How’s work going? Stressful?
How’s home life? Stressful?
How’s training / diet? Stressful?
How’s the commute or the school run or the housework? Stressful?
We all have to deal with so much ‘stress’ that our bodies weren’t designed for.
Stress in all forms will lower your immune system and increase the output of a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is the adrenaline hormone which was designed to protect us when we got into danger by raising our adrenaline, heart rate and senses but now we have this hormone pumping because we’re late, we have 100 emails or the kids made a mess.
Cortisol is also the hormone that gets us up in the morning and sets our circadian rhythm or sleep cycle.
The challenge with chronic stress is one of two things is happening to us all the time.
1. We are constantly releasing cortisol so our bodies don’t know which way is up and therefore when is time to sleep and when is time to wake up.
2. We are so ‘burnt out’ from high stress our bodies stop releasing cortisol in the amount we need and then we’re tired all the time so we then throw in loads of caffeine and that messes up number 1 even more …
So my top tips (note I’m a realist – you can’t eradicate stress!)
1. 1-2 shots of coffee a day at least an hour after rising
2. Use other sources of energy such as b-vits, green tea, match and turmeric for a healthier boost
3. Hit me up for a fizz stick sample
4. Breathe. In and out when you’re having a moment and feel your heart rate come back down.
5. Exercise – not the must kill myself by working out type – general activity – walking, yoga or even just some body weight work.
6. Time out – 5 minutes listening to music or an Audio book in the car or at home will
Make a difference!
7. No caffeine after 5pm and lights low and night mode an hour before bed. We use all
Lamps in my house.
8. Never hit the snooze button. Get up no matter how groggy you are – give it a few days and it will make a difference!
A resolution by definition is a finite commitment and resolve to do or not do something. This kind of decision making rarely works in my experience. Reason why? It’s a massive step to make. Going from black to white, completely cold turkey (no Christmas puns intended)
Our brains rarely work that way – although we like to think they do. Our brains don’t like to be told we can’t do something EVER AGAIN or for a whole year. I don’t know about you but for me you tell me I can’t do something and I want to do it a whole lot more. By focusing on what we can’t or shouldn’t do we focus wayyy more energy on it and believe me what you focus on you create.
Instead I’ve set some goals and directions to move in, knowing where I want to be this time next year.
I set these goals using the age old SMART acronym:
S – specific
A – achievable
R – realistic
T – timely
If I set goals that are vague, airy and completely insane or irrelevant at no point am I going to feel like I have a hope in hell of achieving them or feel particularly motivated.
So my goals have to be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and with a time frame.
This way I can then break down these ‘end results’ into steps and chunks to work on everyday.
Then I know that if something doesn’t happen on it’s deadline I still know I’m moving in the right direction. Your success isn’t always about achieving these goals but instead by the congruent consistent actions you’re taking towards them. If you aren’t really doing it – do you even really want it?
Finally, the only way you will ever move in the direction of your goals is having a big fat why.
A reason that trumps all excuses. A motivation that sets you ON FIRE. More to come on this in my next blog ..