We all experience stress from time to time, it tends to be something that fluctuates.
There is an argument for claiming that some stress has an upside.
When we push ourselves outside of our comfort zone – into stress – and overcome it then we become stronger.
There is a great book by Kelly McGonigal called The Upside Of Stress and I would recommend checking it out.
There is also a Ted Talk that can be found here:
Sometimes, however, stress can become chronic.
We are living in a particularly stressful time at the moment and many of us are facing difficulties.
We may be furloughed and trying to manage on less income, we may have lost our income altogether.
A lot of us will be trying to juggle working with home-schooling children.
Then there is the worry of whether it is safe to allow our children to return to school.
Many people feel overwhelmed from time to time and for some this can start to feel like a permanent state
Causing anxiety and stress.
We can also over-stress our bodies by over training and not taking enough time to recover.
Chronic stress can cause us all sorts of problems, including messing up our efforts to improve our body composition.
It causes raised cortisol levels that affect our sleep, our eating habits and our overall wellbeing.
Even if we think we are getting enough sleep, the quality of that sleep is often badly affected.
We spend the night tossing and turning instead of getting restful sleep.
If we are pushing ourselves too hard then we lower our immunity levels, our bodies break down muscle and hang on to fat!
The opposite of what we are trying to achieve!
When it comes to over training and under recovering, this can become a vicious circle.
We train more to try and lose fat but we become over fatigued
We cut calories some more because we are not seeing results and we stress our systems further.
At this point we actually need to eat more and train less, take more rest days
Give ourselves the right time to recover.
With stress brought about by anxiety then I would recommend finding activities that you enjoy
Activities that can help distract you from the anxiety.
Avoid self medicating with food
This is tempting and often as children we are given some sweeties to help us feel better
But in this situation it makes us feel worse in the long run.
Likewise, avoid using alcohol for the same reason.
This can become a dangerous cycle.
Remember the things you enjoy doing and do more of them.
Play games, chat with friends, go for a walk, do a jigsaw – it’s amazing how completely engrossed in a jigsaw you can get!
Try meditation, the Headspace app is very good.
Talk, talk and talk some more.
The NHS Every Mind Matters site is a great resource as well –