Category Archives: Stress Relief

Easy Stretches to Relieve Stress. Exercise for Physical & Mental Health.

Feeling tight, tense, anxious, heavy, negative, or stressed? Try these easy stretches to relieve your stress and feel better fast.

Easy Stretches

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Life moves fast and you feel like you are always running to keep up. The to-do list is endless and the emails never stop. You mind is always racing back and forth, did I check everything off of my list? The fight-or-flight mode lifestyle has become your normal. Deep breaths? Stretching? Who has time for that really?

You do. And in-fact, taking a couple minutes for a few easy stretches will help you keep up with your non-stop schedule.

Not pausing to practice self care will catch up with you. It always does and often comes in a headache, illness, injury, or random meltdown in the office breakroom. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Life isn’t a marathon where you just keep running until you break. It actually can be a series of sprints where you work hard with great focus and then take time to recover for your next burst.  This video of total body stretches is the perfect quick fix when you feel overworked. It will help you ease tight muscles, maintain your sanity, and ground yourself so that you can tackle whatever challenges life hands you next. I know it might feel like you don’t have time, but trust me you do. And taking time to do a few easy stretches now will actually give you more time later. Trust me on this – you will move faster in life if you create space for yourself.

These easy stretches are perfect to use when you are:

  • Training hard. Getting ready for a race or just hitting it hard in the gym? Balance all your high intensity workouts proper recovery and stretching.
  • Traveling. Dealing with the physical and mental stress of jet lag, hotels, and getting from point A to B makes your body cranky. Use these easy stretches in your hotel room to calm yourself down from the stress of traveling.
  • Under pressure. When work is intense, you are getting ready for a big event, or feeling anxious about performing your best, you can use these easy stretches to ground yourself so that you can be fully focused.
  • Feeling upset, depressed, negative, or heavy. 
  • Frazzled. A fight with a loved one, traffic, or any life event that makes you feel nervous or on edge.
  • Stuck with a headache, backache, or ANY ache. 

In this routine you will do the following easy stretches:

  • Cat/cow
  • Twisted child’s pose
  • Puppy pose
  • Laying quad stretch
  • Seated twist
  • Hip opening stretch
  • Spine twist
  • Knees to chest

and more! As always, please check with your doctor before starting this or any exercise routine. Honor your body, move mindfully, and do what YOU need to feel your best.

Next time you feel overwhelmed with stress, try these easy stretches and tell me yourself. If your mental and physical energy is better after, I’d say this self care stuff works 😉

Easy Stretches for Stress Relief Exercise Video

Don’t have enough time for all of these easy stretching exercises? Just do a few! Use a move or two when you need just a little moment of calm. You can also start a “watch later” playlist on Youtube to save this routine for when you need it. That way you always have your a video on hand and stress relief is only one click away.

Leave me a comment below when you try these easy stretches and let me know if it helps you relieve stress. And please share this video with someone in your life who could use a  break! Together we can support each other in feeling our best and staying strong so we can SPRINT fast in life.

Love,

Caroline

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Stress Relief Stretch Routine. Calm Your Body And Mind With These Exercises.

Feeling tight, tense, overworked, or on edge? Try this simple Stress Relief Stretch Routine to calm your body and mind within minutes.

Stress Relief Stretch Routine

Stress Relief Stretch Routine

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Work has been kicking your butt lately. You feel it in your entire body. Your neck is stiff, upper back tied in knots, hips tight, and lower back a mess. You’ve got a nagging eye twitch that won’t seem to give up and your digestion is out of whack. You keep pushing through the discomfort – just too many projects to complete, emails to finish, and deadlines to meet.

“These are normal aches and pains. My body can wait till after this is done.” you tell yourself as you cross tasks off your to-do list. Until your body decides enough is enough and gets sick, broken, or worse.

Let’s take a time out before your body takes one for you. All you need is a few minutes of consistent self care to prevent stress from getting the best of you. Take time now or take time later – it’s your call. Wouldn’t you rather feel your best when answering all of those work emergency tasks and emails?

Honest truth here: your to-do list will live longer than you and without your health you won’t be able to do any of it at all. Next time you are feeling stress build up in your muscles and mind, try pausing for a few minutes to unwind. There are all natural ways to manage stress that don’t take a lot of time and will improve your health, focus, and work performance. Stretching is a simple method to move stress out of your body. A few deep breaths and easy exercises can calm your nervous system and steady your mind. Using healthy habits like exercise, breathing, and meditation can keep stress from having chronic, long-term health effects. It’s worth using a few minutes on your to-do list for yourself. Ready to melt the stress away? Press play and join me for this 10 minute Stress Relief Stretch routine.

Stress Relief Stretch Routine

This 10 minute Stress Relief Stretch routine is designed to help you ease tight, tense muscles and calm your mind. You will move through basic yoga exercises like: cat cow, twisted child’s pose, hip circles, puppy pose, hip stretch, low lunge, seated twist, seated forward fold, knee to chest, spine twist, and happy baby. The exercises in this video will help you stretch your neck, upper back, lower back, shoulders, chest, hips, and spine. This routine is appropriate for all levels and can be done at home, at the gym, or while traveling. This Stress Relief Stretch video would be perfect for:

  • The end of a long work day
  • After a long plane flight or car trip
  • When you are feeling tired or upset
  • After a stressful situation: presenting a big project at work, a fight with a loved one, traffic, or any life event that makes you feel nervous, frazzled, or on edge
  • When you have a headache
  • When you are just getting back into exercise
  • When your body feels sore

With a few deep breaths and exercises, you can prevent a body breakdown from getting in the way of your important deadlines. Next time you feel stressed, press play on this Stress Relief Stretch routine and see if it helps. Let me know when you try this video by leaving a comment below, I’d love to hear if this routine allows you to unwind your body and mind. What is your go-to healthy habit that helps you prevent stress from hurting your health?

When you feel your best you perform your best. I’m always here to support you in taking care of yourself so you can be a success. Keep moving and be good to yourself my friend.

Love,
Caroline

My mission is to help you develop a positive relationship to self and exercise that adds to the quality of your life. Check out my list of services, stay connected about upcoming events by subscribing to my email newsletter, or contact me at carolinejordanfitness@gmail.com to discuss ways we can work together and live well.

I put my heart and soul into my corporate wellness programs and customize my services to benefit the unique needs of the company and the individuals within it.  If you are interested in scheduling a consultation to discuss ways we can work with together and improve the health of your company, contact me at: carolinejordanfitness@gmail.com

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10 Minute Self Healing Meditation for Relief from Injury, Illness, Pain, and Negative Thoughts

This 10 minute guided Self Healing meditation will support you in manifesting a full physical mind and body healing. Each time you listen, it will initiate a deep healing transformation of every cell in your body. Other benefits include instant relief from physical pain, healing long-term illnesses, finding deep levels of inner peace, an increased amount of energy, and the quieting of mind chatter. This Self Healing Meditation will soothe your body and relieve your mind of any so you can receive a physically transformative healing experience.

