Do you ever feel like your days are a blur of tasks, errands, and dilemmas? Perhaps you move throughout your day with apprehension about finishing the next item on your to-do list, frustrated by aspects of your environment outside of your control. I recently spoke to a patient who felt puzzled by her exhaustion and lack of desire to work out at the gym. Her career demands a level of precision and creativity, and she spends much of her day on her feet. She lacks interest in the arduous task of going to the gym after a full day of work and finds herself depleted of energy once she arrives home. She indicated making decisions is nearly impossible. The patient is also preparing to relocate her family, find a similar job in a new place, coordinate her job search with her partner, and balance her finances. We spoke about how lifestyle and stressors can affect mental clarity. Although change and unpredictability are a part of daily living (and sometimes out of our control), there are ways to improve our thinking and decrease stress.
Journaling is a powerful way to release your emotions at your pace, and without the potential of a response. Don’t worry about rehashing the minutia of the day, rather, journaling can be a brief list of bullet points written on a sticky note. By writing down your thoughts or triggers for stress, you force your brain to slow down. This technique prompts self-awareness and evaluation of your responses. Once you are done, you can throw it away. This behavioral strategy is symbolic for the end of your worries. Once they are out of your brain and on to paper, you are done carrying them for the day.
This mindful activity helps to bring awareness of how stress manifests in physical symptoms. Try out a free yoga class or view a video online. If you are new to the practice, enjoy gentle stretching and spending time listening to your breath. Notice any tension (e.g., neck, shoulders, jaw) that may have built up throughout your day.
Walking can be a great way to teach mindfulness (e.g., feeling the warm sun on your skin, listening to the birds sing) or a way to direct your wandering mind to a specific behavior (e.g., walking with balance, placing one foot in front of the other. Furthermore, exercise produces endorphins, elevates mood, and improves sleep.
In the age of technology, it is difficult to remove ourselves from digital distractions. Start small with 15 or 30 minutes. Use this time to connect with a loved one or simply step outside.
Hormones can help your body cope with stress. But hormones decline begins as early as your forties. Some symptoms for both men and women of low hormone levels include low energy levels, fatigue and the inability to concentrate. To discover whether, and to what degree, you suffer from hormone imbalance, Dr. Durland conducts specific laboratory testing. Hormone therapy is simple with The Simple Hormone Program. You can feel like a younger version of yourself.
As only Dr. Durland can put it- “Gosh love it, life is hard. This world takes a lot of energy to live in. When your hormones change, your energy changes. How you deal with it is up to you”. Check out her recent episode of Keeping It Simple.
Dr. Lauren Easton is a Doctor of Philosophy, Health and Psychology of Physical Activity from the University of Kansas. She also holds a Ed.S. in Counseling and a Master’s of Science in Kinesiology- Sport Psychology from Georgia Southern University. Dr. Easton areas of specialty include goal orientations, optimizing experiences with physical activity + nutrition, exercise psychology, goal-setting plans, and strategies for health-related behavior changes. Dr. Easton is a key component to the Simple Weight Loss Program, assisting patients in experiencing growth throughout the weight loss process and maximizing their experience in physical activity, nutrition, and other health-related behaviors. Dr. Easton also leads the Simple Wednesday Walking Group every week starting at 7am in the Simple Wellness parking lot.