Stress: The Most Important Health Factor

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Stress.
 
We all know we should be doing more to manage it. We’ve all heard how stress makes us sick, takes years off our lives, and contributes to pretty much every disease out there, chronic and acute alike.
 
However, most people spend way more time worrying about their waistlines than the amount of stress in their lives. In fact, most people are actually willing to add stress to their lives if it means they might lose weight. (Think adding exercise to an already crazy busy schedule).
 
Up until about a year ago I also just shrugged it off. I worked hard. I worked out hard, and I ate “perfectly clean” over 80% of time.

I was health-ing super hard. 
 
I definitely felt like I could force myself to be “healthy” enough that stress wouldn’t have all the negative effects it had on other people.
 
Stress wouldn’t negatively affect me.
 
That was until I crashed.
 
I stopped being able to get to gym every day without a huge amount of effort and when I did get there I felt like it took all my energy. I started to dread cooking and prepping food (things I had thoroughly enjoyed before) and felt like it was too much work, so started eating out more. I started to need to drink more than one cup of coffee in the morning to get going (sometimes even drinking coffee in the afternoon: gasp!). I started craving sweets again. I gained weight. 
 
All the signs were there: beginning of adrenal fatigue.

I really started to grasp how stress single-handedly undermined all my efforts to eat healthy and move well.
 
I took a step back and realized that if I didn’t take care of my over the top stress levels and start doing less, I wasn’t going to be able to keep up the pace I was going much longer, and would probably end up doing some irreparable damage in the meantime.

I was being healthy, but from a place of pushing, going harder, and doing more, more, more, more. And that was stressing me out even more. 
 

Without taking some time to replenish and recuperate and learn some stress-management techniques (because face it, we will always have stress of some kind) I was basically throwing all the money I was spending on organic vegetables, grass fed meat, and therapeutic grade supplements down the drain.
 
Now, after reading the research and seeing it make a huge difference in my life and my clients’ lives over and over again I personally implement my “me-time” activities first. They get scheduled into my calendar before work.

Work will get done because it’s urgent. Self-care will not happen unless you prioritize it.
 
What are you going to commit to this week for self-care and stress management?

Here's 4 Ideas: 

1. Every 90 days I give myself a full 24 hours of "reflection". This means I go somewhere where I can be completely alone in nature. I completely "unplug" (no phone, computer, or anything that would tempt me). I journal, meditate, do yoga, and reflect on how my life is going, what direction am I headed and what can I do to make sure it's the direction I want for my long term goals. Schedule one of these days for yourself right now. 


2. Commit to 10 minutes of meditation every day for 21 days. 


3. Create a night time ritual that starts one hour before you go to bed and stick to it religiously. Turn off your phone, computer, tablets, TV (anything that has a screen). Light candles. Take an epsom salt bath. Keep the lights in the house low. Do some gentle yoga or mobilizing. Read something light and enjoyable. 


4. Sign up for my FREE 3 day rEset protocol and get a good jumpstart on setting your life up to be more purpose driven and balanced.

Clara Wisner

Clara Wisner is a Certified Nutrition Therapy Practitioner. She attended school at the Nutrition Therapy Institute in Denver, CO from 2012 to 2015. Clara Wisner is also a Certified Primal Expert and a Certified Sugar Detox Coach. She has a BS in Resource Conservation and Economics from the University of Montana. She is a world traveler and is working on cookbook tentatively called Paleo Around the World: A modern Take on Traditional Recipes. Clara organizes the Paleo Pop Events in Denver, helping to create a healthier, stronger, more connected community. She currently lives in Denver, CO with her husband and the paleo puggle, Ooli. In her free time she crossfits, cooks, writes poetry, walks dogs (other peoples’ and her own), listens to A LOT of podcasts, reads fantasy novels and also loves to read about biology, neurology, and marketing.