I have identified stress as an obstacle to successfully managing my weight, so have been attending a Stress Management group. The group ran for six weeks and I have a follow-up session in four weeks time.
All in all I feel that I am managing stress better than I was prior to the group. I have learnt new skills and relaxation exercises to identify stress triggers, problem solve, challenge my thinking, and so on
The biggest area for continual improvement is scheduling non-negotiable self care. I find that I have no problem making a list of activities that I like doing, even schedule them. But I fall down in the 'non-negotiable' aspect.
To overcome this, I have reasoned that scheduled non-negotiable self care is as important, scheduled and non-negotiable, as say brushing my teeth
Some of the self care activities over the last six weeks include:
cued brief relaxation, for example, calm breathing
progressive muscle relaxation
getting out into the garden, and beginning to grow food plants
cooking a new recipe every week
using my diary effectively to plan and prioritise
trying new SparkPeople videos, and practising short 10 minute exercise breaks
planning a holiday
I have been using the internet to window shop for holidays. I find a destination or a package, then follow up with planning an itinerary, dates, and costs. Even though the expectation is that I am exploring the world from my keyboard, I have found that with a bit more aggressive saving, vouchers, following-up package deals and specials - we are actually planning on going on a short-break over Christmas. Then in January, a short-break to celebrate our wedding anniversary.
So while I still need practise to improve on managing stress, I would never have thought that I would be going on holiday at the end of the year if I hadn't been guided to think of activities that I like doing.
In addition, I have recently joined the Stress Busting Challenge SparkTeam www.sparkpeople.c
Hopefully this will keep me on track so that I can maintain the stress management skills and relaxation exercises that I learnt in my group.