As the first semester of my Master’s degree comes to an end, it can be assumed that I have a certain level of stress that I am dealing with. Final projects, exams, choosing what to tackle next, plus my own stress not related to school such as work audits and trying to find a balance between it all. How I choose to deal with this stress is the real measure of my strength during this time. I’m not going to lie, this last week has been super tough on me, like I ate 4 chocolate truffles yesterday, tough. I told myself at the beginning of my transformation challenge that I would focus on changing bad habits, not just abiding to a “diet”. One of these bad habits being emotional eating. I choose food as a coping mechanism, and when I’m done coping I feel guilty which creates a vicious cycle. I felt myself slipping this week in order to deal with stress, and I had no problem justifying my actions. I would say things like, “you deserve it, you’ve been working so hard!”, or, “don’t worry you’ll get back on track next week” or my favorite, “f*ck it, I’m eating french fries!”. So before I downward spiraled any further I did a few things to get myself back on track and manage my stress.
- First and foremost, forgive myself, or forget the “cheats”, what’s done is done, and there is no changing the past
- Next, regroup. I read my goals that I wrote down at the beginning of my challenge to remind myself of the bigger picture
- Make a new goal! Goals need to be constantly evaluated for their effectiveness, and desired outcome. It’s okay to adjust your goals
- Ask for help. Have your support group help alleviate some of the stress so you’re not tempted to stray away from your goals
- Remind yourself of your progress thus far, you’ve come a long way to fall back so easily on bad habits
- Also tell yourself that those bad habits are part of the “old you” and that the “new you” doesn’t have a need for anything less than awesome
- Take some time to relax, even if it’s half an hour. Trust me, it will make you feel better and be more productive
- Take yourself out for a non-food treat, maybe you just need to show yourself a little self love to help ease some stress
- Make sure you’re eating healthy food and drinking plenty of water
Stress is hard on your body, and can literally make you sick, which would be counter-productive to resolving issues of stress. My suggestions are only a few for ways to relieve stress, what do you do when you’re stressed?