Investing in your health by making healthy changes is always rewarding but it doesn’t mean it is always easy. Change is hard and we are human so we may slip now and again. To help increase our chance of success, we can take steps to prevent stress, and more importantly, consider how we can respond to stress in a healthy way.
A major source of stress when adopting a healthy lifestyle is slips. Slips happen when we do not follow our plans for healthy eating or being active. Slips are normal and are to be expected. Slips do not always hurt our progress, in fact, they can help us learn what to do differently. What hurts our process is the way we react or respond to slips.
Slips can lead to negative thoughts that fuel unhealthy behaviors that bring us father away from our goals. We can break this chain of negative thoughts and unhealthy actions simply by starting over. Realize that you are human, give yourself permission not to be perfect, take a deep breath, and start again. You’re worth it!
We can reduce stress by taking time to plan, prepare, and problem solve so we can overcome barriers and establish healthy habits that make life easier. We can also lower stress and make it easier to reach our goals by finding meaning and enjoyment in the healthy actions we take each day.
To set yourself up for a success it is best to set small, manageable goals that are realistic for you. If a goal is unrealistic or too difficult to attain, this sets us up for feelings of guilt or shame because we couldn’t measure up. Remember that building new habits takes time. We need to be kind to ourselves if we do slip and remember our purpose so we get up and try again!
Negative thoughts are your worst enemy. Talk back! “I am not a failure because I slipped. I am back on my feet again.”
Learn from your slip. In the future can you avoid the situation that may have triggered the slip? What could you do to handle the situation differently.
Make your very next meal a healthy one. Get back on schedule with your activity plan right away.
Reach out to a friend or health coach and discuss your new plan for handling slips. Commit yourself to a new effort.