My Stress Ate My Workouts!

Have you ever made some decisions in your life that you almost instantly regret?  For example, maybe you just had back surgery a few weeks ago and then you agree to get a new puppy.  A puppy that has to be carried down stairs every time he has to poo (and he has to poo a LOT).  While you’re caring for this puppy, you also have to go back to work and guess what?  Mom’s coming for a visit next week!

All of this leads to one thing:  Stress.  And not just the “Oh, I’m so stressed out, I think I’m going to have to have a glass of wine.”  No, it’s more like, “Hand me the tequila and no one gets hurt.”

I’ve written about stress and exercise and I’ve even put together a list of stress-busting workouts, and that’s all well and good for normal stress.  But for Tequila Stress, it isn’t so simple to say, “Oh, just go for a quick run or something.”  No, Tequila Stress is the kind where you’re happy just to get through the day without murdering someone or scratching out your own eyes.  Tequila Stress is the kind where even the thought of doing a planned, structured workout is utterly laughable.  A workout?  Who has time for that?  And, really, who gives a rusty fart when your life is falling apart around you?

What I’ve figured out about Tequila Stress is that exercise actually becomes a necessity.  The lifeline you need to keep a handle on your sanity as the puppy chews and pees and poos and your mother starts rearranging your kitchen cabinets and your doctor takes away your pain meds because you’re all mended from surgery now, aren’t you?  Exercise is the one thing you must keep doing.  Otherwise, your body will rebel against you.  You will be sleep deprived and exhausted.  You’ll gain weight, even if you’re not eating more food, simply because the body hoards extra abdominal fat when there are too many stress hormones running around in your body for a long period of time.  You’ll feel like utter crap.

So, how do you keep exercising when you’re experiencing Tequila Stress?  My general rule of thumb is this:  Just do anything…any activity for any length of time you can manage.  If that’s 10 pushups and a couple of halfhearted squats, then that’s a workout.  I have some more ideas in my latest article, Too Stressed to Exercise…let me know if you have any other ways to stay moving when you’re stressed.


One comment

  1. Geo M Alvarez Bouse says:

    I will look at Too Stressed to Exercise; however, I will add here that if I were to adopt your ’10 pushups and a couple of halfhearted squats…’ workout, I would do it at least twice more on any one day in order to remind myself of the importance of continuity and developing a more firm plan in the days to come.

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