I have heard Doctor’s claim that stress is the cause of all illnesses, it opened my eyes to the damage that stress can do. Stress shortens lives, leaves days jumbled with a lack of direction, it leads to depression and anxiety…nothing good comes from being stressed out.
But how do we cope with it? How do we get past it? How do we keep it from even showing up in the first place? Below we will give examples of how to deal with it, including links to people much more qualified at the subject than us to help. I personally have dealt with stress in numerous different stages of life and have been pretty active in finding solutions to cope, get past and stay away from it altogether.
Coping with Stress
- Physical Activity – I have implemented “100 Days of Movement” into my schedule. For 100 days, I moved. That was a run, walk, gym workout, at-home workout, pacing my home while responding to e-mails…anything to get my body moving. What that did was create a habit of moving in my life.
- Meditation – Stillness, self-reflection, and quiet. It is my next “100 days challenge” to enforce this habit. Nothing has worked better for me than this, it helps my mind get back on track and reminds me of my why.
- Reading or listening to music – Creating playlists with relaxing music or positive lyrics. Negative or angry lyrics is not going to get you out of the funk.
- Massage/Mani/Pedi – This falls under self-care, do something to treat yourself, it doesn’t even have to cost anything. Going to a beach with your favourite book or inviting a friend over for a drink works too.
- Comedy – Listening to a comedy special or a funny podcast while I work is a great stress reliever for me.
- Counselor/Accountability – I do both. I see a counselor to deal with deeper issues and have accountability partners for certain areas in my life.
Negative Coping Habits
Below are things to stay away from, it can start small but spiral quickly. Creating the habits above will help you overcome challenges quicker, keep your weight down, help you sleep better and cultivate a better mindset. The habits below will do the opposite:
- Stress Eating – Last night I had a giant plate of nachos at 8:30pm, it was delicious. But, I feel terrible today, this wasn’t as much stress eating as it was a terrible decision. I have stress ate or drank in the past, for me, it was a beer at night. It messed with sleep and I started gaining weight.
- Over Spending – Blowing your budget may feel good at the moment to purchase something you really want, but regret sinks in very quickly afterward.
- TV Binging – Has Netflix ever asked you “are you still watching?” My go-to coping habit is binge-watching TV, it would never solve a problem or ever make me feel better. I would go back to work into the problem without skipping a beat, I had to find a new way to deal with my stress which was facing the problem head-on. Once I responded to the problem in a productive way, I could take a quick break and feel refreshed coming back to work.
- Working Harder – If you are stressed, take a break. I go away for 40 hours with my “Think Week” if it is getting really bad or stop to exercise. Both help me focus, gain purpose and bring vision back. However, sometimes the answer is getting tasks off your plate.
The key to overcoming negative mindsets and habits is self-awareness. Be real with yourself and track why you are doing what you are doing. Chris & Heidi Powell (fitness experts) were on Ed Mylett’s podcast a few months ago talking about a client who gained back a couple of hundred pounds he had recently lost.
It all traced back to a decision he made in a fast-food restaurant. He chose coke over diet coke, it was breaking a promise he had made to himself to never have regular soda again. From there he spiraled, making poor decision after poor decision which led to a massive weight gain.
Every action we take can be traced back to the root cause. If you are not self-aware and willing, to be honest with yourself, you will continue to make poor decisions.
It has taken me a long time to find what works for me to cope with stress, but it changes every season. Accountability will work until it doesn’t, then I will have to create a different plan through trial and error. My counselor will work, until he doesn’t, then I will have to find a new one for my new season. Nothing in life is a “one size fits all.” Try new things and comment below to help others with what has worked for you.
If there is anything I have learned in my life, it is that all challenges make you better if you let them. They guide you to the right place, make you stronger and wiser. No one has it all figured out but there are proper habits you can cultivate to bring you to the right place. Below we have a few links to help you overcome stress, create better habits and even offload some tasks on your plate.
Many of our clients come to us because they are stressed out. They don’t have time for family, exercise or to work on their favourite parts of their business. It starts out with an e-mail inbox that has tons of unread messages, client follow-ups slipping through the cracks or wasting hours a week bouncing between tasks. If that is leading to your stress, let us help, it is why VEA exists. Start with a couple of hours a week and scale it as you need.
If you feel overwhelmed, please reach out to a professional. The first step is realizing you need it, the second is humility to accept it and the third is reaching out. You are three steps away from changing your life.
– Derek Burbidge, Manager of Sales & Marketing