‘Tis the season to de-stress

“I love the holidays, but this year I feel really stressed,” Diana said as we started our coaching session.

Diana came to life coaching to help herself get in shape. During our time together we had created a vision of what she wanted in this area of her life and brainstormed action plans to help her to reach her goals.

“The problem is that when I’m stressed, it’s easy to slip into old habits. Lately, I’ve been eating a lot of junk and can’t find time to work out. I’m afraid all of my months of hard work will be negated during the holidays because I’m so stressed out,” she said.

“What specifically is causing your stress?” I asked.

“There are too many things that need to be done and not enough time,” Diana said. “I don’t sleep well because I wake up thinking of things I need to do. Unfortunately, I’m not as productive when I’m tired, and I feel irritable and fatigued. It seems like this holiday season I have a To Do list dancing around my head instead of sugar plums,” she said.

“It sounds like you have a lot on your mind and are struggling with your workouts, getting good sleep and your eating plan,” I said. “What strategies help you to relieve stress?”

“Working out always helps my stress levels,” she said. “But that’s fallen off of the To Do list, which just makes things worse.”

“It sounds like a chicken-and-egg scenario,” I said. “The less you work out, the more you stress. The more you stress, the less you work out.”

“I think it’s time for me to take control of this chicken-and-egg mess,” Diana said. “When I am committed to my workout routine, I have more energy. I need to get back on track.”

“What will that look like?” I asked.

“In my calendar I’ll schedule times to work out,” she said. “If it’s in my calendar, it usually happens.”

“What about getting better sleep?” I asked.

“I always sleep better when I’m working out regularly,” Diana said. “It might also help to write down my To Do list before bed. Once I get this stuff out of my head and onto paper, I feel better knowing that I won’t forget. I’ll also put the list next to my bed. If I wake up thinking of something that needs to be done, I’ll add it to the list.”

“What about your eating?” I asked.

“When I am working out consistently, it’s much easier to stay on track with my eating,” Diana answered. “By focusing on my workouts, I can kill two birds with one stone.”

“It sounds like you have some great strategies to lower your stress levels,” I said.

“I feel better already just coming up with an action plan,” Diana said.

Coaching challenge: Most times, when we feel stressed we KNOW how to relieve the stress, but don’t take the time to think about how to best handle it.

The next time you feel your stress levels rising, think of at least one strategy that will help you move away from stress, and then implement it.

Here are some suggestions: Get organized and prepared; make time for fun and relaxation; eat healthy foods and exercise; get plenty of rest; have healthy supportive people around you; create a budget and stick to it; find humor in life.


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