There are a lot of stressors in my life right now, and my body is rebelling against it. Not only am I planning a wedding which is approaching far too quickly, but I am also planning a month-long honeymoon to continent we’ve never been. On top of that, I have been evaluating a huge risk with my career, which could either be a great opportunity or a foolish decision. My 9-5 job is being restructured, I am going on vacation this upcoming weekend (which I always find more stressful than relaxing) and I’ve had house guests for the past two weeks.
My body is rejecting all of this stress and this change. My hair has been dry, my skin is acting up and I can’t get a good night’s sleep if my life depended on it (and trust me, it’s starting to feel like my life does depend on it). My appetite has been out of control, causing me to turn to comfort foods instead of the good stuff.
I’ve noticed that the things that I (or we, as a general population) do when we get busy or stressed out are the things that we should avoid doing, and the things that we cut out to compensate for the extra demands are necessary for our emotional and physical well being.
The times in your life that you have a lot of stress is the time that your body needs the most nutrition. Your immune system tanks when you are experiencing stress and relies on the vitamins and minerals that you are taking in through your diet to fight off bugs and pests.
The funny thing is, stress tends to cause cravings for comfort food and junk. Who would rather eat a salad than a burger when they are stressed out?
Comfort food tends to be low in any sort of nutrition, and high in fat and sodium. This stresses our bodies out, when you need it to be healthy the most.
Stress often comes from business. Who hasn’t felt completely overwhelmed and stressed out when they have a billion things on the go? It’s difficult to catch up when you are that busy and the effect can be stress.
While it sounds counterintuitive, getting away from everything on the “must do” list and relaxing for a little while is very important to keep yourself from going over the edge.
We tend to avoid relaxation and breaks when we are stressed out, because we want to get everything done, but that won’t serve you well.
The other day I was furiously working on something for my blog, hoping to get it done at a decent hour because guests were coming the following evening. My fiancé pointed out the time and told me I should be getting to bed (considering I had to work the next day), to which I realized that he was right.
The nights previous to this, to get everything done, I had been staying up later and later. This caused me to be even more stressed out the next day due to lack of sleep and general crankiness. Furthermore, my performance at work suffered because I was functioning on far less sleep, therefore making more errors. One morning, I even sent a confidential email to the person the email was about, instead of the intended recipient – woops!
Sleep repairs the damage that the days do to our bodies, minds, and emotions. You need the most sleep when you are busy or have stress in your life, not the least.
I noticed that these are the things that we need the most when we are under a lot of pressure and stress, but the things that we are quickest to cut out of our lives. We’d be better equipped to handle the stressors that come our way in a calm and, yes, timely fashion if we had these things as a foundation.
What do you cut out when you are stressed out?