In times of high stress, when we are feeling overwhelmed or busy, it is easy to let the things that keep us happy, health and full of energy slip down the priority list. Yet, generally these small daily and weekly routines are what help us cope through these periods.
How do we help ourselves maintain these health habits in stressful or busy times?
1. Make it Easy
Finding the motivation to exercise can be a challenge, let along when your busy, tired or stressed.
We know that exercise is great for our health. It helps us manage stress and anxiety. It can even have an immediate impact on our sleep quality and how often we wake up.
However often the busier we get, the quick it drops off the to do list.
Making it as easy as possible to perform exercise can help you find the motivation to keep going.
Simple Steps from a Brisbane Health Coach
2. Practice Gratitude
When we are feeling stressed or uncertain, it is very easy to focus on all the things that are not going our way. So, what can we do to support a positive mindset through stressful or busy periods? One of the things we can do is practice gratitude.
Research showed that practicing daily gratitude had the following affects:
Brene Brown, is a well-known researcher in leadership, wholehearted living and vulnerability. Throughout her research she identified that the most effective way to cultivate joy in our lives is to practice gratitude. She states that ‘the key word here is practice. It's not just about feeling grateful’, it's about developing an observable practice. So often we think that joy makes us grateful, when in reality it's gratitude that brings joy.’
Practicing gratitude doesn’t have to be a time-consuming task. It can be as simple as each morning, when you wake up or get to work writing three things from the last 24hours for which you are grateful.
3. Stay Connected
Over periods of high stress, exhaustion and/or overwhelm, it is common to feel like you want to withdraw from those who are closest to you.
However, there is a growing body of research around the importance of social connection to health, happiness and wellbeing.
It is crucial to stay connected even when you are busy or stressed. This can be as simple as calling a friend to have a chat or meeting up for a walk.
Our health coach and exercise physiologist, Michael Lawler says - plan something in your diary during the week, to make sure you keep up the routine of connecting with family and friends.
4. Prioritise Sleep
Sleep can be such a difficult one to manage over a stressful period. So, how do we control the controllable and give ourselves the best chance of getting quality sleep.
Research shows that sleep helps our mood, helps us cope in stressful periods, can increase hormones that help us to feel full, which can help with maintaining healthy eating habits and boost our immune system.
Strategies to improve sleep:
If you are struggling to build or maintain health habits, working with a health coach can help identify strategies and habits to help you cope and stay on track in busy or stressful periods. They help you identify road blocks and strategies to get you back on the wagon - because everyone knows we are bound to slip off eventually!
Dietitian and Exercise Physiologist is our Brisbane health coach. He is excellent, with 20 years of experience. His passion is rather than putting you on a highly restrictive 'diet', helping you to gradually shift your habits and routines to choose healthier options.
Interesting Follow Up Reading
If you would like to read up on other healthy habits such as the neuroscience of gratitude and the power of connectedness, click on the following articles. These are some of our favourites.