As a busy husband, stay at home dad and business owner, life can be a blur. It’s easy to let the challenges of work, dirty diapers and a busy schedule stress me out.
However, I’ve pinpointed a few staples in my life that have helped me manage stress, which leads a happier, more joyful life. It has also helped me unlock my potential as a husband, father and business leader.
What I’ve found is that lack of high quality food, minimal sleep, little to no exercise or play, and lack of self connection, can lead to high levels of stress, which can ultimately lead to depression, anxiety and chronic disease. The truth is, these can be resolved with these easy action steps!
SECRET #1 – PRIORITIZE YOUR NUTRITION
You need to nourish your body to flourish.
Nutrition gives your body the vitamins and minerals it needs for all the connections in your brain to fire properly. This regulates hormones, mood, helps you think more clearly, assists in better sleep which all leads to being able to handle and manage stress with more ease.
Here are three simple tips you can do today to prioritize your nutrition for managing stress.
- Replace starchy or sugary foods in your meals with a vegetable and fruit.
- Replace sugary drinks with water or unsweetened tea.
- Increase your daily protein intake.
In some instances, nutrition can be the root of stress and anxiety. Many of our clients have found that hiring a nutrition coach helps take the stress and guesswork out of dialing in their nutrition.
To take the stress and guesswork out of your nutrition, schedule a free consultation with a Nutrition Coach HERE.
SECRET #2 – SLEEP
Sleep is a key component to managing stress. It’s simple right? If you’re tired, you’ll likely be more irritable, short and unable to process difficult situations as effectively.
If you’re overly stressed, take time to rest your weary head! Your initial action steps can be easy at first, begin with turning off ALL screens one hour before bed. Many clients find that replacing it with a book is really beneficial and helps quiet the mind, resulting in falling asleep sooner and sleeping more soundly.
Next, try getting more sleep by going to bed earlier. It can be difficult to go to bed an hour early right out of the gate, so start by going to bed ten minutes earlier than normal for a week, then 20 minutes earlier the next week, keep adding ten extra minutes per week until you’re going to bed 30-90 minutes earlier. Trust me, that extra episode of ‘The Office’ will still be there tomorrow!
SECRET #3 – EXERCISE & PLAY
Exercise and play are vital in managing stress.
Both promote more blood flow and oxygen to the brain, aiding in a sharper mind, aiding in making decisions during stressful situations. And they promote the release of endorphins, the body’s feel good hormone and natural pain reliever.
Finally, both exercise and play help prevent chronic disease. Managing poor health can be stressful in itself and cause anxiety for many, leading to a further decline in fitness.
If you’re new to an exercise regimen simply start by walking outside for 30 minutes everyday. If you’re an intermittent exerciser, focus on making exercise a regular routine. If you’re an avid exerciser, be careful, the need for working out may be a root of stress, take a day or two off every week and play a sport or engage in a fun activity outside of your normal routine.
Fitness coaching, goal setting, game-planning and accountability in your exercise routine is a primary piece of what our coaching staff does at Lincoln Nutrition & Fitness.
Schedule a free consultation HERE with one of our coaches to see if Lincoln Nutrition & Fitness is a good fit to help you manage stress!
SECRET #4 – TURN OFF YOUR SCREENS, CHOOSE STILLNESS
When busy schedules, to-do lists, and kids activities become overwhelming we often turn to social media or Netflix to dull our minds and unwind. However, these habits can subconsciously add more stress and anxiety to our lives!
The GREAT way to clear your mind and rid yourself of the busyness that is littering your brain is to journal. Get those thoughts on paper. Journaling is the mental equivalent of taking out the garbage at the end of the day. You can identify emotions, write down worries, fears, anxieties and rid your mind of the toxicity that leads to stress.
First, find a spot that is isolated and quiet. Then, read for 10 minutes, pick a quote, passage or section of an inspirational or spiritual book that stuck out to you. Finally, ask yourself and write down your answers to these questions:
- Why does this stand out to me today?
- How can I apply this to my life?
The goal for this exercise is to quiet your mind, capture the stillness of the moment, navigate your emotions, identify the stressors in your life and release them from your mind.
SECRET #5 ESTABLISH A ROUTINE
The hardest part of a routine is starting one. It usually takes about two weeks to set a solid routine foundation.
Once it’s established, your day becomes automatic even when life is hard. Once waking up at six in the morning becomes your routine, you just do it, it becomes a part of you.
When you establish working out at the same time in the evening, it becomes a part of your day even if you are stressed.
The key to setting a successful routine is starting small. Below are the three things I suggest scheduling daily into your calendar or planner. Once they become routine, add one or two more.
- Bed time, rise time
- Journal time
- Workout time
Often we want to start big or go big. Going big right out of the gate can feel great for a day or two, but after a few days it becomes overwhelming and that’s when most people quit. Starting small allows you to add small variations every couple of weeks to see huge success in the long term!
SECRET #6 – HIRE A COACH
Often the challenge with stress is figuring out what steps to take on your own. This is a huge obstacle to taking action for managing stress.
A coach will help you set goals, develop a plan specific to your needs, your busy schedule, help you wade through all the nonsense information and hold you accountable to your plan.
Finally, commit to your action steps. Write it down somewhere and tell others about it and remember: “Change requires action.”
At Lincoln Nutrition & Fitness, we offer you both nutrition & fitness coaching, from personal training to group CrossFit classes we have the keys to help you reach your goals!
Our personal trainers and group coaches value lifting weights, and using multi-jointed, functional exercises performed at high intensity. You don’t have to guess about what to do!
Schedule a free consultation with a coach to see how we can help you with your goals! → I’M READY TO MEET WITH A COACH!
COACH PHIL KNIEP – Owner & CEO of Lincoln Nutrition & Fitness
Precision Nutrition L1 Coach
CrossFit Level 2 Trainer
3x CrossFit Games Qualifier