Less Stress Challenge {Lululemon Giveaway}

Since February is National Heart Month, I thought the topic of stress would be a fitting topic to talk about. I mean, who doesn’t have stress? Lately I’ve been thinking that I’d like to challenge myself to having a little less stress in my life. Don’t worry, I’m not stressed out to the point where I am getting out of control or losing my mind, I just need some good change in my life. Speaking of good, I have a great giveaway but sorry, you’ll have to wait until the end of my post to find out the details! :)

I thought to myself in bed the other day, “Lisa, how do you feel today?” Honestly I felt tired, impatient, moody and edgy, especially with my kids over silly things. I don’t feel as relaxed as I’d like to be and noticed that this last month I’ve been falling into my bad habits of mindless eating. I wake up with a stiff sore neck and feeling mentally disorganized and overwhelmed. What I really need is to get back into yoga or go on a nice vacation with my husband for a few days! :)

The other day on the American Heart Association website, I came across this article called, “Fight Stress with Healthy Habits.” It gives a list of 10 healthy habits that can protect you from harmful effects of stress. I challenge you to apply it to your life. Below, I listed all 10 healthy habits and I briefly explained how I can relate each one to my life.

Fight Stress with 10 Healthy Habits from AHA:

Talk with family and friends.
When I feel stressed out I like to call my friends or my sisters. It always makes me feel better, especially when they make me laugh. It helps to relieve my feeling of frustrations and a chance to vent to someone I can trust. How about you?

Engage in daily physical activity.
Personaly for me, exercising regularly helps to relive mental and physical tension and I like to call it my therapy! But this time of year, it’s challenging for me to go to the gym. It’s pretty hectic working around my 2 year olds nap schedule, my kindergartner’s school schedule, my 4th grader’s school and after school activity schedule, and not to mention my work schedule.

Lately, I’ve been asking a couple of my closest friends to come over in the afternoon to workout with me in my basement. It’s serves two purposes, gives me a chance to talk with my friends and a chance to stay consistent with my workouts. Here’s a workout I like to do using my kids as resistant weights, click here to veiw.

Accept the things you cannot change.
This one, I need reminding on. Sometimes I’ll catch myself saying negative things like, “I’m not physically fit as I use to be because I’m too old.” Honestly, that is a weak excuse and need to change my negative talk into a positive talk and work towards a goal.

Remember to laugh.
I love to laugh!  When I feel stressed or when I’m short with my kids, I tell them to stop fighting and make mommy laugh. My kids love it when I ask them to make me laugh, plus it helps them channel their energy to a better mood.  It’s a win-win situation!

Give up the bad habits. Luckily I don’t have too many bad habits, especially bad habit that be detrimental to my health like smoking or drink excess alcohol. However, I have been back to my bad habit of mindless eating. I have been so disorganized lately with my food prep that I have been eating whatever is available.

Slow down.
This one I need to work on. During the school year, I feel like everything is a race to finish on my “to do list”. My days are long and non-stop, I try to spend quality time with each of my kids individually; such as read to my younger kids, help my oldest with his homework, all while trying to make dinner and driving them to their after school activities while trying to stay profession with my nutrition and personal training clients!  I just have to learn how say “no” to certain commitments and to organize my time appropriately.

Get enough sleep.
this is another one that I need to work on. My youngest hasn’t been sleeping well through the night because his molars are coming in. For the most part I do get at least 6 hours of sleep a night, which is not too bad since the recommended amount is six to eight hours each night of sleep.

Get organized.
Another one I need to work on. I have been slacking on using a “to do” list but recently started back because they do help me stay focused on what needs to get accomplished first.  My house is a littered with small toys and books, my laundry is never ending (especially with 3 boys!). If I miss a day of laundry, well let’s just say that it ends up piling up and in the end it’s more work for me. Honestly, I can’t concentrate when my house is disorganized and one big mess. I’m getting stressed just typing about it!

Practice giving back.
It’s no secret that I love to cook and bake healthy foods. I am known to make extra food and treats and share them with family, friend and neighbors.  This weekend I cooked up a bunch of food and brought it over to my husband’s 94 year old grandma’s house. She had a heart attack a few months and back and things are difficult for her physically and financially, so I made her enough food to last her for a few days. I had my kids help out too so they can feel good and be part of giving back.

Try not to worry.
I’ve learned over the years to let things go and don’t stress over the little stuff. So who cares if the kitchen isn’t clean or if the laundry isn’t folded. It eventually gets done but when the time is right for me. I tell myself the mess will be there tomorrow, even if I clean and organize everything. My two year old will be back again tomorrow to make a mess for me to clean up! I’d rather spend time with him than organizing his toy box or washing dishes.

