Losing weight is difficult. Bariatric surgery may seem like a quick fix but, the reality is that you will still have to commit yourself to working hard before and after your surgery. There may be times when you will feel overwhelmed and stressed. Aspects of your life will be changed drastically after surgery and although your body may be moving quickly, your mind may need more time to catch up. While working towards your weight loss goals it is important that you find a way to reduce the external and internal stresses and anxiety in your life. Try to find outlets that allow you to relieve stress in a healthy and beneficial manner.
Here are some tips to help you find your stress-free lifestyle:
- Find a hobby. Hobbies are a great way to keep your mind off of stress and anxiety. Maybe you’ve always been interested in model airplanes or other crafts. Find something that sparks your interest and next time you feel overly stressed or anxious, turn to your new hobby.
- Get creative. Pick up a paint brush or a sketchbook. Creative outlets are some of the most common ways to deal with intense stress. Next time you are feeling overwhelmed by your new post-bariatric lifestyle, draw it out—literally. Draw, color, paint or just scribble to get your current emotions out in a healthy manner.
- Keep a journal. Sometimes you need an outlet that’s a bit more obvious. Journaling is a great way to get your feelings out. When you begin to feel overwhelmed, take a moment to write it all down. You can then go back and reread your entries, this will help you better understand why you are feeling the way you are. Some mental health professionals recommend burning particularly painful journal entries as a way to release yourself from these feeling permanently. (If you decide to do this, just make sure you are doing so safely.)
- Talk to someone. Sometimes, we need empathy from another person in order to feel better about our stresses. Whether it be a therapist, a friend or a family member—find someone that you are comfortable and can trust. Simply talking can be a very therapeutic and effective way of alleviating and managing stress.
When engaging in these stress-reducing activities the key is consistency. If your new habits slide you may push yourself into a stress zone where you are more susceptible to unhealthy stress induced behavior like drinking, binge-eating or smoking. The most important part of your post-bariatric lifestyle is dedication. You are committing to intensive lifestyle changes. It will be challenging. However, the more stress you can control; the more likely you will be to succeed in your long-term weight loss and wellness goals.