A few years ago I was going through a very difficult time. Although I smiled and kept on going as any good stoic Christian girl would, my body could not hide my stress. I started eating like crap—to the point where I had become borderline diabetic. I was exhausted all the time, and despite all my crazy workouts, I was steadily gaining weight. Mentally, I felt like I was in a perpetual brain fog. I found it difficult to concentrate, so Netflix became my best friend. I would binge-watch shows for 8 to 10 hours at a time!
Thankfully those days are few and far between. My blood sugar is normal, my energy is high, and I can’t remember my last serious Netflix binge.
Do you find it difficult to stay on track and keep losing weight during stressful times in your life? You’re not alone. So many women share that they do well when life is going smoothly, but as soon as stress hits them, it’s their health that suffers.
Here are three big mindset shifts that you can make to help you remain healthy during stressful times.
1. Rethink Your Perspective on Health
Many of us have our health and weight loss in a category with cleaning the house—calling up an old friend or even reading the Bible more. It’s one of those things that we know we ‘should do’, we ‘want to do it more’, and ‘wish that’ we were more consistent at it. We really want to do it, but we’re so busy that it never seems to make our priority list.
Instead of thinking of your health and weight loss as something you should do, think about it in the following ways:See your health and fitness as the best anti-depressant ever created. Click To Tweet
- Instead of seeing health as another thing to check-off on your to-do list, see it as a necessity for life. Just like brushing your teeth every day and taking a shower, see your health as one of your daily habits.
- Understand that the more stressful life gets, the more you will need to eat well and exercise. This is the first thing we drop when we get stressed, but if we really understand its value, we would actually exercise more when we’re stressed, not less.
When we’re stressed, we sometimes want to lay on the couch and do nothing or eat some junk food to give us temporary relief. The next time you’re feeling stressed, do the opposite of what you might normally do. Do something to improve your health—drink some water, go for a walk, eat some fruits or vegetables.
2. Rethink Your Perspective on Time
How many of us wished we had more time in the day? How many times have you said, “I’m soooo busy?” And lastly, how many of us have no time or energy to maintain our health and fitness program?
A lot of our frustration and stress arises because we’re doing things that God never called us to do. We do them because we feel pressure from others; we think it’s the right thing to do or we do it for acceptance and approval. Unfortunately this only leaves us feeling worn-out and stressed-out.
Here are a few tips to rethink your perspective on time:
- There are 24 hours in a day, Evaluate the priorities that God has called you to do and leave the rest. It won’t be easy, but it’s the only way to maximize your time.
- Stop trying to prioritize your schedule; instead, schedule your priorities and make sure that your health is always one of your priorities.
- There will never ever, ever be enough time in one day to get everything done. No matter how we do today, no matter how productive we are, we will never get it all done. When we can understand that, then we can go to bed each day believing that we’ve done our best instead of feeling guilty and regretful that we did not get it all done.
- Lack of time is usually a problem of overcommitting, poor focus, or wasting time. Can you see how you waste some of your time? Is it playing internet games, watching TV, or social media?
A lot of our stress is self-induced because of our inefficient use of time. Take an inventory of how you spend your time to see if there are areas that you can tighten up so you can use your time more efficiently. Pray for wisdom for how you can do this (Psalm 90:12).
3. Rethink your Perspective on Control
This is one of my go-to scriptures in the Bible: “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?” (James 4:1). Why? Because it cuts right to the core of why I’m often so stressed-out and often frustrated.
My wants, my desires, my need to be in control is often in conflict with God’s best for me. God wants me healthy for a variety of reasons, but maintaining my health and weight may not always be convenient for me. It takes me out of my comfort zone sometimes; it messes up my plans and it takes sacrifice; which, let’s face it, is not pleasant.
But here’s the truth about control:
- The more we try to control things, the less in control we actually feel.
- One of the most stressful things we can do is to try to hold it all together and act like we have things all figured out.
- The more stressful life gets, the more we need to surrender control to God.
God calls us to rest in Him, ESPECIALLY during stressful times. So why do we continually try to maintain control?
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
Life would be so much more peaceful if we stopped trying to be all, do all, and handle it all, and surrender to our heavenly Father. Ask yourself right now, did God call you to do the things you did today? If you’re struggling with your health and weight because you’re so stressed and busy, I encourage you to spend some time in prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to give you a fresh perspective on your health, your time, and your need for control.
If you’re feeling stressed out, overwhelmed, and feel like you’ve got nothing left in the tank. You must join us for our Rest, Restore, and Rejuvenate Course starting soon. It will guide you into a time of beautiful rest in the Lord so you can feel recharged and rejuvenated. Click here to learn more.
Until Next Time,