Ya’ll, I have a confession to make. I am one. stressed. out. gal. Part of the reason is that I am kind of always stressed — it’s part of my personality make up. Since I was very young, I have put a ton of pressure and responsibility on my own shoulders, and as I’ve grown up…my stress level has also grown. I envy those who can “turn it all off.”

The other part, is that Super Sweet Husband (Ty) and I have simply had too much going on — it has felt a little bit like we can’t catch a break for awhile. This is not a “poor me” post, though. Just factual. On the bright side, we have a really wonderful support system surrounding us who is always there when we need them.

Most recently, a close family member has been in the hospital for an extended period of time. I’ve found it hard to keep my head above water — between my busy job, running two households (ours and the family members), driving back and forth to the hospital for visits and doctor’s meetings, (etc. etc. etc.) — not to mention the emotional upheaval and worry that comes along with a loved one being so ill (in an already fragile environment). When I get in these stress ruts, I typically find it very difficult to make good decisions, focus on myself, drink enough water, get enough sleep, find time to exercise, and perform my basic daily duties as a human (and an employee). It’s like there’s a big, dark cloud hanging over me. There’s just a lot on my plate at the moment.

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Luckily for me, one of my favorite stress relievers has always been working out. If I can get myself into that gym (even for a few minutes), I can turn on my Beats, lift some heavy weights and/or run, and turn off my thoughts completely. Exercise forces me to take deep breaths, even when I’m not sure that I need them, and sweat out what’s bothering me. There’s nothing better than a good gym sesh to make me feel nearly instantly better. Plus binge watching 90s TV, and snuggles with my puppies, of course.

In the past, I’ve leaned more towards eating my feelings, drinking too much alcohol, or just plain shutting down (physically and emotionally). Not one of those things has ever helped me feel less stressed, and when combined, can sometimes start a spiral effect that I find it hard to recover from.

These past few weeks, against all odds, I’ve forced myself prioritize…me, myself and I. I’ve worked out out every. single. day. — even if sometimes it’s been in the driveway (I’m sure the neighbors think I’m crazy doing burpees in the one hundred+ degree heat). Even if sometimes the workouts have been lame AF (especially on days when I’ve had trouble sleeping the night before). Even if sometimes I have come home and had a big old glass of wine or a piece of pizza afterwards (although I’ve mostly stayed on track with my diet, as well). I’m not even mad, that’s amazing!

I love being able to be there for others — helping those I love is an important part of who I am — but I have also found that I get depleted when I don’t care for myself, too.

My favorite work out this week was chest, triceps and biceps. Check it out:

  • Start with a 30-minute run on the treadmill at 2.0 incline
  • Superset:
    • Heavy bicep curls – 3 sets of 8
    • Decline bench press – 3 sets of 12
  • Superset:
    • Ring presses – 3 sets of 15
    • Push ups – 3 sets of 10 (if this is too easy, make them explosive, diamond, or add weight)
  • Superset:
    • Bent-over flies – 3 sets of 12
    • Skull crushers – 3 sets of 20
  • Finisher:
    • 25 Arnold presses (try to do these without resting!)

What are your healthy tricks to relieving stress? I want to know about them! This girl needs all the help she can get.

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Thanks for reading! Xo.

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