Hi guys,  Kris from Custom Fitness here, your personal trainer in Amarillo. Today I wanted to ask, are you feeling overwhelmed?  As fall gets underway, school starts to rev up, and businesses start to delegate more tasks, a lot of people start to feel the pressure. That stress can eventually become an overwhelming sense of burden. Today I’ll be offering you some tips for how to make that flood of responsibility a little more manageable.  If you have been feeling the push of fall and would like some expert advice for how to ground yourself, give our team a call: 806-322-3188.

I had many clients tell me last week,that Monday morning is the hardest day to wake up. When the alarm goes off, they know what was coming their way before they stepped foot in the office. Hard to get excited for the day ahead when all you can do is dread what you’ll be doing. They aren’t sure how to handle the mounting stress.  How do you handle Monday mornings? Are you ready to greet the day? Does your mind immediately start listing off the things you have to do?  What ways could you make your day a little more easy for yourself?

In life there are things we can control and things we cannot. If you are feeling overburdened or are just running on fumes I suggest you take a look at what you are expecting yourself to do everyday. Seriously. Take a moment to step back from your hustle and bustle. Start to classify the things in our life as “in my control” and “outside of my control”. Then try to formulate a plan for how to tolerate the latter. The “in my control” category is easy to manipulate.

One of the first things you can do is start to write down your thoughts as well as a task list. The more you try to keep that growing list of chores and “what ifs” in your head, the more your brain is going to start releasing stress response hormones. When you physically write (not type) it down, you have a way to tell your brain “relax. I know we are busy, but I am actively on this!”  You can add things to the list throughout the day and when you accomplish something, you feel a sense of pride getting to cross something off.  If you are extremely Type A, make subcategories so you can cross off even more things during the day.

Another way to organize despite chaos is to plan ahead. I’m sure you know the maxim, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”  Planning ahead for lunches at work, planning out your exercise, planning how you will transport your kids from one activity to the other. The overwhelming sensation of feeling out of control often comes from the fact that our lives are chaotic. Rarely do we sit down to actually plan out the nitty gritty of our day. We just expect it to happen. If you choose to procrastinate until the time comes due, or prefer just to “wait and see what happens”, you will feel more anxiety and struggle to have activities smoothly fall into place. Taking the time to plan ahead and write out your todo list, you will feel a significant decrease in cognitive clutter, overwhelming, and anxiety pulling you in every direction.

A study found that a majority of people who have experienced a heart attack had it occur on a Sunday or a Monday.  The research suggests the reason these two days were so common was because the patient was looking at the week ahead and became overwhelmed by the stress the week was going to bring.

I have been a personal trainer in Amarillo and a business owner for a long time and one of the best things I have found for my stress level is to take 5-10 minutes a day, everyday, just for me. I use this time to decompress and to focus on relaxing. Focus on destressing. I suggest trying to go for a walk. Take an Epsom salt bath. Drink a cup of hot tea. Spend time with your loved ones. Whatever you need to do to brush off the lingering feeling of things left undone. Mentally be done with today and begin to prepare for tomorrow. Try to reserve the last 30 minutes of your workday to plan out 3 big things you need to accomplish for the next day. Then go home to relax and destress. The next day will feel less overwhelming because you have a game plan. Eventually, that feeling of being pulled in a million directions will dissolve and you will be ready for whatever the day throws at you.

Where does exercise come into all of this?

If you are extremely stressed, overwhelmed, or anxiety ridden, exercise can help. However, you are doing too much or too intense of exercises you can actually worsen the situation. If you live with a pretty high anxiety level or are easily stressed, and you are coming in to do high intensity interval training or rapid circuit training, you are actually regressing your progress. Your body can’t handle that much stress. Exercise is a “good” kind of stress, although the body can’t decipher between good and bad stress, it just feels stressed.

The key here is to pick the right amount of stress for your body to endure. This will allow you to keep heading towards your goals while melting off some of the to-do flurry in your head. If you had an extremely overwhelming week, a good idea would be to take a yoga or pilates class instead of a HIIT or cycling class. You want to exercise in a way that allows your body to relax a little bit.

Look into your exercise regimen to see if what you are doing is appropriate for your stress levels. This is what we do here at Custom Fitness. We work one on one with our clients to create a customized program for them that matches their lifestyle, their needs, and their overall goals. If that is something you’d be interested in or finding out if what we do could work for you, reach out to our team at 806-322-3188 or info@customfitness.biz and we’d love to invite you in for a consultation.    At Custom Fitness, we are YOUR personal trainer in Amarillo, Texas. Have a great day.