stress management challenge

Stress Challenge Week 6: MANAGING STRESS WITH YOUR SOCIAL & FAMILY NETWORK

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Hi friends! We have finally made it to week 6 of this stress management program. This week is really short and simple. I basically want to call our attention to the importance of a social support system, whether that is with friends, family, you and your spouse, or at work. This may be obvious, but I have to admit that I probably tend to overlook it at times. I love being around my friends and family but, maybe it’s the only child in me, I can also often be totally content on my own (any other only children out there who can relate??). However, I know that I always feel better when I get out and about with friends and when I surround myself with a group of people (big or small, family or friends) that I care about, that encourage me, that inspire me and that I can be 100% myself around. Putting together this program and reading up on the information for this week really made it all a little clearer. We need people!

THREE THINGS TO NOTE ABOUT SOCIAL SUPPORT AND MANAGE STRESS

  1. Social support provides emotional support which is instrumental in managing stress.

  2. People with emotional support reported lower stress levels, less depression and sadness and more lifestyle changes compared to individuals without emotional support.

  3. Benefits of having a strong network of social support include both psychological and physiological benefits, such as improved ability to cope with stressful situations and lowered cardiovascular risk.

And, here’s a quick little read from the Mayo Clinic on the ability of relationships to help us manage stress.

WRAPPING IT UP!

And this wraps up our six week program. I have a couple of questions for you guys and would REALLY LOVE to hear your thoughts in the comments below to any or all of them!

  1. What is something interesting you learned during this six weeks?

  2. Did you pick up any new healthy / stress-fighting habits during this six weeks? If so, what is one that you think will be the most sustainable?

  3. Have you noticed any positive changes in your health since starting to follow along this program?

  4. What is one thing you appreciated the most about this program?

  5. What is something you still have questions about??

Thank you for following along with me these 6 weeks. I’ve loved walking through this program with you and I hope you found some peace and joy in it as well!

Oh, and even though the program is over, I’m absolutely still trying to carry out some of the practices I started during the program. For me, specifically, this includes getting in a long walk once or twice a week and taking two to ten minutes each day to write in my Fitbook Goal Getter journal that I wrote about last week. (I love this book and this is absolutely not sponsored. I just really think it’s perfect for this program!).

Take Care!

Taylor

Fitbook: A Wellness Notebook That Keeps Me Mindful & Inspired

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Starting out on this Stress Management Program, I wanted to have a place to journal and take notes. I wanted a place where I could write each day’s challenges and stay mindful of my stressors, my coping behaviors and how I felt in general. One thing about me - I am SUCH a sucker for a great notebook. I love them! You will probably never see me without one in hand or in my purse. I know, some people have moved on to their phones, but I will always stay back in the old days with a quality notebook with pretty paper and a fun pen. I look at a screen enough during the day that I’m happy to take something off the screen and onto paper. Notebooks are the stores for all of my ideas, my lists, and my “don’t forgets”.

Another random fact about me - I’ve been trained to “goal set” since before I can remember. Between my school that had specific classes devoted to teaching us study and time management strategies to figure skating and road trips where dad just happened to have cassettes on goal setting ready to pop into the cassette player (yes, that’s right, I said cassette. And, yes, this really did happen) I have to say that goal setting is ingrained in me. Some kids rebel but I just let it sink in, and now I’m all about the goals. It can be a tiny goal or a big goal, but there is usually always a goal.

Keeping all of this in mind, I set out for the perfect notebook to jot notes in for this challenge and came across Fit Book by Fitlosophy. They have a bunch of great items and notebooks, but the one I loved for this challenge in particular and ended up chosing was their “Goal Getter” notebook. Lots of the notebooks out there that I found were all about counting portions and calories and workout reps. That is not at all what I wanted. That is absolutely not what these last 5 weeks have been about. I love this notebook because it immediately starts out by having you list three things that you are thankful for. I mean, what a great way to start the day! I have been doing this as consistently as possible and it makes such a difference to start your day out with that in mind - AND it only takes like two minutes! It then has you list what you appreciate about your body followed by ways you will take care of yourself that day, noting your activity, your food and your overall mood. Then each day has free space to write whatever you want as well as a place to list what inspires you that day. I love that you can look back and note how you felt over the course of the weeks and you can find patterns in food, exercise, stress levels, mood as well as focus on your inspiration each day.

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If you are out there looking for a small notebook to help you stay mindful, thankful, inspired and healthy, I highly recommend this one! It allows you to track habits over time but also fuels inspiration and positivity each day.

Whether you have been following along in our Stress Challenge, or you are just now finding out about it, I recommend grabbing a notebook, this one or one of your favorites, and start following along. Since all of the info from each week is posted on my blog, you can even go back and do it for the first time on your own if you missed the first weeks or come back to it later when life gets stressful.

Take Care!

Taylor

A Six-Week Stress Management Program: Let's Go!

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Hi!  If you’re reading this post then I’m guessing you’re interested in taking a more focused look at this idea of “stress management”.  If you follow along with me over these next six weeks, you will be taking some time to identify your stressors, figure out what your coping patterns are and start replacing any negative patterns with healthier ones.  As we go I’ll also be sharing science based information to help you understand the science behind stress and how it affects things like sleep, appetite and health goals AND give you any tools I (and my intern) have found to help out!

I know this is a little different from my usual recipe and sports nutrition posts, but I think this topic and practice is SO IMPORTANT no matter who you are or what you are trying to accomplish (I’ve done lots of research because this topic fascinates me!).  In my last seven years in Wellness not only have I read and researched the role stress plays in our health, but I have also seen the toll that stress can have on ones food choices, weight, drive to exercise, and overall health and well being.   I think it’s so important that I have started a program at the organization where I work.  Because I feel it’s so important, I also wanted to give you guys some of the science-based information and resources that I will be sharing.  


I don’t think everyone realizes what stress can really do to us.  It affects our cardiovascular health, our ability to maintain or build lean muscle, our ability to lose or maintain weight, our overall mood and so much more.  Therefore, this topic applies to athletes, young and older alike, exercise enthusiasts, moms, dads, aunts, uncles and those working away in the corporate world.


I’m going to give you one mini challenge each week but I’ll also be sharing my information, tools and resources with you to help out.  And, I’ll be doing it along with you!  So stay tuned in to my Instagram and Blog!  

SO, What Are the Details?

WHAT: A six-week challenge devoted to being mindful of your stressors, examining how you cope and building healthier coping habits to keep you on track with your health and fitness goals.

WHEN: I’ll be sharing a new post with new info and a new mini challenge each week. And I’ll point you to some resources that may be helpful!

WHY: To learn a bit about stress and how it affects our health AND to start building healthier stress coping habits

WHO: Anyone who is motivated and ready to make a few lifestyle changes. It’s up to you to make the changes. I’m just here to give you guidance, a structured program, and some resources along the way.



Happy fueling & take care!

Taylor