How to handle high stress situations without falling off the wagon

When life gets intense, often the first thing to go is our good nutrition and exercise habits. It’s the last thing on our minds. So the question remains, how can we weather the tough times without completely falling off the wagon?

As a coach and trainer, I get this question a lot. And over the last month, I’ve had to figure it out for myself, too.

Dealing with a break up is hard. And with all of the this emotional stress, I basically stopped eating in a way that’s in line with my goals. It felt like everything was completely OUT of my control, so controlling my food intake more closely seemed to give me a modicum of peace.  For a while, I didn’t think much of it – skipping a snack or eating a smaller breakfast seemed pretty innocuous, considering how much my heart hurt. But, after a week or so of wallowing, I came to a tough realization.

I’m struggling, and my actions are doing NOTHING to lessen the struggle.

Well shit.

Tell me I’m not alone here.

stress management - destress - self care routine - self care ideas

Life gets really tough, and all we want is to make it a little bit easier. So, instead of recognizing that we’re having a hard time and addressing the stressors, we slip into bad habits, whether that’s overeating crap, skimping on sleep, or killing ourselves at the gym to numb the pain.

Sound familiar?
Yep, me too; that was my reality during the second half of September. I struggled to maintain my weight, and as I lost weight week after week, things got even harder. Once I realized wtf was happening, I knew what to do to make life a little easier, instead of digging myself deeper into a self-destructive rut.
Today, I’m sharing how I pulled myself out of my bad habits and figured out a better way to cope, with the help of a psychiatrist, counselor, and group of amazing friends.

Get back to the basics.

No more counting macros or worrying about what % carbs I’m taking in on non-workout days. I return to my default, using my daily food rules/nutrition survival strategies to guide what I eat.
  • Prioritize veggies and protein at every meal to stabilize blood sugar and satiety.
  • Eat one BIG ASS SALAD  per day to ensure I max out the micronutrients & fiber of veggies.
  • Dark chocolate every day. Keeps me sane.
  • When in doubt, choose dietary fat over carbs. Carbs often leave me feeling bloated and uncomfortable, and I have found food timing to be incredibly important.


Stop being a slave to your workout plan and do the movement that brings you joy. Make your workouts something to look forward to each day by doing more of what you love.

Instead of doing your defined workout plan, maybe it’s time to revert to the the type of exercise that is the most fun for you.

Love dancing? Dance more.

Love running? Run more.

Lifting weights brings out your inner strength? Lift more heavy shit.

Practice gratitude.

When life leaves you reeling, it becomes even more important to center yourself on what really matters. Start and end your day with reflections on three things you’re grateful for – I’m always SO grateful for this girl.

So, the next time you find yourself feeling stuck, sad, or like you just can’t stay on track, return to YOUR survival strategies. Sure. They’re not perfect (who wants to be?), but they get you through absolutely anything life throws at you.