Self Healing Meditation

Self Healing Meditation

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Depressed, anxious, scared, frustrated, angry, hurt, resentful, hopeless, hurt, in pain, desperate, emotional…

Dealing with pain can make you unravel. I know. I have been there and I want to help you feel better.

As you know, I have been working through a particularly challenging foot injury. Its taken me out of so many things I love (high heels included) and there have been times when I have felt depressed, hopeless, frustrated, and physically/mentally exhausted. When I feel like this I know that one of the best things I can do to support myself is to meditate. I find that meditation helps me reset and shift my consciousness so that I can find the present moment and view life in a positive light. This in turn eases my depression/anxiety/exhaustion; sometimes, it eradicates it completely.

The endurance and uncertainty of an injury is emotionally exhausting. In those times where I feel lost, upset, drained, hopeless, or scared about what’s next, I have turned to meditation and prayer to help.

When you feel stuck in that place of hopelessness and depression you must find a way to shift your state of being. Remember your thoughts and beliefs affect your body’s ability to heal. If you are caught in a negative thought cycle and obsessed with your pain, you’ll only move downward. What you focus on expands and if you let yourself worry about pain, you are giving more power to it. Both health and illness is a part of life. When you keep that in mind and have a positive state of mind, then illnesses or injury can change.

If you are feeling hopeless, depressed, or stuck in a state of pain, this quick Self Healing meditation can help you shift your mindset to a more positive place. This Self Healing meditation is about establishing a different relationship with your thoughts and affirming your body’s ability to heal itself. You’re training yourself to place your attention where and when you want. This is very powerful. It gives you the ability to direct your thoughts (and mood) in more productive and peaceful directions. This ability has profound self-healing implications for physical and mental health.

The mind is a powerful thing, and our thought and intent are as potent as any medicine.

How this Self Healing Meditation Helps The Body Heal Itself

The body knows how to heal itself. It is equipped with natural self-repair mechanisms that repair broken proteins, kill cancer cells, fight infections, prevent aging, and maintain the homeostasis of the body. When the body gets sick, whether from the common cold or something more serious, like heart disease or cancer, it’s almost always because the body’s self-repair mechanisms have broken down, usually because of stress.

When the nervous system is stressed, as it is during the “fight-or-flight” stress response that is so commonly triggered in modern day life, these self-repair mechanisms are disabled and the body is at risk for disease or injury. Only when the counterbalancing relaxation response is activated, when the sympathetic nervous system is turned off and the parasympathetic nervous system is turned on, can the body heal itself.

So how can you turn on that relaxation response so the body can heal itself? My book, Balanced Body Breakthrough, lists many ways, but one of the simplest and most effective is meditation!  Meditation has been scientifically proven to activate the relaxation response, and as a result, almost every health condition improves. Research has shown meditation is effective in treating angina pectoris, cardiac arrhythmias, allergic skin reactions, anxiety, mild to moderate depression, bronchial asthma, herpes simplex, cough, constipation, diabetes mellitus, duodenal ulcers, dizziness, fatigue, hypertension, infertility, insomnia, nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, nervousness, postoperative swelling, premenstrual syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, side effects of cancer, side effects of AIDS, injury and all forms of pain – backaches, headaches, abdominal pain, muscle pain, joint aches, postoperative pain, neck, arm, and leg pain.

Meditation has been shown to decrease stress-related cortisol, reduce respiration and heart rate, reduce the metabolic rate, increase blood flow in the brain, increase activity in the left prefrontal cortex (which is observed in happier people), strengthen the immune system, and lead to a state of relaxation.

Meditation also reduces work stress, anxiety, and depression, promotes cardiovascular health, improves cognitive function, reduces alcohol abuse, improves longevity, promotes healthy weight, improves immune function, and heightens quality of life.

If you are struggling with injury or illness, making a consistent effort to practice Meditation will help your nervous system relax. Doing so will help you heal from injury, pain, illness, or negative stress patterns that hurt your health.

Meditation for Self Healing

Meditation for Self Healing

Guided Meditation For Self Healing. Heal from Injury, Illness, Pain, and Negative Thoughts

This Self Healing Meditation was inspired by what I have experienced during my own journey to healing, and was specially created to assist those of you who are currently going through physical challenges and dealing with pain. I believe in the body’s wisdom and capacity to heal itself. This 10 minute guided meditation will support you in manifesting a full physical mind and body healing. Each time you listen, it will initiate a deep healing transformation of every cell in your body. Other benefits include instant relief from physical pain, healing long-term illnesses, finding deep levels of inner peace, an increased amount of energy, and the quieting of mind chatter. This Self Healing Meditation will soothe your body and relieve your mind of any so you can receive a physically transformative healing experience.

The benefits of practicing this Self Healing Meditation include:

  • Assisting you in releasing your fears by relaxing your mind
  • Giving you more energy to focus toward physical healing
  • Training your mind to support your body and restore wellness
  • Helping your body relax so it can repair itself.

Guided Meditation For Self Healing. Heal from Injury, Illness, Pain, and Negative Thoughts

  1. Begin by creating a peaceful environment free of distractions or disruptions. Some people have rooms exclusively dedicated to meditation.  Even a small closet can be tricked out to become a special space designed to help your body relax and your soul connect. Meditating outside can also be lovely. The point is to create an environment conducive to freeing your mind from its daily clutter and relaxing your body.
  2. Get comfortable. Choose a position where you can feel grounded and relaxed. Use pillows, cushions, and other props that help you feel comfortable. Keep your back straight so you can breathe deeply with ease.
  3. Close your eyes. Closing your eyes minimizes visual distractions, helps you come back into your body, and starts to settle you.
  4. Focus on your breath as you inhale and exhale. 
  5. Release judgment. Most importantly, don’t judge yourself as you learn to meditate. Criticizing yourself for meditating “badly” or beating yourself up because your mind won’t calm down will only stress you out, defeating the purpose of making attempts to help your body relax so it can repair itself. Remain compassionate with yourself, and pat yourself on the back for any progress you make.
  6. Keep in mind that this meditation is not meant to replace any medical or psychological treatment or consultation. If you have a serious medical condition, please consult with your medical doctor immediately. Do not use while driving or operating machinery.

Ready to get started? Press play now

10 Minute Self Healing Meditation for Relief from Injury, Illness, or Negative Thoughts.

Try this Self Healing Meditation and let me know how you feel afterwards by leaving me a comment below. I hope this serves you in feeling your best.

The most important thing to remember in our efforts to be good to our body is to remember to love it. In order to heal ourselves, it is essential to remove the negative beliefs that contribute to an unhealthy physical condition. We need to give ourselves positive messages all of the time and release negative pain. We don’t have to wait until we become thin or build our muscles or lower our cholesterol or reduce our fat ratio. We need to love ourselves right now and listen with love to the needs of our bodies. We deserve to feel wonderful all of the time and healing is your divine right.

