“Stress” is so much a part of our daily lives these days, that we’re constantly looking for answers on how to reduce it and for new ways to cope. It seems that everyone at some point in their lives encounters higher periods of stress. It’s one thing to feel stressed by something being impressed upon you – a work circumstance, a difficult relationship or a chronic health issue, for example. But,
what if the stress you’re experiencing is from something you invited into your life, that may in and of itself be present for merely a season of your life? A few examples of this are building a business, working extra hours to achieve a financial goal, planning a wedding or completing a home remodeling project.
Just because stress may be related to something temporary in your life, it doesn’t make it any more bearable. So how do you stay motivated during time of stress? Here are a few tips to maintain optimal wellness and stay motivated:
1) Identify healthy ways of coping with stress that work for you. Here are some go-to healthy options for coping with stress:
a. Exercise: It can be something as gentle as stretching and walking or as intense as a two hour long weightlifting session. Bottom line – move your body. There is more science than we could recount showing the short- and long-term benefits to our overall wellness by incorporating movement into our daily routines.
b. Nutrition: During times of stress, cortisol, the “fight or flight” hormone, can lead to elevated glucose levels in your bloodstream. Foods like dark chocolate, teas like black, green and herbal teas like chamomile, foods with probiotics and fermented foods, staying hydrated and avoiding excessive caffeine and stimulants can help the body naturally regulate cortisol. Also – a side note - don’t underestimate the power of a warming, comforting meal with loved ones as a wonderful way to relax and just enjoy life! Happiness and contentment matter as a part of overall wellness.
c. Supplements: I personally recommend a good quality B complex, a total omega fatty acid complex (3, 6, 9), 5-HTP and a high-quality CBD oil are highly recommended to support the body during periods of higher stress. Hemp-derived CBD oil is new to most but is growing in popularity due to its ability to do so much for stress and anxiety, as well sleep regulation, which is important for stress management.
2) Gain Perspective: It’s simple – if you don’t see the big picture as it relates to this period of stress, you won’t be motivated to persevere. “Perspective” is a noun, defined as either an art of drawing something so as to give the right impression of
an object in relation to other objects but also as a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something... a point of view. Embrace the opportunity to take a breath, step back, and “look” at this season in the context of the “big picture” of
your life. Some practical ways of doing this are as follows:
a. Go outside: There is something about seeing the beauty of nature, the natural world around you, wide open spaces over water or a landscape, or a big blue sky that helps put things into perspective very quickly. Somehow, understanding our place in the bigger, brighter world has a way of bringing calm and clarity to almost any situation. Staying stuck inside behind literal four walls might just make you feel like those walls represent limitations... so get beyond them. Pro-tip: This is my go-to solution... I feel most alive and well spending time in nature!
b. Talk to someone: Whether it’s a close friend, family member, a coach or a therapist, talking through where you’re at and where you’re going sometimes in and of itself can help refuel you and motivate you to press on through the season you’re in, provide guidance, comfort, and support and give you objective feedback as you move through your journey.
3) Make 1% changes: Assess your life - are there any small changes you can make while you move through this season? Some examples of 1% changes... someone else picks the kids up from school for a few weeks, taking the train instead of
fighting traffic, going to bed thirty minutes earlier, adding a ten-minute guided meditation to your day, or adding a ritual such as an afternoon cup of tea and read a book for thirty minutes. Small changes to the rhythm of your day can bring
respite and rest, and over time, you’ll find your overall stress levels more under control.
Life itself is marked by seasons, rhythms and changes. It’s been said that the only constant is change. Realizing that you are just one decision away from a better life is one of the most profound epiphanies that a person can have. The common thread through all of these suggestions is proper self-care and prioritizing personal wellness. Take the time to pause and reflect on the changes
you need to make to stay motivated through stress.