When stress makes itself a priority…

I’ve learned you can either let it get the best of you or acknowledge it and find ways to combat it.  This past week for me has been particularly stressful.  Nothing more than typical life stresses really…work has been crazy, a loved one had to have unexpected surgery (he’s totally fine now, it just was a bit of a surprise) and after traveling last weekend I seemed to pick up a bit of a bug/virus that has completely zapped my energy.  These are common stresses we all go through every once in a while but together they have added up to be a a little bit of a challenge to me this week.

Lets face it, every week isn’t going to be smooth sailing.  Things happen, and in my experience when it rains it tends to pour.  The law of 3 seems to be accurate more often than not. That is, when events happen, both good and bad, they tend to happen 3 at a time.  This past week for me it just seemed to be one thing after another.  Like I have mentioned in previous posts, I try very hard to make this blog a positive space and keep the negativity to a minimum but I also want to speak authentically and stay true to my actual life experiences.  Stress is a life experience I am pretty sure we can all relate to!  I also wanted to write about this topic because while being under a higher level of stress is not a particularly pleasant or positive time in ones life, I have found myself handling it much differently than I have in the past and that has been extremely positive and encouraging for me!

We all usually encounter stress at some point during the day.  Whether it is sitting in a traffic jam, getting a large project dumped on our laps or dealing with kids, family, or friend issues.  Sometimes however, multiple events occur all at once and we find ourselves under more stress than just the every day run of the mill amount.  For me, all the stresses that I mentioned above added up this week and I found myself feeling really run down and completely out of sorts.   I began to lose my appetite, started having trouble concentrating at work, losing my motivation to workout, and even began finding myself on the verge of tears at even the slightest inconvenience.  This is in stark contrast the past several months when I have been feeling better and more motivated than I have felt in years.  My MO in the past when I found myself in times of unusually high stress would have been to just wallow in the unpleasantness for as long as I had to usually just feeling sorry for myself.  I typically wouldn’t have made much effort to try to turn things around, simply just accepting the victim role instead of trying to be proactive and help myself.  I think this was the case because up until very recently I didn’t value or prioritize my physical, emotional or mental well being nearly enough as I should have or do now!  What ended up usually happening would be somewhat of a nasty cycle that typically looked like this:  I would have trouble sleeping, lose my appetite, my energy levels would plummet,  I would therefore stop working out which only compounded the mental and physical side effects and usually I would end up getting sick and feeling even more sorry for myself!  Pretty dumb, right?!

Ok ready for the positive part of this story? 🙂  Since starting on this health and wellness journey I have found I am so much more in tune with and in turn protective of my physical and mental happiness. As soon as I realized how much the stress was taking a toll on my overall well-being I immediately knew I had to get a handle on it.   I am so in love with this new lifestyle of mine that when I even got the slightest hint a few days back that my energy levels were dropping and my desire to workout was being effected I said “Oh, heck no!” and just simply made a choice to change my attitude.  While there maybe wasn’t a quick solution to all the things going on in my life I knew the one thing I could do to combat the negative side effects was change my outlook about all of it.  That and I made sure I did not miss even one daily workout.  Even when I was exhausted and feeling run down after an especially long day at work I made it a priority to get at least 30 minutes of exercise in.  No surprise at all, as soon as I was finished I had a big smile on my face and felt much more able to handle what was being thrown at me. It really is amazing was a little exercise can do!

When it comes down to it, you really have two choice in situations where stress is forcing you to stop and take notice of its presence….take a “poor me” approach and let it get the best of you or you take the power back and do what you can to positively work through it.  Stress happens y’all.  Sometimes it’s worse than others.  This time around I seriously just told myself this too shall pass, don’t let it derail all the hard work you have been putting in.  I know work will settle down.  My loved one is on the mend and on the road to a a full recovery and all the other little annoyances that have added up over the past few weeks are just that, LITTLE annoyances.  I have so much to be thankful and grateful for even with all this other stuff going on and that is something that I made a conscious effort to focus on!  This journey to becoming my best self continues to surprise me in the most positive ways!  Situations where I found myself overly stressed in the past would have lasted much longer and had a much more negative impact on my life.  My desire to stay on track, keep making positive progress and do the right thing by my mind and body was definitely tested and I am so happy to report that positivity won out!

Beth – 1, Stress – 0!

Have a great day everyone!

xoxoxo,

Beth

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