Be well. ♥ Know that you are loved, and that healing is always possible. ♥

Caroline

 

My mission is to empower feel good fitness inside and out. I am here to be of service in your wellness and help you get your mind, body, and spirit in shape so you can love your life. Lets work together and live well. Contact me at carolinejordanfitness@gmail.com 

Want to build a balanced body? Check out my book, Balanced Body Breakthrough and get your mind, body, and spirit in great shape so you can love your life.

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An Exercise That Will Change Your Life.

I am a coach for individuals, groups, and companies. In this work I help others identify their strengths, overcome challenges, achieve goals, and fulfill their ideal vision of success. With my coaching, I help the client to identify exactly what they want and take intentional action towards results. This process allows the client not only to deliver on their promises but to go beyond them; to experiment, innovate, and improvise, so that they can take bigger, bolder, and better actions in service of their dreams.

“I don’t know what to do.”  “I’m in a rut.”  “I feel stuck.”  These are words I hear often from coaching clients.  We all struggle with this kind of mindset sometimes, and if you’re struggling right now, it’s time to push through.  There’s plenty you can do.

The truth is, you have the power to move forward no matter how stuck you feel or what obstacles block your path.  You have the power to live up to your highest vision of how your life can be.  You have the power to follow through and make significant progress on your biggest goals.  You have all this power because you have the CHOICE.  In each moment you can choose what you think, what you do, and who you want to be.

You don’t have to continue doing things the way you’ve always done them.  You don’t have to be held a prisoner by your old, familiar habits and assumptions.

When you are feeling stuck or frustrated in your life without any options, I have an exercise Id like you to try. Put aside 10 minutes a day to sit quietly with yourself. Set a timer or a phone alarm if you need to so that your mind doesn’t wander off. Find a comfortable space free of distractions and interruptions. Sit in an easy position and work through the following meditation:

Caroline’s “Take A Moment Meditation”. An Exercise That Will Change Your Life. 

“Take a good look at your life right now. If you don’t like something about it, close your eyes and imagine the life you want. Now allow yourself to focus your thoughts on the person you would be if you were living this preferred life. Notice the differences in how you behave, present yourself, and how you feel; allow yourself to spend several seconds breathing in the new image, expanding your energy into this new mold. Hold the image for several seconds and allow it to imprint it on your subconscious mind.”

Do this daily for 10 minutes or so. Often times when it feels like you’re being pulled in every direction by forces beyond your control, its time to take time to realign yourself with what you value most in life.  The way to do this is to clear the distractions, the outside noise, the external world and go inward.

One of my favorite quotes by Lao Tzu states: “At the center of your being you have the answer. You know who you are and you know what you want.” Give yourself time and space to connect to the center of your being, to who you are and what you want. I believe a daily meditation can serve as a simple and powerful way to quiet your mind and direct your life in the direction you want.

Everyday is a new day, filled with new possibilities. Never ever assume that you’re stuck with the way things are. Life changes every second, and so can you.

What is one thing you want to change in your life?  Leave me a comment below and share your thoughts.

Here to cheer you on through all of life’s changes. Keep going, keep growing, and stay positive my friends. 

Caroline

If you liked this post, please SHARE it with your friends on Facebooktwitter, or email. Everyone deserves to be healthy and live a life they love. 

I work with individuals, groups, and companies as a wellness speaker, consultant, teacher and coach. Some of my clients include Genentech, Google, CALPers, Credit Karma, Hines, ReedSmith, DDB Group, Sephora, and RMC Water. I lead public workshops and retreats at luxury resorts like Solage Calistoga, Marriott Hotels, Fairmont Hotels, and W hotels. I provide onsite wellness coaching, special events, offsite retreats, day long seminars, wellness workshops, fitness classes, and stress management programs. My mission is to support others self care and in being happy, healthy, fit, and living a positive life.

For more information on coaching, corporate wellness, or booking a workshop, retreat, or event, contact me at : carolinejordanfitness@gmail.com

Other Things To Check Out This Week:

Too Tired for Life After Work? Let me help you with that.

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Photo Credit: Toni Alejandria

You get home from a long day and feel the fatigue hit you when you walk in the door. You had hoped to go for a run, check out that yoga class, or meet a friend for dinner but you are just…. so…. tired. The only thing that sounds good is pouring a large glass of wine and turning on BRAVO. It’s just too easy to get on your pjs and cancel everything, who cares if its only 7pm?

Sound familiar? You are not alone. We all struggle with that “5 o clock somewhere” exhaustion. This often leads us to look for relaxation in sources that have a “numbing” sensation. A few cocktails, real housewives episodes, or snack foods later we are ready for bed, without ever REALLY relaxing or renewing our energy from a long work day.

Heres the irony in it all : the less you do, the less energy you are going to have. The more you do the more energy you are going to have. It’s just like exercise. The more you exercise, the more energy you have; the less you exercise, the less energy you have. Intuitively, we know this is true, but it can be hard to put into practice, especially after a stressful work day.

What can you do if you don’t want to spend ALL of your nights with the remote, the couch, and the television? Here are my suggestions for ways you can shake off post-work fatigue and transition into your evening with energy for a personal life beyond the T.V.

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Work to Life Transitions. Strategies to Prevent 5 O Clock Exhaustion from sidelining your life. 

      • Have a healthy, stress busting ritual you put between work and the rest of your night. Plan ahead and prepare something RELAXING you can do just for you immediately when you get home from work. Take a hot bath, do ten minutes of yoga, get outside and go for a walk, the options are endless. Get creative and personalize a few feel-good transitions that work for you.
      • Unplug for 10-20 minutes (or more). Put your work phone, email, or to-do list away for a “digital detox”. Being overstimulated from a constant stream of texts and emails causes exhaustion and stress. I like to set a specific time to unplug from all tech. Any time you take to unplug will help you feel more grounded (and less likely to dive head first into a bottle of wine) when you get home.
      • Head to the gym, a workout class, a run club, or a sports practice straight from work. Pack all your clothes, a water bottle, and a healthy snack in your gym bag to bring with you so you don’t have to run home and get anything. Movement is medicine. Exercise might not sound enticing after a long work day, but is always a good decision. Think of how good you’ll feel after a workout, let this motivate you to follow through with your exercise plans no matter how drained you feel from your work. Even a short workout session will help clear your mind and restore your energy.
      • Make healthy dinner plans with your friends or loved ones. Friends don’t let friends eat dinner in front of the iPhone. Make the dinner table a no-tech zone and engage in real, quality conversation with those you love. You’ll get to 1. unplug from work and 2. create meaningful relationships over a healthy meal. This is much healthier and happier for you than multitasking mindlessly while eating. Break the habit of reading work emails or watching reruns while you eat. Focusing on what you’re putting into your mouth can help you slow down and really pay attention to the task at hand. Enjoy it, savor it, and your mindfulness will help you digest well, feel full, and appreciate every bite.
      • Walk or bike ride as your commute to work. This can be a great way to get fresh air and create a buffer between work and home.
      • Get OUTSIDE.  Do you have a beautiful, open space where you can walk? A track? A path? A loop that you enjoy that gives you energy, that makes you feel good, and gets you out in nature? Take a detour after work to a park, beach, bridge, ANYWHERE outdoors that allows you to exhale.
      • Pay in advance and sign up for a workout class, session with a personal trainer, or hobby class (cooking, art, etc) after work. When you have paid and registered you are much more likely to show up for yourself.
      • Make a phone date with a good friend. Schedule a call with someone you love for after work. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will. Make time for the people who make your life meaningful and allow this time to help you decompress from your day.
      • Don’t let alcohol be your transition. Many of us get in the habit of having a drink after work, to relax and take a load off. Find a healthy replacement for the after-work drink. Develop non-drinking means of relaxation. Build awareness into your habits when it comes to alcohol. If you feel you need it to relax, think about other activities that are relaxing and enjoyable to you – working out, taking a walk outside, listening to music, reading, etc – and schedule those into your life as a means of unwinding instead of looking for stress relief in a drink.
      • Don’t use food as your transition either! It can become a habit to hit the appetizers right when you walk in the door…. adding up to hundreds of calories and you haven’t even had dinner. Have a light snack if you are REALLY hungry. If you are not physically hungry and are eating to get rid of the work day, go do something to help clear the stress that doesn’t involve emotional eating. Food is not a fix.
      • Put on some music that you love. Whatever tunes you need to feel some relief from a long day – turn up the volume and sing along if it helps you blow off steam.
      • Do a quick youtube stretch or foam rolling video. Its easy, free, and works with your schedule. Make a pinterest board of your favorite go-to videos so all you’ll have to do is press play when you walk in the door. Here are a few of my personal favorite end of day stretching routines:

