How Do YOU Deal with Stress??!

by Nicole on November 15, 2011

With everything going on, I’ve had my fair share of stress and anxiety these past couple of weeks. People have told me kitchen renovations make people nutty, but I didn’t realize how fully nutty I’d be.

I feel like I literally gave myself vertigo because of all of the stress I was putting myself under. Having two small businesses launch is enough stress already, combine it with a house of disaster, it was putting me over the edge. Usually I just go through my days saying “I’m not stressed, every thing’s great!” over and over again and somehow that was a lie, even though I really believed it.

The kitchen is my home base. It’s where I go to deal with a bad day or a good day or to expel extra energy. When that wasn’t there anymore it had more of an impact that I anticipated. Not to mention I blog about what I cook, bake & eat and when there isn’t much going on in that department, the blog can get pretty darn boring.

Now that the end is in sight and my kitchen almost looks like a fully operational kitchen, I can kind of reflect back.

While I was stressed to the extreme over things I couldn’t control, I made sure that the things I could control were going pretty well. Maybe these things seem obvious to you, but for me, it wasn’t so obvious.

Food: When I’m stressed I crave carbs and chocolate. For a couple of days I gave into those cravings and once I realize what was going on, I went back to eating a balanced diet filled with veggies and whole grains. I felt like that kept me grounded. I haven’t been sharing what I’ve been eating because it mostly hasn’t looked very appetizing. I’ve made sure that I had salad things on stand by at all times so I can throw together lunches & dinners easily.

Exercise: I kept going with my exercising because it was the best I felt all day when I wasn’t feeling well. I didn’t change anything and kept going with Jamie Eason’s 12 week trainer, running, the elliptical and the occasional class. ¬†Exercise is amazing on stress, I can’t say that enough.

Yoga: Doing yoga once a week makes me stop and deep (many) deep breaths. I’m so glad I decided to incorporate it into my life a couple of years ago. Not only does it help with my (limited) flexibility but it always makes me feel better from the inside out. Savasana is something I always look forward to.

Deep breathing: I don’t always practice this, but at the most stressful moments I try to remind myself to breathe from my belly. Taking 2-3 seconds to breathe in and out is very, very calming. Try it!

Family & Friends: Enough said. Spend time with people that make you happy. Always works.

Letting Go: Sometimes you have to let go of what you can’t control. Trust me, I know this is SO hard for me too. I don’t even think I ever got to that place 100%, but I try to remind myself to stop worrying about it.

What works for you when you get stressed? Are you like me and know what you *should* do, but don’t do all of it?

I also have to say, part of me would also get mad at myself for being stressed because 1. I did this to myself by redoing the kitchen and  2. the end result is going to be amazing & worth it. I know Danny and I have been working extremely hard to make this kitchen happen, so it seemed silly to get myself in such a tizzy. But whatever, it happened and this is how I dealt with/and am still dealing with it.

Off to get my run on! Have a good one!

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelly November 15, 2011 at 12:07 pm

I am definitely a stress eater. I blame the feel good endorphins that get released when carbs hit my palette! I also don’t want to exercise. What a winning combination, huh? But usually I can spot the funk and I will usually my a list of what I am stressed about and how I can resolve the situation. That always makes me feel better to see an action plan on paper!

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Lindsay November 15, 2011 at 12:39 pm

I deal with stress by running, deep breathing, and sometimes just relaxing on the couch watching trashy TV.
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Christine November 15, 2011 at 12:40 pm

I like to watch a favorite tv show when I’m feeling stressed preferably a comedy that will help put me in a good mood!

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Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic November 15, 2011 at 12:53 pm

I am definitely like you, but I do try to be more conscious of how I manage stress. Exercise is definitely my favorite stress reliever!
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pure2raw twins November 15, 2011 at 10:40 pm

we are not the best at handling stress, but lately we have been doing really with handling it. we basically talk things out, listen to music, or do some yoga.
glad your kitchen is almost done!!
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emily (a nutritionist eats) November 15, 2011 at 11:26 pm

You have a lot going on!! I think that being spontaneous can help when I’m feeling stressed – a random happy hour or date night always gives me a break from everything going on! You’ll get through it!
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Rebecca November 16, 2011 at 11:10 am

Love hearing how you’re navigating through stressful times Nicole. You’re doing an incredible job! Hubby and I just finished rebuilding our home and you say it so well…how your kitchen is your home base. I see that being uprooted from my home really took a toll on me. Breathing, exercise and all that you mention here make a huge difference. Happy I found you on Bliss!

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Genie @ Healthy Living Now November 21, 2011 at 10:35 am

Such a pity we cannot totally eliminate stress! It is so darn vicious to us, ain’t it? Thank goodness we can at least manipulate it!

The first rule in manipulating stress is what you call “letting go.” We have to learn how to ‘never’ worry about things that are beyond our control. (It is damning to our health; both physically and mentally, and does absolutely nothing to change the situation).

The second thing to do, especially for those of us who head to the kitchen when stressed, is to fill our kitchen with ‘only’ healthy, wholesome foods. (This way we will not have to pack on unwanted pounds with empty, destructive calories).

The third thing is to seek out and have a support network, and if you are a dog lover – get a dog. They make great companions and can really help with stress diversion.

As you mention, “deep breathing” and “yoga”, I especially like them because they can be practiced almost anymore. The long and short is that we have to beat stress. We have to experiment and find what works for us, and do the damn thing.

Thanks for sharing this awesome post, Nicole :)
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