10 Ways To De-Stress Without Taking Time Off – Part II

Your capacity to handle stress will make or break you as a human being. It will affect your weight, your habits, your thoughts, your family, your social life, your eating, your career, your goals and accomplishments… everything. This is Part II. To read part I, click here.

Stress kills, literally.

  • Stress increases cortisol, which shuts off fat burning, increases fat around the middle, disregulates hormones, and brings everything to a boiling point when it becomes chronic. 
  • Stress impacts sleep, our powerhouse for preventing cancer, rejuvenating and repairing our mind, body, and soul
  • Stress increases blood pressure, the number one predictor of mortality rates (i.e., death rate) around the world.
  • Stress ages us.

I could go on and on.

What I didn’t realize when I began uncovering my own solution to being everywhere at once was that stress is a state of mind. How we perceive our agenda’s, to-do lists, commitments, and responsibilities equals our stress load, not the amount on our plate itself. If we don’t “think” a + b + c + d + e is stressful, well, our bodies don’t either and respond accordingly.

This is how people walk across beds of coal and beds of nails. They control their mind, which controls their response.

Just five short years ago, I was a basket case. I could handle ONE thing and one thing only at a time. Either school or church work. Socializing or work. Responsibilities or play. Just one, no more, and when I tried I fell apart.

So I assumed that’s how I would have to run my life. Only doing one single thing at a time and nothing else.

While this is a great way to write a book or finish a project, it doesn’t fit with my life now, so I began asking the question, “Can I increase my ability to juggle several things at once? If so, how? Who has done this and what are their strategies?”

Over the past four months, I have succeeded in implementing a new way of life where I do do everything, have my cake, and eat it too. I’ve learned that we all have the ability to increase our capacity for stress, to change our perception, and influence our lives from the outside in and the inside out.

Last week, we dug into three of our 10 ways – Contrast Showers, Juicy Sex, and Peaceful Beating. I’ve enjoyed reading your comments on the showers. And I hope some of you have checked out the resource on Juicy Sex, even if you don’t leave a Facebook comment, lol!

10 Ways to De-Stress Without Taking Time Off

  1. Contrast Showers
  2. Juicy Sex
  3. Peaceful Beating
  4. Optimized Nutrition
  5. Movement
  6. Cloning Yourself
  7. Butterfly Nights
  8. Grateful Drinking
  9. Breathing
  10. Optimized Sleeping

This week, we’ll dig into the next 3 – Optimized Nutrition, Movement, and Cloning Yourself. Mastering these three ways and taking some tips from folks in wealth, we can increase our stress capacity, and thrive in all of our circumstances.

4. Optimized Nutrition

DSC_0018Eating well is arguably most important when you’re extremely busy. This is because stress does tax our bodies – depleting B vitamins and minerals – so we need a constant source of raw materials to thrive. If you don’t want to lose your sex drive, gain a puffy midsection, and get fatigued when you need to handle more in life, optimizing your nutrition is KEY.

Optimizing nutrition for stress means eating enough, removing “choice,” and planning your plate differently than for goals like fat loss.

First, you’ve got to eat enough. People commonly eat less when extremely busy, grabbing food on the go, craving carbs, and choosing poor quality choices to boot. Low fat, low calorie won’t cut it to thrive during stress. I recommend aiming for 2,000-2,500 Calories of nutrient dense real food.

Focusing on high quality fats – like MCT Oil, Grassfed Butter & Ghee, avocados, raw nuts & seeds, wild fatty fish, and even dark chocolate – will bring the one-two punch of nutrients and energy without eating seven plates of food. So eating takes less time too. ***Note: if you have had your gallbladder removed, don’t go crazy with fat, but don’t be afraid to add a bit (~1-2 Tbsp.) to every meal. Focusing on MCT and Coconut Oil bypasses the need for the gallbladder anyway and may be digested easier.

bulletproofcoffee

Bulletproof Coffee

Some folks like to intermittent fast, not eating for 12-24 hours at a time OR drinking only Bulletproof Coffee, a mixture of coffee and high quality fats, and this is great, BUT it’s important to make up for it when you do eat. For example, I usually drink Bulletproof Coffee for breakfast (~450 calories), but when I do eat lunch, I eat until I’m full – 1-2 chicken breasts/hamburger patties/etc. + sweet potato with 2 Tbsp. butter + avocado/broccoli/etc. Make sense? So my lunch or dinner may be 800-1000 calories because my body needs the energy to handle the excess load. Also, I don’t gain weight or get puffier, if you’re wondering.

Next, remove choice from your life. It’s easy to eat well when you only keep nutritious food in the house/office. It’s easy because you’ve removed the choice and right now, honey, you don’t have the willpower to say ‘no.’ Join the club. Thriving isn’t about developing more willpower, but removing the choice of nutrient poor foods.