Its always going to be a challenge to move your mind from a busy work day into a present and positive personal life. I believe if you build the habit of healthy transitions from one world to the next you’ll be enjoying much more than Real Housewives. You’ll be living a more balanced, healthy, and fulfilling life.

Whats one healthy way you transition from a busy work day to a relaxing evening? Leave me a comment below with your favorite way to ease into your evening.

Bottom line: You must make time for yourself at the end of your workday. You’ll feel better, sleep better, and LIVE better with healthy downtime just for YOU. And isn’t that whats life all about? LIVE WELL – lets make this one life COUNT!

Yours in happiness,

Caroline

Did you like this post or did the videos above help you decompress from a busy day? SUBSCRIBE to my Youtube channel and share it with your friends on Facebooktwitter, or email. More great content is headed your way every week to help you live a happy, healthy life! 

I work with a variety of companies to create, write, and develop wellness programming designed to enhance the success and health of their staff. I have hosted corporate wellness workshops and offsite events across the United States. Some of my past presentations include:

“Thrive: Wellbeing At Work”
“Thrive Wellbeing on the Road”
“Digital Detox. Healthy Tech Wellness”
“Reboot at Work! Simple Strategies for improved energy.”
“RX Series. Stress Relief Strategies that Work”

I have consulted for leading companies including: Genentech, Google, RMC Water and Environment, Credit Karma, TaskRabbit, Litekey Technology, ReedSmith LLP,  and Hines. I work to customize each program to meet the unique needs of your team. My goal is to make each offering engaging and provide resources participants can immediately use to improve their wellness and life. I believe that self-care is health care and the secret to thriving in work, wellness, and life. If you are interested in scheduling a consultation to discuss ways we can work with together, please contact me at carolinejordanfitness@gmail.com . 

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New Years Wellness Spa Retreat Weekend. January 3rd and 4th at SOLAGE Resort Calistoga, CA.

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New Years. A time to reflect, goal set, and create a powerful and positive intention for the year ahead. A time to evaluate how you are living your life, how you WANT to be living your life, and to move forward with purpose. Setting powerful, detailed, and motivating goals inline with your life values is truly the way to create a year you love. But this takes time, energy, and effort; which can be challenging to create space for in your busy, successful life.

Thats why sometimes you need to get away. To distance yourself so that you can see clearly. To unplug from the world and plug into YOU. You know its true: the only way to have the time is to make it and the only way to create your life is by getting intentional on how you live it.

So where can you go to have distraction free space to give yourself time to renew and refresh your body and mind? You dont have to travel around the world, sometimes a weekend is all you need to restore your health and feel re-inspired. This year I have partnered with Solage Resort in Calistoga to host a New Years Wellness weekend just for you. An investment in your health and wellbeing is just the gift to give yourself this holiday season.  A little retreat may be the perfect experience to reboot your health and excite your spirit for the new year ahead. Heres what I have planned for you:

New Years Wellness Spa Weekend Retreat

Solage, Calistoga. January 3-4

Start 2015 off in a balanced, blissful state…by taking time for YOU.

You are invited to spend an uplifting weekend at Solage resort, to create conscious intentions for 2015 and jumpstart your new year in health. The weekend experience will allow you to reboot your body, renew your energy, and reawaken your spirit.

Our weekend will include daily fitness classes and motivational workshops in Calistoga’s rustic and restorative setting. There will be ample time for rest, reflection, and pampering yourself in Solage’s legendary bathhouse facilities. 

Join Caroline Jordan Fitness for a New Years Wellness Spa Retreat January 3-4 at Solage Calistoga. Space is limited, for reservations, please contact Solage Calistoga at 855-706-4341

Schedule of Events.

Saturday January 3:

12-3pm Arrive and check in to Spa Solage in Calistoga California
3-330pm Meet and Greet other Participants for a healthy juice
330-430 Nature hike
430-6pm Hatha / Restorative yoga 
6pm-close Free time for dinner, journaling, and rest

Sunday January 4th:

830-915 am Meet in Solage lobby for an invigorating 5K walk/run
930-1015am All levels body weight strength workout 
1030-12pm Vision Board and Goals Workshop 
12-close Rest, relax, and enjoy the bathhouse 

I believe a success is not something you have; it’s something you DO.  It’s something you experience when you wake up and act accordingly.  So let your first weekend of 2015 set the theme of proactivity and success that is certain to echo through your entire year. Let 2015 be the year you move forward with vision, motivation, and health. Let 2015 be the year you are good to yourself.

Hope to see you January 3rd and 4th at Spa Solage! Please feel free to email me at : carolinejordanfitness@gmail.com with any questions. Know someone who might like to come along? Share this post on Facebooktwitter, or email. 2015 is going to be a great year…. a change is in the air.

In health,

Caroline

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Great Reasons To Spend More Time Alone. Health Benefits of Solitude

Carving out a little solitude can make a world of difference. Here are some great reasons to spend more time alone. Go ahead—give yourself a break.

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Photo credit Kuroda Studios

I consider myself a pretty social person, but I also absolutely need my “caroline” time – those periodic moments away from the world. After a business trip, a joint vacation with family or friends, the chaos of the holidays, or a week of events, I hit my threshold – beyond which I slip into an irritable, stressed version of myself. This is why I balance my extroverted life by having quality ME time. I think it’s extremely important and very healthy to spend time alone. You need to know how to be alone and not be defined by another person or thing.  After spending some quality time with myself, I’m as good as new. A bit of regular solitude helps me continue to be the positive woman I aspire to be. 

