Are you in a season of stress or chaos? I’ll continue sharing what I did for self-care during an extreme time of stress.
I shared in my first post on Self-Care in Chaos how I made the decision to eat something vs stressing over it being balanced or “healthy” or “clean”. Sometimes I was able to eat a quick breakfast before I left, but obviously the day of the surgery that wasn’t going to happen as my husband had to be there at 6:30 a.m. and the hospital was an hour away! I was able to bring some fruit and snacks with me, but I did go down to the hospital cafeteria to get a little bit from the yogurt bar. Each day would find me looking around and just gravitating toward what sounded good. Thankfully I didn’t have a whole lot of choices to confuse me and stress me even more! Some days that salad bar was amazing and I really piled it on. Other days I walked by– couldn’t even look at it! :p
There were days that I had Subway for lunch and pizza for supper, and other days I had salad bar for one and the yogurt bar for the other. I would buy some snacks but tried to also take fruit from home. I definitely was eating more sugar between the snacks, fruit and yes, the ice cream at Culver’s that I indulged in sometimes on the way home. 🙂 but the fruit was more portable and easy to keep without any refrigeration.
Make plans ahead if you can to help you navigate a chaotic time.
It’s important to fuel your body well so that your body can deal with the stress. Your adrenals will be taxed, and by not eating or eating all junk you’re not going to help them out. Neither is stressing over every bite you put in your mouth as not being healthy and berating yourself for it. In fact, that can be even worse!
If you’re going through a chaotic time, give yourself permission to just make sure you eat. Then if you can, try to make better choices wherever you may find yourself. It may be a hospital cafeteria, it might mean having to catch some fast food on the way home as you’re dealing with whatever stresses life has thrown at you. But make sure you make time to eat! If you are the type that just doesn’t eat for long periods of time when stressed, have a trusted friend or relative be your buddy that will make sure that you are eating. Tell them they have your permission to make sure that you are eating, whether that means asking you, bringing you something, or taking you someplace to eat. Be grateful for whatever you’re eating versus thinking “Oh, I shouldn’t be eating this.”
Be sure to stay hydrated!
This is another area where it can be easy to let go because we don’t read our body’s cues for hunger or thirst very well during a stressful time. Hydration is crucial for your body to continue functioning well. For myself, I made sure I had bottles of water in my backpack and I bought bottled water even though yes, it was usually more expensive. I knew it was important and crucial for me to stay hydrated during this time as much if not more so than when life was “normal”.
It is hard to be intentional during these time! If you can pick just a few things to help you make sure that you are fueling your body well by at least eating something, and stay hydrated to help your body function optimally, that can go a long way towards taking care of yourself during the chaos.