To Our Health: Getting stressy with it

Image by Spencer Imbrock

Last night I started a course on health. It is four weeks, and it will focus on managing stress, nutrition, sleep, and physical activity. Guys, I am super-nerdy-excited for this! (All credit for everything I learn and share here goes to Alexia Gillespie, our instructor who also does health coaching.)

In the first session, we talked about stress management.

Here are my notes:

Our bodies are a land of contradictions. They are both filled with wonder and rife with limitations.

At some point we "learn" that our bodies are more about appearance than about how we interact with and make our way through the world. Sad, right? Is it possible to unlearn that terrible lesson? Not sure.

Our goal is to change habits, not to the point where we're used to making ourselves do them, but to the point where it's harder to not do it than to do it.

Questions to get at the heart of things:

What is your current state of health costing you? (Financially, relationally, emotionally, etc.)

What can you let go of in life?

What practices for dealing with stress were a part of your childhood or built into your family life?

What are your top three stressors in life? What are some of the ways you deal with them that are positive? Negative?

Of all the ways one could deal with stress (including the things you wrote down), what do you naturally gravitate towards? What actually appeals to you? What do you feel resistance to?

Takeaways and homework:

There is a "duh" moment in here that we will maybe be more successful at building in healthy practices if we lean into the things that we naturally gravitate towards and not worry too much about the things we feel resistance towards, even if they are good things that we should be doing.

Small daily practices are better than larger practices every week. (So 10 mins of walking a day will be more beneficial than a 3 hour walk on the weekend, when it comes to overall stress management.)

You have to actually look at your schedule and plan for the change. In the class, we are all assigned 20 minutes of rejuvenating/stress-reducing activity every day. We can split that up however we want (5 mins and 15 mins, 10 and 10, all 20 at once, whatever). The key is to plan ahead and find a low-barrier way to work it into our daily schedules.

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