We crave carbohydrates under stress because elevated cortisol depletes all of our energy stores and our body knows carbs are a quick source. But we, being the knowledgeable women we are, know this in advance, so we’ve removed unhealthy sources of carbs from our house/desk  to begin with AND we eat enough at meals so we are not hungry in between.

Our fuel, nutrition, is the fundamental way our bodies recharge. Like sleep and sunshine, our bodies don’t function well without it. You wouldn’t put sugar in your gas tank and expect your car to take you anywhere, yet we put junk in our bodies all the time and think it’s “normal” to feel stressed, tired, and worn out. This isn’t fair to you, your family, or your career. 

If you know what to do, but don’t do it and wish you did, it’s time we worked together! I specialize in helping women get control of their lives by implementing healthy lifestyles that stick. Let’s schedule a strategy call to talk about how we may help each other.

 

5. Movement

squattingMovement matters. For endorphins, for healthy weight management, for increasing lean body mass (i.e., your metabolism), for regulating digestion.

Movement is also key to increasing stress capacity because – if you’re using exercise appropriately – you are challenging yourself and expanding your potential in the process.

The confidence and success I experience in the gym translates to every arena in life. If I tackle one more set of heavy squats, I know I can handle this 14 hour day. If I achieved one more pull-up when I didn’t think I could, this meeting isn’t a big deal.

I don’t care what you do, but do it! Walk, run, bike, swim, Zumba, yoga, pilates, LIFT, breathe correctly. The only stipulation is that you must continually stretch yourself.

If you walked 30 minutes 3x last week and that was a stretch for you, try walking 30 minutes at a faster pace this week. If you lift, your program should continually move you forward. If you do yoga, focus on doing each pose correctly and feeling each muscle and squeezing the appropriate ones.

Every little bit of stretch adds up to BIG results when it comes to increasing our stress capacity! 🙂

I cannot wait to hear what you are doing! If you’re stumped on where to start, download my free one month Bodyweight Blast exercise program to get you exercised and out in about 45 minutes. If you don’t have time for the whole thing, do one superset at each break.

 

6. Clone Yourself

The biggest lesson I’ve learned from truly wealthy people is that they know they cannot do everything themselves… and they don’t try either. Instead, they outsource the fringe things and focus on what’s truly important – either money generating activities or family/volunteering activities. The rest of their life is structured on autopilot, and this can be a very good thing.

Don’t have time to clean? Don’t do it. Hire someone and create a job. 

Don’t have time to cook? HIRE SOMEONE. This isn’t frivolous, but smart. How much do you spend eating out, eating crap, feeling sick, tired, and miserable, buying diet books, wrinkle-removing cream, cellulite lotion, etc., etc.? For $15-20/hr, hire someone to come in, grocery shop, food prep, and cook for the week. For around $50 a week, voila, healthy living made simple.

Trouble managing your finances, household activities, kid schedule, etc.? Hire someone. It’s less than you think and pays off more than you can currently imagine.

Send the shirts to the cleaners, hire a weekly lawn care service, get a babysitter/au pair/mother’s helper, and STOP PLAYING THE HERO. How’s it working out for you anyway?

Cloning yourself is all about outsourcing the negligibles and prioritizing the true priorities – your family and goals. This is probably the easiest way to de-stress without taking time off because there is instantly less on your plate! A great resource is Care.com.

 

 

I hope these next three ways to de-stress without taking time off have sparked an idea as to how you can re-think some areas in your life to simplify and thrive stress or no stress. I currently work 55+ hours per week, train at the gym 6.5 hours a week (for my specific goal), spend ~10 hours a week in a car, and still spend time with my hubby, get quality sleep, read a book a week, and eat real food… without gaining weight.

This would have never been possible a year ago, if not for these strategies and learning that stress is a state of mind. I no longer see my schedule as stressful and I make small changes that increase my capacity weekly.

If this article sparked an idea for you, please leave a thoughtful comment below sharing it AND use the sharing buttons to spread the word that we can achieve our dreams without burning out in the process! 

 

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Gerilyn Burnett liberates women from the downward spiral of ever-increasing responsibility and stress without self-care to experience more ENERGY, more VITALITY, and a fitter body permanently! She trains women (& some awesome men) all over the world how to eat, move, and live for their best mind, body, and life! Her own journey from miserable, fat, stuck, and tired to fit, confident, vibrant, and delicious make her uniquely suited for this mission! She has a knack for creating contagious healthy experiences and providing the needed support and accountability that turn diets into lifestyles and dreams into realities. Get started on your journey to vibrant vitality for life here

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