Because the internet is loaded with posts about how to reduce stress in one’s life, this post is going to focus on how to handle the stress you have. I thought this might be important to blog about because 1) some people can’t reduce the stress in their lives because of what they do for a living or 2) even if we are reducing stress on the front-end, it’s still useful to know how to handle it on the back-end as well. This will be a quick rambling entry that addresses some of the things I do to mitigate the constant wear and tear I’m putting on my body from 70-80 hour work weeks, sleep deficits, loads of travel, and high managerial demand. I know the many ways to reduce stress on the front-end but quite frankly, most of the ways are already in place in some fashion and / or are not realistic for my situation. So here are some of the little things I try to do:

  • Inside-Out Care:
    • Exercise: I try to exercise 6 days a week with a decent balance of strength training, aerobic and metabolic fitness training. This primes the endocrine system to fight stress, keeps the metabolism high, makes sleep higher quality, and gives you an outlet for stress. Thankfully, I don’t have to go far to get in a great workout…I own Athletic Lab, a sport performance training center with all the fitness and training toys I could want.
    • Super foods: I try to consume the following in moderation every day: dark chocolate, red wine, white tea, and coffee. Likewise, I try to eat berries, oily fish, healthier nut varieties (almonds, walnuts, etc) at least a couple times a week. These are all great for reducing reducing the effects of high stress levels on the body.
    • Eat right: In addition to the super foods, I eat a high protein diet rich in vegetables, meats, and beans. I avoid process foods of all kinds and anything that is or could be white (bread, pasta, rice) for 6 days out of the week.
  • Outside-In Care: While eating well, exercising and getting regular doses of so-called super foods will do the bulk of the work, make sure you take care of the outside shell too. I’m a no-fuss guy and hate to use froo-froo body wash and lotion products but I still want to take care of the shell of my body too.
    • Shaving: Shaving the face with a blade rather than an electric razor is a manly man way of exfoliating and following it up with some moisturizer for your hide will keep you looking good.
    • Moisturize: Skin is the biggest organ of the body and it subconsciously tells others a lot about our health and well-being. I’ve been using Lubriderm men’s 3-in-1 lotion because I can use it post-shave, on my face, and on my body…a plus because I don’t want to use 3 different lotions. The path of least resistance will be the path most easily adhered to.
  • Physical contact: Do it anyway you want (it can be as g-rated or x-rated as you want) but there’s an increasing amount of research that suggests that humans NEED some form of physical touch (could be with a child, your spouse, or even a pet) as a means of reducing anxiety levels.
  • Work: yes, I said work. If you’re not in super-busy workaholic group you can probably safely overlook this one, but those that have as much on there plates as me will appreciate that often the best way to reduce stress is to actually work. Because when you DON’T work, it’s constantly on your mind that the work you’re not doing is accumulating. Sometimes doing work is less stressful than not doing work.
  • Allow yourself a little down time: I don’t get much down time but when I do I use it effectively. I sleep, I spend time with my family, I do things I really want to do. Likewise, I typically only get one half to one day a week off and I use this as a ‘cheat day’ from my otherwise very healthy diet. It makes the other days easier to adhere to and gives a foodie like me something to really look forward to.