I am currently sitting on my couch writing this and thinking how insane life is currently. TV shows are being broadcasted via Zoom or Facetime, I am training clients via Facetime daily now, my husband job is 100% stress right now, and most of the world is in quarantine. What is happening??
Well we all know what is happening and it is called COVID-19, something a few weeks ago we thought was just something that was in Asia and some of Europe. But we were wrong.
I know I am probably one of the rare ones in saying this but I have hope right now. I seriously do. Amongst the craziness I know we will come through stronger. I am not saying I do not worry, because of course I do, income is down, stock market is down, I mean we were about to buy a house now we do not know if we will even be making half of what we did last year…. and we intended to do better this year! There are a lot of unknowns… but I do have faith that we will prevail. I mean maybe God wanted to get our attention, maybe He wanted to tell us to slow down and stop putting our hopes and dreams in money and technology and other people…. religious or not you cannot help but think that something God or the universe is trying to tell us all something. I think this can be used for our good, and that is part of the reason I do have faith. Bad things happen all the time (although this may be one of the worst for us all) most of the time we learn from the bad and become better humans, I mean am I not right?
So back to what this article is really about – how to destress when everything is falling apart. Below I have 10 things I believe can truly help. I would love for you to try them for yourself.
Start your day with thankfulness– This is something that has helped me tremendously. That is gratitude. We all I am sure have gratitude for something, however doing a gratitude journal is something you should try during this time. In the morning first thing before you do ANYTHING else, think of 5 things you have and are thankful for that very day. Write them down and take it a step further. This can literally be a game changer.
Move – Another thing to do first thing in the morning, if you can start your day with thankfulness THEN simple movement you might see a 180 in your mindset. Look up some studies I am serious. Simple stretching like these are a great way to get going in the morning. It gets your blood flowing and some endorphins going too. Nothing too crazy but just gentle movement.
Call someone you haven’t talked to in a while – Think of someone who may be lonely right now, someone who may just want to talk or going through a tough time. Maybe you know someone who is or has been affected personally by COVID-19. Reach out. Doing this can make not only them feel better but also you. And if they can do it via facetime then do it that way. There is something about just seeing someones face that can make a difference.
Deep Breathe – Get those stress and cortisol levels down. SERIOUSLY.It helps our immune system too. Do this 5x – Inhale DEEEPLY for 5-6 counts, hold your breath for 2 counts then exhale 4 counts. Focus on your breath when you do. Find out more about this one here.
Read a book – Not a reader? Listen to one. Or read a magazine. So many of us NEVER have time to do these things so now is the time to relax and take advantage of it. Check out my list of some of my favorites if you need some inspiration! FAVORITES
Workout – No doubt that working out helps our attitudes and our immune systems. There are plenty of things you can do at home even without any equipment. Check out my two workout plans that can be done entirely at home with minimal equipment (use code CHANGEUP to save $10!). Virtual Training
Do NOT watch the news when you first get up in the am or right before bed. – I think this should go without saying. We want to meditate on the good not the bad. I am not saying that we should not watch the news at all, I am simply saying that we need to take a break from it for about an hour before we try to sleep (atleast).
Keep a schedule even when working at home or when doing things that aren’t the “norm” – Schedule is key to normalcy. Even if you are someone who normally hates them. Try to keep a routine as best you can. It could go something like wake up at x time – thankfulness/morning pages at x time- stretch at x time – emails at x time – calls at x time- workout at x time – dinner at x time- read at x time. Whatever you do day to day try to keep it that way even while at home.
Find someone to help or an animal (virtually) – If you are in a place where you can help someone right now, do it. It will literally make you feel so much better. Even if it is not financially. Maybe you can go grocery shopping for someone. Maybe you can buy some home made items from someone or support a local business. Tip someone more than normal. If you are able to foster an animal you can still do that in a lot of places right now too. And what better a time than now with you working from home!
Reread or rethink about your 5 thankful things right before you go to bed. – Get that mindset right.
The little things right now are what matter most. Lets try not to forget that!
Have anything you want to hear about right now? Let me know!
Message me – email@example.com
Accountability is showing up.
It’s a means of being consistent, slaying resistance, and doing what is best for you and believing in yourself enough to do so.
We all want to be accountable in all areas of our life. Yet we struggle in some but not so much the others.
The answer: Priorities
It all circles back to what is most important to you (even if you do not realize it). If work is your priority then you will put other things on the back-burner to make sure it gets done. If losing weight is, then it gets top priority on the to do list. If your friends are (this is probably more so in college or highschool) but they would be top of the priority list in ways like hanging out or getting dinner, going on trips etc.
The problem is when we put all our eggs in one basket so to speak, the other areas of our life get less focus and therefore we don’t grow or better ourselves within them.
Making each area within our life somewhat equal if you will (meaning Professional Life, Family Life (relationships), Health and Wellness, Financial Life and Spirituality (believing and having faith in something whatever it may be) will only make us stronger all over.
