From the desk of Sue Oliver – Strategic Partner
We recognize that building employee engagement begins with leadership and that over the last 12 months, many leaders have been challenged to the max. In fact, 2020 stressed each of us in ways we could not have imagined. While 2021 promises to be an improvement for most of us, stress continues to be a daily challenge.
It’s important to acknowledge stress so you can reduce it or cope with it a little better. You may not be able to change the stressors in your life, but if you can manage the impact on your body better, then you’ll stay healthier and more able to handle its negative impacts on your health.
Stress affects our bodies in countless ways, just to name a few – stress increases cortisol production associated with weight gain, an inability to lose weight or gain muscle and premature aging. Stress also decreases nutrient absorption and destroys gut health. Need we go on?
Since we can’t always control the stress in our lives, the goal is to reduce the experience of stress by even 1%. Here are a few ways you can do that, starting now:
- Look at your calendar for the next 7 days. What’s one activity you’ve committed to that you can cancel?
- Look at your to-do list. Add at least one item that gives you joy?
- Consider your schedule today. Where can you fit in 20 minutes for yourself – where you’re not taking care of anyone else or being “productive” – so you can just relax and enjoy?
- Look at your calendar for tomorrow. Where can you fit in a 10 minute walk or other physical activity outside? The fresh air and movement will help you cope much better with stress.
- Before your next meal, try the “5-5-7” breath. Inhale for a count of 5, hold your breath for a count of 5, then exhale for a count of 7. Repeat at least 3 times. This relaxes your body before your meal which will increase your digestive capacity and help your body pull more nutrients from the food you’re eating.
If you feel too stressed to relax and you know it’s affecting your health, your weight and your energy levels, feel free to contact our strategic partner at [email protected] to talk further about how to reduce or cope better with your life’s stressors.