Solitude is the soul’s holiday, an opportunity to stop doing for others and to surprise and delight ourselves instead. We need to have some downtime, but often it’s a challenge to let ourselves slow down. As Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul, says, “We seem to have a complex about busyness in our culture. Most of us do have time in our days that we could devote to simple relaxation, but we convince ourselves that we don’t.” It seems there is always something that needs doing, always someone who needs our attention. “Unfortunately,” Moore says, “we don’t get a lot of support in this culture for doing nothing. If we aren’t accomplishing something, we feel that we’re wasting time.

Many of us feel compelled to measure our success in terms of acquisition and accomplishment. But even those who don’t buy into such a narrow definition of success may feel uncomfortable with the idea of claiming time just for themselves, with no agenda whatsoever. Often when we find ourselves with an empty hour, we spend that time doing chores or attending to our relationships or Facebook scrolling.

If no one’s around, we’ll reach for the phone—or the TV remote or even the vacuum cleaner. We avoid ourselves because we’re afraid of what we might find or fear missing out on life’s party (also known as F.O.M.O. , aka the “Fear of Missing Out.”). But solitude and isolation do not go hand in hand. We can retreat from the world for a time without being renounced by it. Heres a few of the benefits you get from spending time with yourself:

Health Benefits of Spending Time Alone

1. Alone time allows you to reboot your brain and rejuvenate. Constantly being “on” doesn’t give your brain a chance to rest and replenish itself. Getting away from others allows you to decompress and relax. It gives you a break from the “have tos” and allows you to focus on the “want tos.” It lets you address your own needs as opposed to everyone else’s and gives you the opportunity to rejuvenate and push the restart button.

2. Alone time gives you a higher sense of independence and increased self-esteem. Being alone and getting comfortable with being alone gives you a higher sense of independence. Relying on yourself to make choices and decisions increases your self confidence, which then permeates other aspects of your life, including the times you are in the presence of others.

3. Alone time allows for self discovery. Spending time alone gives you the ability to discover things about yourself and to get a real understanding of who you are. We have grown to appreciate the art of getting to know others, but in reality, it is even more important to get to know ourselves, our preferences, and our likes and dislikes, without other people’s influences.

4. Alone time gives you a fresh perspective. Time alone gives you the opportunity to clear your mind and weed through a lot of thoughts. This allows you to get to the heart of what YOU really think as opposed to being told or influenced by others and their opinions. It gives you time to reflect on what is important in your life and how you feel about everyday situations that need to be addressed.

5. Alone time can enhance the quality of your relationships with others. By spending time with yourself and gaining a better understanding of who you are and what you desire in life, you’re more likely to make better choices about who and what you want to be around. You also may come to appreciate your relationships more after you’ve spent some time alone.

Despite knowing these benefits, it can be a challenge to find time alone in a world that seems to never sleep. Here are a few suggestions to help you find more time to spend with yourself.

How to Spend More Time Alone

  • Be OK with spending time with yourself for yourself. This gets easier with practice, so if you are new to the idea give it some time first.
  • MAKE time for yourself and schedule it. Make a date night just with YOU. I have what I call “non-negotiable self care nights”. These are planned weekly and I commit to spending time with myself for myself (its non-negotiable!). If you dont make time you wont ever have time. Work to create a habit of planning YOU time week to week.
  • Stand firm in your commitment. If you make a commitment to spend time with yourself KEEP it! Dont ask people to join you for your solo walk or journal date (two people doesn’t count as alone time sorry).
  • Learn to say NO. You don’t “have to” attend every party, event, or gathering. And actually, its better if you are more exclusive with how you choose to spend your time. The “fear of missing out” often drives us to over-extend ourselves and attend every social opportunity on the calendar. But that only leads to what I call, “social jetlag” the burnout from comes from too much running around and the need for quality downtime. Next time you are asked to attend an event, say “Let me check my schedule and get back to you.” This allows you time to decide what you need more: going out or time for yourself.  
  • Be clear about your needs. “I need some time for myself” sounds both desperate and vague. Be clear and practical: “On Saturday afternoon, I will be gone from two o’clock to five o’clock. Will you be able to watch the kids?” or “I’ve got plans on Friday night for myself, can we get together another time during the week?”
  • Disconnect. You can’t spend time with yourself if you are too plugged in to everything else. Choose a time in the day and switch off your internet, mobile and any tool that makes you reachable to the world for at least 30 minutes. Turn off your cell phone, Turn off your Internet. Turn off your TV. UNPLUG from the world and PLUG into you. This is really hard habit to create at first especially if your iphone has become attached to your hand. But you’ll be amazed at how much more you can relax, focus, and destress when you’re not plugged into tech.
  • Get Up or Get it In Early. That’s probably the ideal way to find and spend some time alone. When you wake up before the rest of the world, you’ll spend the most peaceful time ever. Waking up at dawn and watching the sunrise is a pleasurable experience. It will allow you to spend the rest of the day with a totally different mode, rather than waking up late rushing to work and getting stuck & frustrated in a traffic jam. When you experience the peace of the early morning, you’ll get addicted to it. Some of the activities that you can do to enjoy spending time alone in the morning include: writing, learn something new, reading, watching a movie, meditating, exercising, walking, breathing the fresh morning air, playing games, thinking & reflecting or listening to music.

If you and your inner self have been out of touch, build a new relationship with someone who deserves attention—you.  Here are a few great ideas to get you started:

  • Exercise solo. Go for a walk, run, swim, bike ride. You can even leave the headphones at home and spend time listening to your thoughts and the world.
  • Journal. I spend a lot of time journaling and love to use my journal time for reflection, goal setting, and creating positive intentions for my life.
  • Meditate. It doesnt have to be long. Sit still with yourself. Watch your thoughts. No judgement. Im a huge fan of the app “Headspace” which guides you through daily 10 minute meditations. Easy to use and accesible anywhere. Plus the meditation guide has a soothing British accent (totally awesome.)
  • Take yourself on a date. Dinner, a movie, a museum. Embrace being out with yourself ALONE.
  • Get lost. Go for a walk, hike, or drive somewhere you’ve never been before. Explore.
  • Get Crafty. Paint, create, make a vision board…. there are so many ways to get crafty and express yourself while making something cool. I recently went to an event at MakeShop by Brit & Co that gave me many unique ideas on different creative projects for self-expression!

Time Alone

Photo credit Kuroda Studios

Solitude is a kind of vacation. We live in a demanding world, and we demand much of ourselves. But the harder we push, the more we also need time to replenish ourselves.  In solitude we discover what makes us feel alive. We can use our time alone to rest, in a complete and profound way, or we can engage in an activity that brings us joy. What a pleasure it is to dive into a project with no distractions, or to pursue our passions at full tilt.