Stop and think about this- when you have your relationships, your relationships are good you tend to good at work too, when your health is good you are more productive, when you feel good or are hopeful for something you get more done and focus on the good stuff. Am I right? Of course I am!
This is why ACCOUNTABILITY matters so much. If you can hold yourself accountable in each area then you are guaranteed for success in 2020.
I have five different ways to help you get accountable in each of these areas. You can find one of these that works for you and apply it in each area of your life (or maybe just the ones that need work) OR you can use them all. Whatever suits you best.
TOP 5 HACKS –
1- Find an Accountability Partner
- This can be someone or a group or even a program. Something that is going to keep you showing up. It could also mean spending money on someone like a coach or trainer, or a new program to make you use it. When you know someone is waiting for you, or you took a chunk out of your bank account for it, that can compel you to keep showing up. You can join mine – its free!! See below.
2- Focus on one thing to do each week and then add in small to do steps each day to make sure it gets done.
- For example – Say you are trying to save $125 this week (your big goal is to save $500 a month). So you start with doing a budget seeing where you can save money. Then on top of that add any spare change or cash to a box or jar each day. Then take the money you would’ve spent eating out and put it towards it. You could sell something you do not need to go towards it. You could stay overtime at work or do something to make some extra cash. Breaking it down to a daily to do is so much easier to accomplish than just saying I need to save $125 this week.
3- Figure out your why for each goal in each area and keep it front of you. Need more on this? Check out my last blog on your WHY.
- What drives you?? What is the real reason to your big goals. Your goal for wellness is to lose 10 lbs. Why is that? Is it to be able to move better, to decrease your risk for disease? That would be your WHY.
4- Make a big list of about 20-30 things you enjoy doing for YOU, Think self care (like read a book, take a bath, go for a walk, deep breathing, take a cooking class etc).
- EVERY day do atleast 2 of these things. The reason is when you are doing things you enjoy daily you are happier, when you are happier you make smarter choices.
5- Kick resistance -Start noticing when you are resisting doing important things throughout the day
- An example – First thing in the am. Get up when your alarm goes off. Don’t hit snooze.
- Getting on top of resistance and recognizing it and pushing through to be more accountable will only help you decrease stress on yourself, you will see more things happen and you will begin to recognize when you are more prone to resistance and try to bypass it
Being accountable can help us in more ways than we recognize. Small little changes can lead to big results over time. Some of those hacks may not make sense to you now but if you start implementing them now, you will see a big difference in a few months I guarantee it (if you stay accountable that is 😉 )
Learn more about how I can help – HERE.
Join my FREE Facebook Accountability Group – HERE
New year….new you….. That is a terrible quote/saying.
Do you agree?
Let me explain- you are you for a reason, I am me for a reason. We do not need to try to be something we are not. We need to work on our strengths and improve our weaknesses to be a better version of us. Not a better version of something we are not or think we should be because of society. That is a recipe for unhappiness.
The new year can totally mean improvements though.
The biggest factor in becoming better versions of ourselves is determining our goals or desires for 2020, and then, stopping and thinking what the driving force behind those are. Aka… Your WHY.
You see each of us has desires and things we want. We could want to lose weight, to become debt free, to be stronger, to get a new job or promotion. BUT behind each of those things is a driving force making us want them. Something deeper.
When we figure out what that is, and focus on doing things surrounding that. THAT is when we start succeeding and reaching goals. Not because we have a step by step plant to get there, but because we make small steps that make us feel better, gain confidence in that area and in that process we are able to keep working towards our overall big goals because we do not give up. We grow in the process.
Most goals are not reached because we get frustrated when we do not do one thing right, or two… but when we get frustrated and just give up it does nothing for us. We typically do this because we are ONLY thinking about the weightloss or that promotion. When we think of WHY we want those things and focus on that instead, we tend to keep going.
Here is an example:
The WHY behind it
- “To be able to play with your grandkids and not get out of breath and decrease risk of health problems”.
- You start by going for a walk 10 minutes a day because you know you 1- enjoy it, 2- you get some self care or you time, 3- it is making you healthier. (if you miss a day because you enjoy it you will go back to it the next day you can and keep moving forward with that habbit)
- As you keep the walks going you eventually bump the time up, and then decide to do a little more and add in strength or resistance training with a group or trainer.
- You then decide to make smarter choices with food because you recognize your progress in the other area after a few weeks, and start adding in more whole foods more days than not during the week.
- You are building your own confidence by doing something you love or enjoy and as a result it is keeping you showing up. You are focusing on doing something good for you to help you move and feel better….. and as a result you lose weight.
- You are focusing on your WHY and that establishes better habits because you relate it to your wellbeing and happiness.
- Decreasing stress WHILE working towards a goal is a winning situation no matter how you look at it.
- Less stress – less inflammation – feel better – lose weight.
To recap- you need to figure out your why. Your why is what is the deeper meaning behind the big goals you want to achieve. Start with the goal then work backwards. Focus on doing things that keep you focused on your why and the goal will come to fruition.
