I may not been thinner. I may not be faster. But I think I’m healthier than I’ve been in a long time.
And it can be wrapped up in two words: stress management.
While watching your stress levels and how they play out may not be the sexiest of topics to write about, getting a handle on this chronic problem has been one of the biggest benefits I’ve seen of my journey the last 12 weeks.
Professionally, I went through a grueling project that eroded my workout time and should have amped up my stress levels and my blood pressure. Personally, I’ve dealt with the ups and downs of a little guy’s pain management from a needed dental procedure and an ER visit, the family change of schedules due to school starting and a change in daycare settings, and the little bumps along the road of life.
Before, any of these things could have tipped me over the edge: tension rising. Feeling the rise of blood pressure in my arms. Grumpiness abounding. Munching unceasing.
But this summer, I learned a few ways to reduce my stress levels and recall the phrase that there is only so much I can control. I can control my breathing. I can take breaks and walk around the building. I can invest in aromatherapy and the one minute to use it to help with tension headaches and help with relaxation. I don’t have to go for that brownie in the break room. Heck, I can even use some of that PTO I’ve accrued the last decade and (gasp!) actually take a few hours off!
I can say no. I can say enough. And I can say “This is what I can or can’t control.”
It’s a big step for me.
Overcoming stress is a first major milestone on my journey to better health. By bypassing this hurdle, I’m on the road for a bigger journey.