Today I thought I'd share of my best tips and tricks that I use to stay on track when I'm stressed out.
I'm sharing some of my top tips for how to stay on track when you're stressed out. It's so easy to let a healthy lifestyle go out the window when you have a lot on your plate, but that doesn't have to be the case. I find that if I put a bit of forethought and effort into it, I can stay on track and make healthy decisions for myself. I ultimately know that I feel my best when I'm taking care of myself, so it's definitely worth it.
Plan, plan, plan!
At the beginning of every week (typically Sundays for me) I like to take 15 or 20 minutes and sit down with my day planner and look at the week ahead. I'll figure out which days will be my busiest ones and make sure that I have meals ready to go so I don't have to worry about what I'll be eating on those days. I'll schedule errands on days when I have more time.
Making sure that I've scheduled in my workouts and time to make meals is essential if I'm going to be making healthy decisions. Somehow having it written down feels more official and I'm much more likely to get that early morning workout done. If I know that dinner on Wednesday night will also be my lunches on Thursday and Friday, then I have more incentive to make that recipe rather than be lazy and order takeout or delivery.
I'm a list person as well, so I'll write down everything that I want to get done that week. As I accomplish those things I'll cross them off the list (which feels so good and gives me the motivation to get even more done). Scheduling when I'll get things done has also been a huge one for me. I'm much more likely to write that blog post if I have it scheduled for Tuesday evening.
As far as what I use to plan, I've been living my Erin Condren planner (affiliate link). That's typically where I'll write down everything that I need to get done as well as any appointments or meetings that I have. I also like to put various events in my Google Calendar on my phone. That way if I'm out and about without my day planner I have a better idea of what days and times will work when it comes to getting together with other people.
Really look at your priorities.
I was definitely one of those people who thought that I could get more done in a day than I actually could. It was so easy for me to schedule 5 things to do in a two hour chunk of time, and only get 2 or 3 done. I think a big art of doing that was that I wanted to get everything done, instead of just focusing on my top priorities.
As much as I want to get those less important things accomplished as well as the big, important tasks, I know that it's just not possible with only 24 hours in a day. As a result I've had to really look at my to do lists and determine what the most important things are. If I'm more productive than I anticipate, I can always get a few of those less important things done, but I always try to get those big, priority tasks done first and foremost.
For example, I can put off vacuuming for a day or two, but it's important for me to get in that cardio workout today. As a result, I will make that workout a priority over the vacuuming. I know it'll be there waiting for me when I have a few extra minutes, but the workout has to happen or else missing it will throw off my training plan.
Make your healthy lifestyle a priority.
Similar to the last point, make your workouts and healthy eating a priority. Being active will help to deal with stress. Who doesn't love a sweaty cardio session when you're faced with a tough situation? I always feel better after a trip to the gym.
In addition, I know that I feel better when I fuel my body with healthy foods. While it might be tempting to eat out when I don't want to cook because I have other things on my mind, I know that I'll end up feeling lethargic and like I'm dragging afterwards. I would rather take the time to make myself something healthy to eat than save a bit of time and feel terrible later.
Another thing that it's easy for me to skip out on when I'm stressed out is sleep. It's tempting to stay up late and then get up early the next day to get things done. But I know that I'll be able to function better and be more productive if I give my body the rest that it needs at night.
Talk it out and journal.
I've found that when I'm feeling stressed out it helps to get everything that's swirling around in my head out. Whether that's talking to a therapist, a good friend, or simply writing in my journal, it feels better to process those thoughts. Most of the time I don't even want advice from whoever I'm talking to. It's simply the act of talking or writing and getting it out of my system that helps. Of course my friends are willing to give me some helpful advice if that's what I'm looking for too.
I feel that I can then use that mental energy for something productive rather than just letting it stress me out more. Sometimes writing down what ever it is that I'm worried about will make me realize that it's not as big of a deal as I thought it was. Will it matter in a month? A year? Probably not. Putting things into perspective is always helpful for me.
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