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Eat, Sleep, and Be Merry -- Counteracting the Effects of Stress

Dec 24, 2007
Whether it's a deadline at work, or a party you're throwing, or the holidays coming up, life is full of stressful situations. We all know stress is bad for us, but very few of us have figured out how to rid our lives of it. So, instead of stressing about stress, I recommend taking a few easy steps to help your body through the inevitable stressful times in our lives.

1. Sleep

To stay physically strong during stressful times, remember sleep is vital. There will be nights you can't get a good night's rest, that's a fact of life. But if you know you'll need to pull an all-nighter soon, or you'll be out late at a party, try to get a good night's rest the night before and plan to get one the night after. Cat naps have been shown to be highly effective as well. One or two 10-minute rests can stave off a headache, make you more efficient, and possible save your life if you have to drive somewhere.

2. Water

Many people over eat or make poor food choices when under stress. You need adequate water to process this food and to help your body work more efficiently. When I'm really busy, I often forget to drink. So, if you're headed for a long drive, or sitting down to meet with someone, put a full glass of water in front of you and plan to have it gone before you're done. Carrying water bottles in the car is a great way to remind yourself to have 12 or 16 oz while driving.

3. Eat Well

Eating well is always easier said than done, especially at times when you are rushed or stressed. Don't beat yourself up when you overeat or eat too much junk food; instead, try to make up for it by not eating again until you are honestly hungry, drinking lots of water to help process the junk, and making sure to get plenty of fruits, veggies, and fiber in your next few meals. All of these things will help your body recover from the effects of poor eating.

4. Be Grateful

During times of stress, it's easy to get down emotionally and forget to take adequate care of yourself. Taking a minute or two to really be grateful for whatever you can think of in your current situation really grounds you and brings you right into the moment. It helps realign your priorities and recognize the glass really is half full. If thinking about gratitude isn't enough, use a gratitude notebook. In writing the things you are grateful for, you will be forced to think about each one individually and you'll have a list to look over and prove things could definitely be worse.
About the Author
Jeremy teaches people how to evaluate Reese trailer hitches along with other brands and also advises them on the right way to set up hitch mount bike racks.
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