Stress and your body

My intro to psychology professor told my freshman class to expect to go home on Christmas break and get sick. She said it’s just what happens after a prolonged period of stress. After three months of living in a new place, making new friends, eating new food and taking new, challenging classes takes a toll on your body. Your defenses weaken and we get sick.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. In the past couple of weeks, various loved ones in my life have been stressed to the max, and it’s taken a physical toll. Between them, they’ve experienced being tired, achy, back problems, nausea and even pneumonia!

I mostly feel stress as nausea. When I feel overwhelmed or uncertain, I don’t want to eat. I know it isn’t healthy, but when my guy and I started having problems, I couldn’t stomach much more than cereal or peanut butter toast. I knew I was on the mend when I was talking to my 3-year-old niece and she mentioned having mac and cheese for lunch. Immediately, I needed some baked cheesey goodness of my own.

I decided to allow myself to break my rules and eat whatever I was craving until I felt better. That meant I ate mac and cheese for dinner three days in a row. There may have been a few stops to Trophy Cupcake, too. But I felt my body healing.

What a difference taking care of yourself makes. I know, I know. When it feels like your world is collapsing in on you, it’s hard to sleep. It’s hard to eat. I get it. But just remember that you can’t heal if your body isn’t getting what it needs. I mostly write that last sentence for myself because I need to be reminded as much as anyone.

Published by Candace

I’m a journalist, nutritionist, doting auntie, one-time bobsledder, and wannabe health nut (who loves chocolate and pizza too much to fully commit). I don't want you to think my life is perfect. It's not.

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