How to Manage Stress Healthfully

Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Hello everyone!  I was going to post this in May for Mother’s Day and completely forgot about it but I figured we can all use these reminders today too!
Today, I wanted to share some tips for managing stress!  If you are like me, then I am sure you are juggling kids, dinner, cleaning, sports, school, work, blogging, emails, etc.  The list can go on and on!!
With all that responsibility, many moms are left feeling tired and stressed out. That stress contributes to poor sleep habits, which in turn can contribute to emotional issues, job issues, and weight gain. It's a good time for moms to recognize the importance of addressing stress and learning to manage it in healthy ways.
Here is a little list of helpful reminders.  I know,  I can use this list from time to time to make me a better wife and mother and thought you would enjoy it too!
How to Manage Stress Healthfully

1) Identify the stressors in your life.
Do you know what your main stressors are?  They could be your work, family, an illness, your schedule, your husband your kids, your boss, etc.  Once you've identified the primary causes of stress, you can better help your situation.  My stressors change during different seasons of my life.  I try to find them and make changes accordingly.
2) Schedule personal relaxation time.
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I like to set a few minutes aside to relax, catch my breath, make a list, or organize myself.  I also like to try to pamper myself at home! Smile  This makes a huge difference in my stress levels.  It is little things that count, right?
3) Eat a healthy diet.
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We try to eat really healthy around here!  I buy a lot of fruits and veggies, healthy meats and cheese and lots of nuts.  It is especially important to eat right if you are stressed out because when you are stressed, your body uses more nutrients.  So choose a variety of foods and be sure to eat complex carbohydrates from whole-grain breads and cereals, beans and legumes, and fresh fruits and vegetables; lean protein from fish, chicken, soy, and nonfat or low-fat dairy products; and select heart-healthy omega-3 fats from fish, avocados, nuts, olives, and seeds. Make sure that you cut back on junk foods, sodas, alcohol, and caffeinated beverages.
4) Get some extra sleep.
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This is my worst category!  I feel like I don’t get enough.  Whenever I get busy,  sleep is the first thing that I give up.  Bad, I know!  Sleep deprivation can aid weight gain and feelings of fatigue, it also can contribute to medical expenses, sick days, and accidents.   When I am better rested,  I am way nicer and full of energy!  I need to get a better sleeping schedule.  It is best to be sleeping before 10 P.M. for a better REM cycle.
5) Boost your activity.
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Being a personal trainer,  I love this one!!  Not only will exercise help you get healthier, tone-up and loose weight it can help reduce anxiety and stress.  Plus, the better you feel, the better your chance you will eat better and the cycle goes on and on.  Try to workout at least 30 minutes a day!
6) Supplement your diet.
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I fill in my nutritional gaps with a well-balanced, high-quality multivitamin/multimineral supplement and a high-quality fish oil supplement rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA and EPA. For digestive health, I take a probiotic supplement to help maintain healthy intestinal microflora.  I take all my basics in one monthly box and love it!  I feel the difference and I can always tell if I forget to take them.
We all want to be the best moms that we can be but our job can be very stressful at times.  It is important for us to remember to take time for ourselves to be better at what we do best!  We need to remember to  prioritize wherever we can, delegate responsibilities, eat right, stay active, and take our supplements. Basically, we need to take care of ourselves! :)
What do you do to manage your stress?