In the end, it is important to remember that spending time alone doesn’t mean that you isolate yourself all the time. We need people and social connections are an extremely important componet of happiness. Its just about finding the balance between being accessible to others and being accessible to yourself. Spending time alone is a way to stop, re-connect, re-evaluate, and live your life on purpose. Alone time allows you to live the healthy, happy life you want with others. 

Inspirational quotes about solitude that will inspire you to find and spend time alone TODAY

  • “I restore myself when I’m alone.” – Marilyn Monroe
  • “You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.” – Wayne Dyer
  • “In solitude the mind gains strength and learns to lean upon itself.” – Laurence Sterne
  • “All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.” – Blaise Pascal
  • “I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least – and it is commonly more than that – sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements.”  – Henry David Thoreau
  • “We live in a very tense society.  We are pulled apart… and we all need to learn how to pull ourselves together…. I think that at least part of the answer lies in solitude.” – Helen Hayes
  • “It is only when we silent the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts.” – K.T. Jong
  • “Only in quiet waters do thing mirror themselves undistorted.  Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world” – Hans Margolius
  • “When we cannot bear to be alone, it means we do not properly value the only companion we will have from birth to death – ourselves.” – Eda LeShan
  • “I’m not anti-social.  I’m pro-solitude.” – Author Unknown
  • “The happiest of all lives is a busy solitude.” – Voltaire
  • “True silence is the rest of the mind, and is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment.” – William Penn
  • “Reading well is one of the great pleasures that solitude can afford you.” – Harold Bloom
  • “We visit others as a matter of social obligation.  How long has it been since we have visited with ourselves?” – Morris Adle

Do you like to spend time alone? What is your favorite way to spend quality time with yourself? Leave your thoughts as a comment below.

Take yourself out on a date, you deserve it.

Caroline

For more feel good fitness inside and out : Check out my book, Balanced Body Breakthrough and get your mind, body, and spirit in great shape so you can love your life.

If you are interested in scheduling a consultation to discuss ways we can work with together and improve your health, contact me at: carolinejordanfitness@gmail.com

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The Long Lasting Benefits of My Wellness Retreat in Costa Rica

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In today’s non-stop world, the daily stresses of life can build quickly. Always reachable on our mobile devices, many of us have endless ‘to-do’ lists and are constantly racing to “keep up”. By running from errand to errand, always plugged in to technology, we rarely give our bodies and minds the break needed to recuperate or live fully. Then we wonder why we are tired, unfulfilled, or struggling with anxiety.

People always say they dont have the time to take a break. They put off resting. “Ill just push through this project, work through lunch, finish up these to-dos this weekend and THEN relax” But not taking the time off for yourself will eventually turn around to bite you in the butt. Choosing to go on a health retreat can be the perfect opportunity for you to restore your mind and body to an optimum level of wellness and live a healthier life upon your return home. Wellness retreat benefits are ENDLESS and will allow you to renew your mind, body, and spirit. Here are a few of the top reasons to get off the grid and invest in yourself by joining me in for an inspiring and uplifting trip to Costa Rica January 24-31st:

1. Detox

Eating healthy can be a time consuming process that many have a hard time finding time for. On our retreat the focus is on taking care of every aspect of your well being, starting with the food you eat to fuel your body. If you come on our retreat, you can expect well thought out meals that are not only clean, organic, and nutritious but also delicious. Food is a primary focus at the Chirriposa Mountain and Beach retreat center in Costa Rica. You’ll indulge in healthy, inspiring, vegetarian and vegan dishes, incorporating a wide selection of locally sourced fresh organic ingredients, providing a culinary experience that will nourish, satisfy and make your experience as perfect as nature intended. Your digestion, skin, energy, and weight will all benefit from the week spent nourishing your body with clean, healthy, foods.

2. Unplug

It seems like we are always in front of a screen these days: the computer at work, the television when we’re home, and our phones at all times in between. Our retreat experience offers you a chance to leave your chargers at home, give your eyes a break, and spend some time offline with your thoughts so you can work on your well being without any distractions. It is AMAZING how taking time to unplug can recharge your energy levels and renew your connection to yourself. We recently talked about how stress and anxiety can come from your relationship to technology.  Unplugging for a week offers you the perfect chance to reevaluate what you want to be plugged into most.

3. Break from Routine

It’s easy to fall in a continuous cycle for the sake of convenience. Eat, sleep, workout, work, repeat. But too much routine can have detrimental effects on your mental and physical health. Our Costa Rica retreat is a chance to do something different. To have an active adventure in a breathtaking location with positive people. Its an opportunity to take a time out to look at your day to day life, get coaching, and create powerful goals for what you want for your life. Taking a break from your routine can be the very thing you need to mix it up, gain perspective, and live your life in line with what you value and want for yourself.

4. Exercise

Are you too tired to exercise when you come home after working all day? We all have good intentions but keeping up with our physical fitness can be a demanding task when we all lead such busy lives. Retreats are an excellent way to reconnect with and reboot your physical fitness. On our retreat in Costa Rica the exercise options are endless! Beach bootcamp, jungle running, sunset yoga, surfing, dancing…. every day will be filled with a variety of fitness, dance, and adventure options to fuel your physical wellbeing and re-awaken your love for movement.

5. Connect with Others

Whether you are going on a retreat by yourself, with a friend, or with a group, being surrounded by other like-minded people is sure to inspire you. Retreats facilitate a powerful positive atmosphere and can be very social if you want it to be. Genuine interaction, connection, community, real conversation and laughter can do wonders for your health. In Costa Rica, You’ll make some new lifelong friends who will support you in your health and happiness.

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6. Pamper Yourself

Retreats offer you the chance to take some much needed time for yourself. A retreat allows you to pamper yourself and heal your body with a massage, facial, other wellness treatments, sleep, and relaxation. You’ll feel completely supported and taken care of.

7. Relax and Unwind

Without your everyday demands and distractions, you will finally have time to do the activities that you have always wanted to do. Take a walk, go to the beach, read a book, or meditate. Simply getting away to a more peaceful atmosphere will reduce your stress levels exponentially and restore your physical and mental health. Chronic stress can create a slew of serious health problems and prevent you from living your most positive, present life. Taking the FULL retreat experience to relax and unwind will allow you to maintain your health and wellbeing over time.

8. Get out of Your Head

There’s no better way to get out of your head and break the pattern of negative/abusive thoughts than putting yourself in an environment of striking beauty. A beautiful retreat sanctuary in a lush tropical environment with panoramic ocean and mountain views is the perfect solution for a mind awash with negativity. Transcend your own mind and merge with the beauty of paradise!

These are only a few of the incredible health and happiness benefits of taking time for a wellness retreat. I know its scary to take a week off work, put yourself in a new environment, and reconnect to yourself and what you want. But you know what? YOU ARE WORTH IT. You deserve to feel good and to live a life you love.

Join me in Costa Rica and make an investment in YOU.  Click HERE for more information. Dont miss out on this once in a lifetime wellness experience at the life changing Chirriposa Mountain and Beach Resort! 

Cheers to health, wellness, and living every second in this one and beautiful life.

