April is stress awareness month Here's what you can do
April is Stress Awareness Month and April 16th is Stress Awareness Day.
How is that for timing?
Anybody out there feeling stressed and anxious? You may have noticed how many resources we have been providing to deal with the times. We think it’s so important because the mind and body are connected. When you feel good, you lower your cortisol levels and get out of the “fight or flight” mode. We’re learning that the Coronavirus has a greater impact on people with underlying health issues, so tackling stress and anxiety is a huge step in achieving wellness.
It’s important to remember why we want to reduce stress:
Impacts of Stress on Your Body
High blood pressure
Impacts of Stress on Your Relationships
Impacts of Stress on Your Routine
Avoiding social gatherings
Obviously, no one could have predicted the COVID-19 pandemic, but we have an opportunity to stop and think about how to manage the anxiety. Even before the outbreak, a survey (1) showed 83% of American workers felt stress on a regular basis. Now that unemployment is up and many families are hunkering down together, what do you think that number is now? We want you to manage stress effectively, So that you can shift your body into fat burning, tone-building mode.
Fear not. You don’t need to run out and grab a stress ball. Here are some exercises you can do to relieve stress at home.
1. Daily Workout – Aside from the physical benefits of exercise, it also has a lot of mental benefits too. It can reduce inflammation, increase flexibility and muscle tone and give you a better sense of worth (you ARE worth reaching your goals). We recommend starting slowly, just 15-30 minutes a few times a week, before eventually increasing to an hour. We got your back!
2. Treat yourself – SHCF Nutrition isn’t a diet and isn’t about restricting your food until you’re blue in the face. Our nutrition program has days built in reminding you to have a treat if you want it. Yes, picking up bad eating habits during this time can impede your progress, but a little pick me up on schedule is fine! Go ahead and have that tasty menu item (or chocolate) you love. It’s ok.
3. Bike riding – When you’re done with your daily workout, getting outside can provide a nice alternative. The fresh air can give you a boost of endorphins, a feel-good chemical that naturally occurs in the body. Plus getting in the sun can give you all day effects, boosting vitamin D for immune health and serotonin, which can convert into melanin for a better night’s sleep. Bike riding is easier on the joints too, so you can get the cardiovascular exercise without the extra physical stress on your lower half.
4. Walking – For those living in apartments or big cities, it can be difficult to just pick up a bike and go. Walking at a brisk pace is still a great way to get some extra exercise in and absorb that much-needed sunlight. One of my favorite things to do is go for a walk at the end of the day to calm my nerves and gather myself before going to bed.
5. SHCF Nutrition program – We’ve seen the difference every single day in our members because of the community. When you’re at home, it can be easy to get caught up in your own story and lose sense of the outside world. But when you are consulting coaches, being part of a group and interacting with others going through the same thing you are, it can be empowering.
6. Sleep – Rest and regeneration help the body’s immune system restore damaged cells and attack harmful invaders. Not getting enough sleep can make you irritable and unable to manage stress effectively. You need to sleep.
7. Gardening/House Projects – Being outside for exercise is great for your heart health but relaxing in the sunshine is just as good. Tending to plants and seedlings gives you something to nurture and care for and can restore a sense of control. Plus, gardening can increase your self-esteem and self-worth as you see the fruits of your labor.
8. Art project – Painting and art is something many adults give up on because they are never satisfied with the end result or they don’t have the time to finish. But like exercise, it’s all about the journey. Art projects force you to be patient and take your time. It also distracts you and forces you to be with your thoughts at the same time. It can be soothing and relaxing to focus on a project while also thinking ‘how did my day go?’ and ‘how am I feeling?’
9. Journaling – Sometimes, you just need to put pen to paper and jot down how you are feeling. What happened today? What did you think would happen and what actually happened? Many times, it’s the fear of the unknown that keeps us up at night and evaluating what actually happened can restore a sense of control and peace. Plus, you’ll notice patterns and triggers you can better avoid in the future.
Let’s attack our anxieties and stressors with exercise and positive thinking this month. Let this be the month you set goals and realize you are worth it! The SHCF community is here to support you with encouragement and stories of hope. Karma is an amazing thing and we believe when you lead your communities with generosity, it creates self-worth inside you and helps you realize you can do anything you put your mind to.
These are crazy times and there is plenty to be stressed out about. But you can control your nutrition. You can control the work you put in. Hope is right in front of you, guys! Let April be the month you crush your fears and doubts and control your anxieties. Let it be the month you get closer as a family. And when the world was at its most anxious, you were at your best!