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Don't Eat Your Feelings...

Learn to manage your stress in healthy ways

Stress can really wreak havoc on your life in so many ways. It can make you overeat, mess up your sleep pattern, make you drink too much (alcohol, that is), and cause numerous health issues. It's one of the hardest things in life to deal with, without letting it bring you down. And honestly, we don't really have control what happens around us but we do have control in how we handle it.

Overindulging (in food, alcohol, smoking, bad habits, etc) is a common coping mechanism when we are feeling stressed. It satisfies us for the moment, but then we feel guilty afterwards. And the cycle repeats itself, unless we learn how to manage ourselves in a better way. We have to take note of these weak moments and teach ourselves to replace that middle of the day McDonald's drive through trip moment ( in which we slump down in our car trying to avoid anyone seeing us) with a much healthier option. We know that eating a double cheeseburger and fries with a large coke is not going to make us feel less stressed! Opt for a grilled chicken sandwich from Chick-Fil-A with a side salad instead if you're wanting fast food.

Another thing I see people do (especially parents- and I am totally guilty of this one!) is have an extra glass of wine or two to unwind. And this can be ok, as long as it's not your complete de-stress tool at the end of the day when the kiddos are seriously about to make you pull your hair out! Take a bath, read a book, go for a walk/run, have dinner with a friend, have some quiet time and meditate (when you can, right? LOL)-anything that makes you feel calm besides reaching for that wine bottle. It will make you feel much better to do these things. Dealing with that morning fog and getting kids off to school the next day is no fun anyway, am I right?!

Stress and the negative ways we handle it can cause serious health issues too. Blood pressure, heart problems, anxiety/depression issues, and even cancer are just a few on the list. Keeping the stress in your life under control is vital for your well being. This life can feel like it's too much to handle sometimes, that is for sure, but making a conscience effort to keep a positive outlook is key. Also, making those efforts to change our bad habits for healthier ones. And learning to laugh a little more.

We're in this crazy thing called life together, ya'll! Let's be better about reaching out to others for support. Let's be better friends to our friends who are having a hard time. Be in charge of how you handle situations in your life, and learn to embrace life instead of just getting through it- stress and all.

"I promise you nothing is a chaotic as it seems. Nothing is worth diminishing your health. Nothing is worth poisoning yourself into stress, anxiety, and fear."

-Steve Maraboli

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