>Now, are there any you can remove or lessen? The body will balance itself when we remove the roadblocks.
>>Incorporate restorative practices. Some stress is unavoidable so intentional stress relief is essential. I invite clients to create an ala carte menu of options such as exercise, time in nature, meditation, journaling, breathwork, & yoga.
>>Reduce stress via your nutrition by eating enough, balancing blood sugar with fat & protein & fiber, & reducing stimulants. Once diet and lifestyle is addressed, you can consider supplements, like adaptogens.
Take stress seriously. I’ve seen clients find reserves of energy, release stubborn weight, redefine their relationship with sugar/alcohol/caffeine, clear up brain fog, wake up motivated, and much more by addressing stress.
And lastly, I invite you to give yourself a break. If you’re feeling like everything is a little harder than normal right now, you’re not lazy. You’re a human. Which means your human body is susceptible to the effects of stress and it needs rest and nourishment.