Caroline

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Feeling Stressed? It Could Be Your Relationship….

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Feeling stressed? It could be your relationship.

No, not to your honey.

To your technology.

Do you keep your mobile phone with you all the time? Do you feel the constant need to respond to emails, calls, and texts immediately? Are you at the beck and call of every “PING!” you hear?

We are known as the connected generation and there are obvious issues that have stemmed from our constantly plugged in state. The Pew Research Center states that Millennials (those who came of age in the new millennium — currently age 20-36) are the “always on generation“. They’re absolutely right. We text and Snapchat and Kik our friends. We Instagram what we eat and post where we are on Facebook — and that’s all before lunch. We can’t seem to get by without some sort of tech.

We aren’t experiencing life. We’re losing moments with every tap. It’s cheating, really. We may be physically present with our friends and loved ones but we’re texting some one else… or checking a sports score… or tweeting… or playing candy crush saga. Do you remember the last time you went to dinner without taking a picture? Yea, I don’t really either.

We are living life through a device and its just not healthy. If you are feeling burnt out or stressed, it could be your overconnectvity to tech. Here are some signs it might be time for a digital relationship detox:

Signs You Might Have an Unhealthy Relationship to Tech:

  • You Text and Talk at the Same Time. You ask the person in front of you to wait so you can finish a text, watch a video, or read a post . . . and rarely notice when they walk off.
  • You Text and Walk (or drive!) at the Same Time. Not only does it take you twice as long to get to your destination its JUST.NOT.SAFE. If you cant resist commuting while texting it might be time to turn your phone off. (I like you – please no accidents!)
  • You feel naked without your phone. Have you ever left your phone at home and panicked? Not such a good sign. If you you break out in a sweat without your tech, its a sign you’re an addict. 
  • You repeatedly end up online longer than you originally intended. Late nights accidently surfing instagram? And you tell me you are tired…
  • You spend more time with your friends online than you do in the REAL world.
  • You deny it (sometimes defensively) when another person makes a negative comment about how much time you spend online. 
  • You check your mobile phone in the bathroom. (way too common – EW! Please dont text me while you poo. ) 
  • You impatiently wait to get done with real interactions so that you can get online or check your phone.
  • You find yourself distracted by thoughts of how many facebook notifications, emails, or texts you might have to reply to.
  • You have a hard time maintaining focus on a project, conversation, or event.
  • You dont know how to NOT instagram an experience. You spend a noticeable amount of time on friend outings, events, or vacations posting online or absorbed in your phone.
  • You feel a physical and emotional urge to check in with your online community throughout the day. 
  • You never take a break from responding, tweeting, emailing, texting…. You live in “Fight or Flight” mode and your nervous system is frazzled. You are anxious, stressed, and tired. 

If you answered YES to any of the above statements, it may be time to work on a healthier relationship to your tech. Awareness is the first step in making a change to healthier, more fulfilling, real world living. You don’t have to live your life through a device. Here are my tips for working with your technology to enhance your life vs. allowing your tech to take you away from living it.

Caroline’s Tips for a Healthy Relationship With Tech:

  • Create NO phone time zones. Set aside times in your day to put the phone away and focus on what you are doing. I hold “office hours” for myself in the morning where I literally put my phone in the CLOSET (truth!). This way Im not tempted to innocently check it during work and can enjoy my morning distraction free and present. Im a huge advocate for creating no-phone time-zones for yourself. This means that for at least 2 hours of your day (when you’re most productive work happens) you close off your phone and stay completely dedicated to the work in front of you.

  • Create a digital bedtime. Power off your phone an hour before bed time to ensure that your last hour is spent in a meaningful way and that you get to bed on time to start the next day afresh. I like to set a bed time for my phone and power it off at a set time at night. Your phone is just not worth losing sleep over. Leave your phone in another room so that you can get the real rest you need without the distraction.
  • Remember: YOU teach people how to text you! If you respond to texts, emails, or phone calls at all hours of the day, people will think you are available at all hours of the day. If you dont want people texting you during work, DONT RESPOND TO TEXTS DURING WORK. If you dont set boundaries for yourself no one else will.
  • Note: Successful people dont waste hours surfing online and successful people aren’t slaves to their email. The biggest obstacle to productivity is connectivityYou want to be successful? Manage your time well. 
  • GET REAL. When you are with friends and people you care about commit to be present. Always put the real person before the digital one.
  • When on a trip, pack your phone in your suitcase or somewhere out of reach for two hours at a time. Gradually increase that amount. Enjoy the scenery and the people in it. EXPERIENCE IT. 
  • Set a timer for how long you want to spend “surfing” the web or using your tech. Set it and stick to the allotted amount of time. That way you can still get your “fix” without over-doing it.
  • Take a digital detox weekend or retreat. Book yourself a holiday a leave ALL technology at home. If this sounds like a huge challenge, chances are you NEED it. Give yourself a break from all tech and come back with a new perspective and feeling refreshed.

Is your relationship to technology healthy? What advice do you have for living a positive, present life? Leave your words as a comment below, Id love to know how you and your tech share a healthy life together.

I challenge you to try this: Put down the phone. Put down the iPad. Be present and be in the moment for just one day. Enjoy the conversation of those that are physically with you — those who have chosen to take time out of their lives and spend it with you. Watch an entire movie without checking your phone. Have a full conversation without glancing at a screen. Disconnect for just a moment. I’m up for the challenge…are you?

Caroline

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Put an End to Stress Eating.

It’s the middle of the afternoon. You’ve got 42 unread messages, a demanding to-do list, an important networking happy hour after work, and a deadline that just got bumped up…. to tomorrow. What do you do? Maybe something in the kitchen will take the edge off….  there goes your healthy diet.

In today’s non-stop working world, stress and emotional eating has become a habit for many. Food can sound like a way to cope with life’s constant demands but its only a quick fix, and hurts your mental, physical, and emotional well-being long-term.  It can spiral into a vicious cycle of stress, eating, and feeling so guilty about it that you stress eat again. But without better solutions on hand, its you, the break room donuts, and feeling guilty (and more stressed) about it.

How Can You Tell if you are Stress Eating? Here are a few signs:

  1. You eat when you are not physically hungry. Are you really hungry or are you eating because food is a distraction from the stress? Think about how long ago it was since you ate. Was it 3 hours ago or a half hour? Is your body sending you any clear signals that you are hungry? Is your stomach grumbling? Are you low in energy? If you are not physically hungry but are eating anyway, you are emotional eating.
  2. It is hard to find food that satisfies you. For this reason, you don’t stop eating when you are full. You may find yourself scavenging for food or eating things you don’t even like.
  3. Cravings are triggered by an emotion such as anger, anxiety, or boredom etc or an event like a high pressure meeting or traveling for b.
  4. Comfort eating has a mindless component to it. You may not enjoy or taste the food because you are eating it mechanically, as if in a trance. Imagine sitting in front of the computer mindlessly popping chips into your mouth. 

Why is Food so Comforting when Im stressed? There are many reasons food can be so seductive in moments of stress.

