Individuals who enter stressful situations often slow or stop their progress towards achieving their health goals. These “Stress Storms” can prevent you from achieving your goal temporarily or completely. If you are unprepared to weather the “storms” you will likely head back to your comfort zone and/or old habits.
Storms are part of life and it’s best to deal with them vs. wait for better weather. We’re either going into a storm, we’re in a storm or we’re just coming out of the storm so it’s best if we learn how to cope inside stormy weather and make progress towards our goals.
There are many types of Stress Storms that cause us pain in our life such Physical Stress Storms (i.e. general pain, injury, disease, inflammation, or other trauma) causing us to decrease our activity levels in order to rehabilitate or it changes our desire for food as a coping mechanism.
Mental Stress Storms (emotional, relational, spiritual, etc.) can be some of the most challenging as they can last decades if we don’t climb beyond them. Some storms will blow by in the changing of the seasons and some storms are just always there at a certain altitude that we must climb beyond.
Financial Stress Storms such as looming debt(s), reduced income/cash flow issues, career or business transitions or the general lack of financial security due to the volatility of the stock market. Financial storms are something many Americans are well aware of in today’s tough economic times. The heat has been turned up on many families forcing both spouses to do double duty and work full time. This causes mental stress on relationships and when you add to it a loss of income or job it can be disastrous to a family or marriage relationship.
So how do you deal with the storms? You make progress every day and don't focus on perfection.
What can you do to improve your situation right now? What kinds of storms are you dealing with or what storms are on the horizon ready to set in and make your climb up the mountain a little more challenging? If you can see the storm for what it is (a simple storm or season of life) you can usually deal with it as most storms don’t stay around forever. Time passes and life gets a little easier. But we get stronger inside a storm if we continue to stay focused on where we’re going and we make progress towards the top. If you're going through a significantly challenging season it would be ideal to make the steps you want to take smaller and more doable than to create a mentally challenging plan of action or you may get discouraged or overwhelmed.
Plug into the community of support and share your favorite stress reduction tip and/or ask what others are doing to find more peace of mind in a stressful season!
eHealth Challenge Tip: Be Assertive
Say the worst happens—a pushy person pressures you to eat something you know isn’t in line with your health goals. You can stand up for yourself: You have the right to be heard, and don’t have to apologize or explain yourself to anyone. You can respectfully communicate your wishes, thoughts, and feelings, and not have to feel hopelessly at the mercy of anyone who doesn’t understand how critical healthy eating is to your well-being. “Thanks, but no thanks: I’m completely committed to eating healthy right now.”