If you’ve been keeping up with me over on the ‘gram, you know I’m in the thick of wedding planning. As in, 2 weeks from now from writing this, I will literally be about to walk into my wedding rehearsal. This morning I went and paid off my final balance owed, which was to my florist. IT’S GETTIN’ REAL! And it’s been soooo overwhelming at times. My dress was too short up until this past Wednesday. My linen rental actually just fell through YESTERDAY. Full confession: I’ve stress-eaten a pretty decent amount of chocolate left over from the s’mores at my honeymoon shower.
I don’t care who you are, whether you work full time in a high stress career, no kids or full time stay at home mom, we all get crazy stressed out at times. I’m a pretty low-stress person for the most part. Things don’t get to me, normally!
So how do we overcome times like these? How do we not let stress take over our lives? Well, there’s a million angles I can cover here, but I’m gonna go with my top 3 that I’ve been reminding myself to implement lately.
1. Focus on small decisions.
Stop looking at the big picture for a minute. Stop looking at your to-do list that’s a mile long and feeling like there’s no way you can possibly do it all today. You’re won’t. What you CAN do instead is focus on 1 thing at a time. Healthy breakfast? Check. Healthy lunch? Check. Decide to take the stairs instead of the elevator? Check. Instead of me focusing on my ENTIRE wedding to-do list, I make a list of what has to happen THIS WEEK ONLY, and then further break it down by what I can do today. When my dress didn’t fit? I tried not to even think about that until I was walking into the actual fitting. Much less stressful when you only look at 1 part of the situation at a time!
Break your day into tiny decisions, one thing at a time. When we’re creating new habits, it’s not going to happen overnight for the majority of us. If your habits over the last few years have included not exercising, staying up late watching Netflix, binge eating, and other things you know you’d like to change….it just isn’t going to happen all at once. Start thinking of small decisions that you can make one at a time!
2. GET. YO. SLEEP.
One of my absolute non-negotiable’s is getting enough sleep. Sure, I could fit in that workout I almost missed, have longer work hours, or knock out more wedding planning if I stayed up later at night, and sometimes I do every once in a while if I have a time-sensitive project that needs to be completed, but I know in the long run, my smartest move is to just get to bed on time, leaving my unfinished to-do list. I am a cranky HOT MESS if I don’t get at least 8 hours of sleep (my body really needs 9-10 hours to feel my absolute best) and in the long run, I will burn out more quickly if I’m trying to ‘burn the candle at both ends,’ as they say.
There are numerous studies that show how much a lack of sleep hurts your health. It can change your hormones, causing you to overeat, and even increase your chances of cancer.
Every woman knows there are NEVER enough hours in the day, so no matter how late you stay up at night, you’re never going to truly finish everything. Your best bet to create a low-stress life is to prioritize your to-do list, accomplish the top 3 (or maybe more, depending on how long they take) priorities for the day, get to a good stopping point early enough, establish a great night time routine, and get to bed at the same time every night. If you get the most important things done, everything else will just have to wait. That way, you’re more refreshed and energized to hit the ground running the next morning!
3. Stay away from sugar.
I know, I know, keto this, keto that. But ya’ll! Seriously. Numerous studies have proven how both gluten and sugar (ESPECIALLY SUGAR!) can affect your mood. Sugar itself can cause irritability, mood swings, feelings of depression, and brain fog. Most of us can say that we eat enough carbs and sugar that we are pretty-well adapted to these foods, and therefore, we won’t notice the symptoms right away. But I can tell you firsthand, when I cut sugar from my diet for a long period, after a few months I ate two different types of candy, and within 10-30 minutes of eating each one, I was noticeably irritable, sluggish, and just honestly hateful towards Shane (sorry, Shane!). With the Haribo gummy bears, I noticed the day after eating a handful (um, okay, like 15 or so!), I woke up the next morning with horrible anxiety, which isn’t normal for me. I was panicking over small mundane things until I realized it was most likely from eating the gummy bears the night before.
The reason I was able to pinpoint so clearly the foods that triggered these emotions in me was that my body was no longer adapted to these foods. I had obvious side effects, but if you eat these foods regularly, they won’t feel like side effects. It will feel like this is just your personality, and your story will be “I have anxiety. I struggle with depression. I feel sluggish all the time.” These horrible feelings will feel normal for you. Now, I’m not saying sugar is the only cause of any of these feelings, but I am saying that it CAN absolutely decrease the levels you may have if you cut these foods from your diet.
I would be a hypocrit if I sat here and preached to NEVER eat sugar. I just confessed at the beginning of this post about stress-eating half my weight in chocolate. It’s nice to treat yourself to something you enjoy every now and then! But don’t make it a regular thing. Food is medicine, and it should be used very strategically! Use your calories to fuel yourself, and fill up on foods that will make you feel your best. The reason I love eating a high fat diet isn’t for weight loss (although I ain’t mad about it!), it’s for the energy it gives me and the cognitive performance levels I’ve reached. I kid you not, when I switched over to keto almost two years ago, I literally felt smarter. My brain fog completely went away, my memory became unbelievably sharp, and I had such an overall boost of confidence in myself, just by switching my diet. THAT is why I eat a high fat, low carb diet.
Life is just going to hit us in the face sometimes, no matter what we do. First world problems, like a wedding dress an inch too short may seem silly, but it’s the world we live in. Sometimes stress is just inevitable. We can minimize stress as much as possible by focusing on small decisions, getting enough sleep, and keeping sugar to a minimum.
If you thought this was helpful, let me know in the comments below! I love hearing from you guys and I appreciate you taking the time to read this!
*I’m not currently accepting any new clients until after the wedding so that all my current clients will still have my full attention. If you want to get on my wait list for 1-on-1 coaching for mid-November, fill out the application by clicking here!