  • Biology.  When you are stressed out, your body is flooded with cortisol, a stress hormone, which makes you crave carbohydrates, sugar and fatty foods. Food is soothing due to the chemical changes it creates in your body. Chocolate is an excellent example.  Chocolate boosts the “feel good” neurotransmitters and chemicals in your body that make you more alert and excited.
  • Tune Out. Eating can be distracting. It can take your attention away from whatever is bothering you emotionally.
  • Beliefs. You may also be conditioned to believe eating can ease pain. Many media ads push the therapeutic value of food.  For example, a commercial may urge you to buy a particular candy because it will bring you “bliss” or “happiness.” Your mother may have told you that if you just have a few warm cookies after school it will help with homework. 
  • Convenience. We enjoy things that are easy and convenient. Vending machines and fast food restaurants are always close at hand when you are fretting.
  • Entertainment. It is difficult for many of us to deal with boredom and anxiety. Preparing food and eating it can be entertaining and fills gaps in time.
  • Good Vibes. Emotional eating may be linked to your childhood. Perhaps home baked cookies or macaroni and cheese automatically trigger positive or comforting memories from the past.

Stress eating takes its toll on your weight, energy, health, and happiness long-term. Eating your feelings isn’t a solution, but thankfully, you can break the habit It just takes practice and finding creative, new ways to calm and successfully soothe yourself.  You must work to rewire your brain to identify non-eating behaviors as comforting and build new stress relieving habits that are healthier (and actually helpful) for you. Often times stress eating can be the one thing between you and a healthier, happier, more present life. Here are my top tips for building awareness and a few suggestions on healthier habits that can replace eating for comfort. Next time you feel venerable to stress eating, work through these 3 simple steps and sample a few of the alternative stress relieving solutions. Let me know if it helps calm your body and mind more than the break room snack finds.

Three Simple Steps to Beat Stress Eating. 

Step One: Be Aware. 
Much of emotional eating is so unconscious that it happens automatically or below your awareness. Before you jump into changing this behavior, bring awareness to when you are venerable to stress eating. Write down (or take a photo with your smart phone) where and when you stress eat or stress drink. The office? Late at night? When you are alone? Are there any patterns that you notice? Every time BEFORE you eat, ask yourself how physically hungry you are on a scale from 1-10.  If you are a 6-10, it’s likely that you are physically hungry. But if you are a 3, it might signify that you are stress eating and may be better off with two minutes of deep breathing. 

Step Two: Replace. 
If you take out stress eating, you have to put something in its place.  Write down a concrete list of all the healthy, non-calorie related activities that give you a quick pick-me-up on a tough day. Here a few simple examples.

    • Move. Getting your blood flowing and moving your body is an excellent way to instantly relieve stress. Exercise and the endorphins it provides have been shown time and time again to ease stress, calm cravings, and increase the likelihood of you making healthier choices throughout the day. And it doesn’t need to be an hour in the gym to make a difference – ANY burst movement will help calm your stress. Try a few minutes of movement (stretching, walking, or even a few squats) at regular intervals throughout your day as a way to beat stress and keep cravings at bay.  
    • Sip tea. A study in the journal of Psychopharmacology found that subjects who drank tea experienced a 47% drop in their cortisol levels, the stress hormone that makes you crave food, compared to 27% among the subjects who drank a placebo. Plus tea is flavorful, no-calorie, and will keep your hands busy when a craving hits. 
    • Rub It Out. If a foot rub would hit the spot better than a snack, try self-massage. It can be as simple as sitting down, taking off your shoe and placing your foot over a tennis ball. Rub your feet, one at a time, over the top of the ball until they feel relaxed and soothed. According to the study in the International Journal of Neuroscience , self-massage slows your heart rate and lowers your level of cortisol. Start with this quick, effective foot massage video (close your office door if you have to!) and let me know if it helps calm your nerves. 

  • Just Breathe. Mindless eating soothes raw nerves by numbing out emotions. Munching gives you a moment to zone out from daily commotion and stress. Instead, actively choose a healthy way to clear your mind. You can start with a quick breathing exercise. Slowing down your breathing can trick your body into thinking you are going to sleep, which in turn relaxes your body. Close your eyes. Stare at the blackness of your eyelids. Slowly breathe in and out. Count each time you inhale and exhale. Continue until you get to 10. Deep breathing REALLY works in high-pressure moments. Give it a shot and let it work its magic. 
  • Get a Breath of Fresh Air. Simply stepping outside for a brief splash of sunlight can help bring your mind back to a calm state. If you have a few minutes walk around the office block or take yourself to a nearby park. Stepping away from the stress can help you re-group yourself without resorting to snickers. 
  •  Wait 10 minutes. When you feel the urge to eat out of stress, stop and wait 10 minutes before you eat. Simply pausing before you eat can bring awareness to the action. If you still feel like eating after 10 minutes then allow yourself a small portion of what you crave. Most of the time you’ll find the 10 minute pause allowed you to calm yourself down without food. 
  • Brush your teeth or try a breath mint! Having fresh breath and a pearly set of whites may offset the craving for stress eating.
  • Talk to a friend. Friends are the best therapists. Talking it out is a much healthier way to cope with emotions and stress long term. Call, email, or text a friend when feeling overwhelmed. They can help you work through your emotions much better than any snack can.
  • Eat healthy snacks and meals when hungry. Eating smaller, more frequent meals or snacks when you are hungry will keep your blood sugar stable and lessen cravings for junk food. A more stable blood sugar helps reduce stress. Make time for healthy, balanced meals even when you are busy with work. Taking time to eat well will go a long way in helping keep your energy up for all that you do and prevent eating out of stress when you go too long without food.

Step Three: Practice! 
The list above is just the beginning, there are countless ways to calm yourself without calories, guilt, or weight gain. Next time you feel stressed practice replacing the stress eating habit with a healthier one like journaling, meditation techniques, connecting with others, self-message, or aromatherapy to pamper your senses. Even better, try out these techniques when you aren’t stressed so you get them down pat before you really need them! You wouldn’t want to learn how to swim in rough water. Nor do you want to learn the art of soothing yourself without food on a very stressful day. With practice, you can put an end emotional eating and work through stress in healthy ways that help you long-term. 

Above all, the key is mindfulness and empowering yourself to choose healthy habits. Be aware when and if you’re falling into the trap of soothing and comforting yourself with food. Know that you are in control. You have a choice always. If you want to put an end to stress eating you can do it with by building awareness and working to create healthier stress-relieving habits. True happiness can be found within your own Self, not in breakfast, lunch or dinner. “Happiness comes from within, do not seek it without”. Heres to you living a happy, healthy life from the inside out 🙂  

Do you have a favorite healthy way to work through stress? Leave a comment below with your favorite stress busting strategy, Id love to hear from you!  Did you like this post? Share it with your friends on Facebooktwitter, or email. More great content is headed your way every week to help you live a happy, healthy life! 

Yours in health and happiness,

Caroline

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