Practical Stress Reduction

Back in the spring when I was taking an AEMT class, I was looking forward to fall when I would be able to focus on projects around the house, playing with new recipes, and focusing on fitness.

Now it’s fall, and my calendar is completely booked until nearly Christmas with Thanksgiving being the only day off! How did this happen? A promotion at work, signed up for fire school, signed up for another class, and my regular clients and station duty. . .

I had a quick moment of “oh my goodness gracious” and increased heart rate as I looked at my filled calendar. The first challenge I saw?

When will I have time to cook?!

I printed off a blank calendar I made on a document and sat down with that blanket calendar and my filled schedule to start meal-planning. Instantly the stress started to melt away.

Something so simple as meal-planning, planning ahead for the busy season, can be a great, practical stress-reducer. When you are stressed, your body is comprised – increased cortisol, decreased immune system, increased heart rate and blood pressure, etc. – which can greatly affect your overall health and definitely your fitness life.

Now, if only that fire instructor of mine would release the syllabus before the class actually starts so I can start figure out which nights I need to eat lighter – like when we’re doing window bail-outs – and when lecture-only nights are so I can eat a more hearty meal!

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