I suggest taking one major thing in each area of your life –
Health, Professional, Education, Relationships, Spirituality (what ever that might be), Physical, Mental. Have one goal for each, and then work on the why for each. Some may overlap and thats ok. The less you have to focus on the better.
Write down your why and keep it around you, set reminders on your phone, stay focused and atleast set a reminder to reevaluate each month.
If you need help with this my quarterly goal setting printable may help. It does just the thing I am speaking of in working backwards, Check it out – Quarterly Printable
The holidays can be some of the most stress filled times of the year. But is all the stress necessary? Do you consider that we are probably the ones putting stress on ourselves…..? And if we are putting it on ourselves then we can probably adapt some habits to change that.
(Please do not take that statement as discrediting some of the hard stuff or memories that can make it hard after losing a loved one or loneliness among other things, but I am referring to the stress that comes from over committing, being a say yes to everything person, worrying about others too much vs ourselves, etc.)
Ps….If you are unfamiliar with what stress does to your body check out some of my previous blogs :
Stress and how it impacts your entire life and Stress and weight gain.
To sum them up quickly – stress is not good for us.
Whether it is external or internal. Whether we bring it on ourselves from work or allowing expectations to get to us, to over thinking, to what we eat or drink or surround ourselves with (our environment and lifestyle). All of these things can lead to stress on our body, that in turn can lead to illness through inflammation.
So why would we want to add other types of stress to our potentially already maxed state? It is a time we should be celebrating. Again please don’t mis-read that, as I know some people truly do have a hard time due to lost loved ones or other past instances or even loneliness. However, there are ways we can help ourselves feel better during this time regardless of circumstance. Below are a few of my top ways to do just that.
Top 5 Tips for Keeping Stress Down During the Holidays:
1- Get to sleep around the same time most nights of the week if not all of them.
- Sleep is imperative to our health. More and more studies are becoming available to show this. If we lack the deep sleep our body needs to restore itself then we are waking up in a stressed state. Our days are beginning with a body that is already overwhelmed this then can escalate throughout the day. You can read more about sleep and stress here.
2 – Don’t over commit yourself
- Most of us are guilty of this at some point in our lives. We do not want to let people down. Depending upon what stage you are in it may be a time when you feel you REALLY need to show up and impress certain people….. but does that really matter? Sometimes it might, but others we could be doing ourselves more harm than good. We say yes to everything then we give half of our self to these events if not less instead of choosing a few important ones and giving our all to them.
- Destress solution – Figure out which ones matter most and say yes to those. If they involve people you rarely see or add no value to your current life then feel no need to say yes.
3- Get moving atleast 4 days a week for 30 minutes or more.
- This is MAJOR. Exercise and/or decent movement (meaning getting slightly uncomfortable for 30 or so minutes ) can raise endorphins and serotonin levels which in turn makes us happier. Which makes us feel more accomplished and confident. When we feel this way we tend to make smarter choices aka not over committing.
- Destress Solution- Think of how many hours are in a week. If you tell me you can’t find 2 out of all 168 then you may need to take a step back from everything you are doing and reevaluate. This will only help YOU and in turn benefit others.
4- Start your day with a smoothie vs a heavy breakfast.
- Why is this important?? Well for starters I want you to think of energy. Your digestive system uses ALOT of energy. When we eat a heavy meal we tend to get tired after…. the reason?? Our digestive system! If it is using up so much of our energy to work and then we need that energy and have not done anything to restore it then here we go again adding a stress to our body. If you are already stressed then you don’t want to add to it!
- Destress Solution – Buy a vegan protein powder or one that is all natural and not Whey (aka dairy that can cause distress on the digestive system) add some frozen fruit and veggies and a healthy fat like almond butter or coconut oil, blend and drink. Smoothies are already a liquid so theyre easy to digest.) (Say hello to being more productive!
- This should go without saying. Being dehydrated only zaps your energy, your focus, your ability to get things done and on top of that messes with metabolism and immune function. All of this can make you more susceptible to illness.
- Destress Solution – Drink up! Start your day with water (room temp as it is more absorbable that way) a splash of lemon or lime and some sea salt. Chug it before you drink ANYTHING else especially coffee. This helps get your cells hydrated and immune system and digestive system moving. You can also try something like LIQUID IV that I use daily to help with hydration.
- You can read more on hydration here.
So many things can add stress to our life and we may not even know it. The biggest take away I want you all to get from this is that you should focus on what makes you happy and fulfilled this time of year. Hopefully that means being with those you care about and love. This can also mean finding someone to love on or help during this time. Find volunteer opportunities near you, this can help you become more fulfilled in so many ways.
Do you have any tips or tricks you do to keep stress down? I would love to hear them! Comment or share and tag me @candicecfitness. You never know who you may be helping!
I hope you have a happy holiday this year and look forward to seeing you in 2020!
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