What can you do to decrease the amount of stress in your life?

To enter the giveaway:

Start by liking the SMART FOOD AND FIT PAGE!

Participants are eligible to enter both!

For the bag ($128 value):

  • Upload a photo of you making or eating a SMART FOOD AND FIT recipe. Have fun and be creative!
  • Upload your photo on my facebook fan page under “Smart Food and Fit BEST RECIPE  on my wall and  you must TAG Smart Food and Fit nutrition services on Facebook. Whoever has the most “likes” on their pictures will win the Destined for Greatness Duffle bag!
  • Once you’ve uploaded your photo, double check to see if your photo entry for lululemon bag is with other contestants. Go to my facebook wall, on the left you’ll see “photo” tab; click it. You should see your picture under “Photo’s and Video’s of You”!
  • Enter by March 4, 2012. Winner will be chosen on Monday, March 5, 2012.
  • Winner will be notified on facebook on March 5th, 2012 and will have two days to respond or the runner up will win the duffle bag.
  • US/Canadian residence only please.

For the Yoga Mat ($28 value) – pictured at the top of the post

Updated on 2/29/12: Please send me a private email when you are ready to enter the Best Yoga Pose contest at: Lisa@smartfoodandfit.com , I did things different with the first two contestants that entered and want to manually put future Best Yoga Pose contestants in the same album so others can see everyone that entered. This is just for the yoga mat.

  • Upload a photo of you doing your favorite yoga pose. :) and send me an email at: Lisa@smartfoodandfit.com
  • Upload your photo on my face book page under “Smart Food and Fit BEST YOGA POSE wall and you must TAG Smart Food and Fit nutrition services on Facebook. Whoever has the most “likes” wins a Lululemon Align yoga mat!
  •  Enter by March 4, 2012. Winner will be chosen on Monday, March 5, 2012!
  • Winner will be notified on facebook on March 5th, 2012 and will have two days to respond or the runner up will win the yoga mat.
  • US/Canadian residence only please.

17 Responses to Less Stress Challenge {Lululemon Giveaway}

  1. Great tips! I definitely need to work on giving up bad habits. =D

  2. You’re right: we could all do with less stress in our lives and your post today will help many to maybe it dial down a bit. There is no one cure-all but tiny steps can, and do, make a difference.

  3. I absolutely need less stress in my life. I started my stress clean-up the first of the year. Our vacation helped a ton and came just at the right time, but I still have a ways to go. Getting there though and so many of these tips are fantastic! I especially need to slow down and stop worrying. ;) And what a fantastic giveaway! I’m actually heading to yoga later this afternoon. Don’t know if I have the guts to take a picture of myself in a pose though. LOL. ;)

  4. Great advice, Lisa. I am not so much into yoga but I did have a personal training session today and I can barely walk, so I know it was good. Tomorrow I will still have the wonderful lingering effects. Not quite yoga but equally as de-stressing! The give away looks very cool. Good luck to everyone!

    • That’s great you have a pt session! I don’t like to be sore either, I mean a good sore but not the sore that you can’t walk up/down stairs or bend over to tie shoes. You can demonstrate an easy pose like the mountain pose….just standing straight! Have a great weekend Eva! :)

  5. Love the bag :). And I enjoyed all the tips you wrote. I just started meditating and found that it’s drastically reduced some stress I’ve developed

    • You should enter one of the giveaways. If you don’t want to expose your face, make it mysterious by editing it or something. Omg, that would be so great to see you enter the yoga mat giveaway! Have a great weekend!

  6. How fun! Now I just need to search your recipes for something divine (won’t be too hard, I’m sure). Thanks for the reminders about stress, too. I fall into the worrying and doing too much categories, so it always good to see that I need to work on letting some of that go. :) (And I can so relate to your lack of sleep – youngest is getting his 2 year molars.)

    • Great, I’m excited. I’m having a play date in 1 hour and Im going to try to bake those cookies right now!
      Okay, so you have a toddler too, so you can relate to the lack of sleep! lol My 3rd child is two and stinkin’ cute w/ so much energy just waiting for spring/summer to come so he’ll expend energy and get better sleep.

  7. Great tips Lisa – I especially like the one about laughing. Nothing makes me feel better than a good belly-laugh! :D

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  10. Thanks for the post, Lisa. It’s hard to keep some of these in perspective :)

  11. Great tips! And I’m always game to win some yoga swag!!!

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