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Healthy Ways To Manage Stress

I know you want to press the reset button and cut stress out of your life. Honestly, as a coach, I wish I could wave a magic wand for you and take it all away. Instead, I can give you stress management tools to find healthier ways to unwind instead of turning to food and drink to self soothe.


If you don't find healthy ways to deal with stress you may find yourself mindlessly snacking, binge-watching your favourite series or abusing substances including alcohol. These avoidant behaviours may provide temporary relief or a distraction from the pain or anxiety associated with stress but they can also sabotage your efforts to manage weight and provide your body with the right fuel to thrive.


Here are a few of my personal favourite tools to destress, nourish myself and reduce cortisol levels:



Reconnect With Nature


Deliberately immersing oneself in nature has been shown to decrease anxiety and have a relaxing effect on the mind. A simple walk in the park, a hike or even forest bathing are a great place to start. But don't simply show up; direct your attention to the sounds, trees, sky, and trail to stay in the moment, allowing you to connect with your present surroundings. It helps fortify your skills in mindfulness and staying in the 'now' rather than stressing over things in the past or things to come.


What's more, time in nature boosts the immune system, lowers blood pressure, and helps regulate sleep.


I book out time in my diary each week to immerse myself in nature, walk and breathe deeply. Those appointments with myself are treated with the same importance as an appointment with a doctor - nothing will make me cancel that sacred time to myself in nature!



Stronger, Together

We aren't always forthcoming with venting our stresses in fear of overloading the people we love. But social support is so powerful! Having someone to connect with, whether over text, phone, or in-person, may can really improve your ability to cope with stressful situations. A problem shared is a problem halved, as they say.


Research shows that people with a strong social network (and I'm not talking about instagram) have a lower mortality risk. In fact, one study found that people with stronger social relationships had a 50% increased likelihood of survival than those with weaker social relationships. Mind-blowing, eh?


That's why my signature Happy Athlete coaching package includes a community of supportive, likeminded individuals who both celebrate and support one another.



Hone Your Healthy Hobbies

Research shows that healthy distractions such as spending time engaged in a hobby can really help decrease chronic stress. I love this for athletes because so much physical and mental time can be spent in a 'training space' that it's hard to switch off and reconnect with what it is to simply be a human too.


When's the last time you allowed yourself a few hours to engage in a hobby? Even if you're not sure what you might enjoy, trying out new things is a fun part of the process. Whether it be gardening, painting, pottery or poetry, the value is always in the process rather than the outcome. Like time in nature, it's about being present and engaging your brain in something other than the stresses of life.



Stress Snacking

If you are prone to needlessly snack when stress levels rise, strive to keep your refrigerator stocked with healthier options that will avoid comfort eating turning into. a binge. Veggies and fruits will provide texture (crunch!), sweetness, freshness and loads of micronutrients without unwanted calories or energy slumps afterward.


I've created some really delicious, nutritious recipes but if cravings and comfort eating are a real challenge for you I'd recommend you download my Craving Crushers eBook asap.



Stress is a natural part of life, but finding strategies to cope needn't stress you out. Experiment with getting outside, connecting with friends, or discovering a satisfying hobby. You deserve it.


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