Striving to be Stress-Free after Weight Loss Surgery
Your boss has been riding you extra hard at work, but things don’t look much better when you get home. The dishes have been piling up for days, your kids need help with their homework and somewhere you need to find time to exercise and cook the healthy meals you need after weight loss surgery. Though you’re doing your best to be positive, all this stress makes it tough to keep your cool.
You try a few minutes of yoga, but you can’t concentrate—the stressors of your day keep coming back to haunt you. Frustrated, you give up on your workout and try to tackle some much-needed housework. But as soon as you set foot in the kitchen, the pint of ice cream in the freezer starts calling out to you, threatening your resolve to eat healthy with the added calories of stress-related emotional eating.
When stress gets out of control, it can have serious negative impacts on your life after weight loss surgery. Unfortunately, relaxation techniques like yoga and deep breathing don’t always work when the stressors in your life persist. Like pouring a cup of water on a raging fire, these methods may fight back the flames of stress for a moment, but won’t help long-term if the fire still has fuel.
To truly minimize stress in your daily life, you need to take a closer look at what stresses you out and do whatever you can to make a change. This starts by identifying your stressors, which can fall into categories like:
- Work stressors include things that stress you out on the job.
- Family stressors may stem from changes in your relationships or disagreements with a child or spouse.
- Environmental stressors come from dirty, cluttered or noisy surroundings.
- Change stressors come from big transitions in our lives, like new jobs, new homes or your new lifestyle after bariatric surgery.
Consider each of these categories and what elements of your life may fall into them. Write down each stressor that comes to mind and place them into one or more of these categories, or come up with a way to organize them on your own.
Once you have a list of some of your stressors, you can start dealing with them one by one. Some stressors can be handled with a simple change. If you consistently end up spending your only free time each week cleaning the house, perhaps it’s time to ask your spouse or kids to pitch in, or look for a cleaning service. If you’re overloaded at work, may be its time to talk to your boss about delegating some tasks to someone else.
Some stressors can’t be completely fixed, but you can almost always do something to ease their burdens. Look at each stressor on your list and think of ways they can be reduced or eliminated from your life. If you find some stressors that can’t be changed, do your best to cope with them—this is where relaxation techniques can be so useful after weight loss surgery.