Ten Tips to Manage Stress

The Reality…
Stress hits us from many different directions in today’s world.  And some of our sources of stress are delivered to us non-stop via the Internet.  According to a recent study, American adults spend more than 11 hours per day watching, reading, listening to or simply interacting with media.  It’s no wonder we are more stressed than ever before.  
Aside from what’s going on “out there” that we read about online and otherwise, we have our own personal stressors.  Work-related stress is a major source of personal stress.  A recent Forbes article reported the following survey results for workplace trends in 2019:
  • 76% of respondents said workplace stress “had a negative impact on their personal relationships”
  • 66% have lost sleep due to work-related stress
  • 16% have quit jobs because stress became too overwhelming.
Add additional personal stressors such as relationship conflict and money challenges to the mix, and it’s no wonder so many people are suffering.  According to the Global Organization for Stress, 75% of adults reported experiencing moderate to high levels of stress in month prior to the survey and nearly half reported that their stress has increased in the past year.
Sadly, we don’t even need to see the statistics, watch the news or go online to know stress is on the rise.  We feel it in our own bodies.  In fact, stress may be one of the primary reasons we find ourselves living in an overweight body, and maybe even trying to medicate against health challenges such as high blood pressure. 
The Challenge…
If you allow stress to go unchecked, your mind and body may experience some undesirable side effects, such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, premature aging, mood disorders, high blood pressure and a weakened immune system.  Stress can also lend itself to poor dietary choices, which contribute to unhealthy weight gain and obesity.
How do you cope with your stress?  Do you do anything proactive to manage it?  Or do you give it free reign to lessen the quality of your life and your health?  Does stress impact your relationships?  Does stress keep you up at night?  Have you wanted to your quit your job because you found it too stressful?  Can you look in the mirror and see it on your face?
The Solution…
The truth is that if you don’t manage stress, it will manage you.  And it will seriously impact the quality of your life, your health, and your efforts at weight loss.  Below are ten tips to reduce your level of stress.  Each one will be explored in more detail in upcoming blogs because I consider stress management to be key to maintaining a healthy body, and a happy life.  I recommend you incorporate some sort of stress relief into each day to counter balance the inevitability of stressful situations that will present themselves in your life.  A mindful daily practice of stress management will help avoid the accumulation of stress in your mind and body, which can lead you to chronic stress and put you at risk for significant health problems.  Try some of these and see which ones work for you.
  1. Meditation
  2. Yoga
  3. Exercise 
  4. Spend time in nature
  5. Plan your week in advance
  6. Work on improving your organization skills
  7.  Learn to say NO to too many commitments
  8. Optimize your sleeping environment for a good night’s sleep
  9. Examine how you spend your time and incorporate more life balance
  10. Examine, and work on, your thoughts about your life circumstance and stressors
The Invitation….
To get started on a deeper dive into stress management and permanent weight loss, click on the calendar below to schedule a FREE mini-session with me.  What do you have to lose but some weight??  


Could Salsa be the Secret Sauce to your Weight Loss?

The Reality…
Weight loss results are impacted by three factors:  how you manage your stress levels, your food and drink intake, and your level of exercise.  Regular exercise not only helps you burn calories for weight loss, but it also reduces stress, which is an added benefit since increased stress levels result in the production of cortisol and can wreak havoc with your weight loss.
The Challenge…
Some people LOVE to exercise, and those people usually aren’t the ones concerned with losing weight.  People committed to regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle have already found the exercise or exercises that work for them and keep them healthy and fit, and hopefully its exercise that they love.  If you don’t LOVE to exercise and are still looking for the perfect exercise for you that will keep you interested and burning calories, keep reading. 
The Solution…
For me, the key to regular exercise was finding an exercise I loved and wanted to do again and again.   Salsa turned out to be the “secret sauce” of my weight loss formula.  Learning to salsa dance was something I had planned to do for a very long time, but had only considered it as a potential hobby that I would finally get to when I found the extra time, at some undefined point in the future.  When I first signed up for lessons, I didn’t do it for weight loss, even though I still needed to lose weight at the time.  Not only did I end up loving everything about salsa, but it also ended up being a key part of maintaining a healthy body weight since I learned to love the movement of my body.  Salsa is now a regular part of my weekly exercise routine, as I have a standing appointment for a private lesson every Tuesday night at 6:30.  And it’s almost like therapy.  I have to completely surrender to it, and give my control over to my lead.  My salsa instructor can easily tell what kind of day I have had by the way I hold my body, especially my shoulders and hands.  I am more in tune with my body than ever before, and I have a greater love and appreciation for my body and I want to take care of it more than ever before.  My body is now also a vehicle for creative expression and not a tensed up ball of stress!
I have to admit that I don’t always feel like going after a long day of work, but I ALWAYS go and I am ALWAYS am glad I did.  Since I love it so much, it’s easy to remind myself how I will feel when the music starts and my body starts moving, so I never miss it, even when I’m feeling tired after work.  I always feel like I’m putting my heart and soul into it, and I leave the dance studio physically fatigued but also somehow feeling more energetic and joyful at the same time.  What more could you ask for from exercise??  This never, ever happened to me when I was trying to motivate myself to go run on the treadmill after a long day at work, which was one of the reasons it was always so easy for me to find an excuse to skip it.
I strongly recommend you incorporate dance classes into your exercise protocol.  Dance is not only great for burning calories, but also is a great creative release that you likely won’t get from other forms of exercise such as running outdoors or using a treadmill or elliptical machine.  Dance also allows you to break free from the daily routine of work and other personal responsibilities in a way that just seems to feel different than other forms of exercise, or at least that was the case for me. 
Salsa (or some other kind of dance class) may not be for you, but the key is to find something that keeps you coming back again and again.  Below are a few ideas for you to consider so you can find your “salsa” solution to loving and staying committed to exercise: 

  • If you’re a dog lover, take your best friend out for a walk/run. 
  • Exercising for a cause, such as Team in Training through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, which incorporates fundraising while you train for running, cycling, triathlon and hiking events. For additional information, visit https://www.teamintraining.org/ 
  • Team sports or enlisting a workout partner– transform your exercise time into social time
The Invitation….
To get started on a deeper dive into permanent weight loss, click on the calendar below to schedule a FREE mini-session with me.  What do you have to lose but some weight??