You spend your day running around, putting out fires at work (literal or metaphorical), at lunch you eat whatever you threw together during the 10 minutes you allowed yourself away from your computer or phone, you race to pick up your kids before daycare closes, you throw together another meal, and you finally collapse after another exhausting day. So many of us ride this roller coaster day after day, week after week, and just chalk it up to normal life. Because, “everyone lives like this, right…?”
What you are not thinking about while you crash through your busy life is a little problem called Metabolic Syndrome. While you aren’t thinking about it, your chronic stress could be steadily increasing your risk for all kinds of things you don’t want: heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
Yes, Metabolic Syndrome, which is a cluster of risk factors that includes high blood pressure, high triglycerides and high fasting blood glucose, has been linked to chronic stress. The scenario I described above could be putting millions of us at risk. Research suggests that the more chronic stress you experience, the more likely you are to develop Metabolic Syndrome, which can lead to some of the most common health conditions we see in our community.
The good news is that we aren’t helpless. We, as adult humans, have a lot of control over what happens in our lives. It takes brainstorming, creativity, planning, and support, but we are totally capable of reducing excess stress in our lives. It might mean using the words “No,” “I would appreciate your help,” and “I can’t take that on right now.” It might mean doing less stuff and doing more self-care. It isn’t only quality of life we are talking about—it could literally be your life. And you have a life worth living- you might just need some adjustments. Some of the adjustments might be big and some might be subtle, but increased health and wellness is worth it. For example: redefining your roles and responsibilities at home and at work, using “No,” increasing your use of effective stress-management skills such as taking “time-outs” and practicing self-care.
With April being Stress Awareness Month, this month is the perfect opportunity to check in with yourself and decompress where possible. With help, you are absolutely capable of improving your well-being and I would be delighted to help you de-stress your way into a more peaceful, healthy life. Make stress management a #1 priority.