• Tricia Arriagada

Stress!!! Find healthy ways to cope


The only thing that's constant in our lives is change. No matter how hard you try to stay positive and create the life you want there will be interruptions, setbacks, shattered expectations, and loss. Sometimes you choose your struggles. Like taking the high paying job where you log more hours and life feels unmanageable. And sometimes you don't choose your struggles like facing illness or loss of a parent. Stress caused by adversity and change can be overwhelming and make it impossible to stick to your health and wellness goals. This is why most people focus on their health when things are going right and life is convenient. But the moment they have a setback, they get discouraged and tend to give up. I'm writing to share with you that changing behavior and taking care of your health during difficult times is possible and not in-surmountable. All you need to do is be compassionate and understanding toward yourself when you do have a relapse. Treat yourself just like you would treat a friend. And find support to help you stay encouraged and hopeful no matter what you are going through. It's the small actions you take over time that add up to big results. Make sure that the actions you choose to take are easy, convenient, and motivating. Once you can sustain that behavior then try to do a little more. No matter what you are going through, the trainers at Beyond Barriers will be here to support you. Here are the struggles we have faced in the past two years. We share this to help you see how it is possible to face adversity and still put your health and well-being first.





Our Trainers Share Their Struggle Melissa Knowlton: "Last year I went through life's biggest stressors all at once. I got married in March, lost my sister to cancer in April, and lost my job in July. When my husband and I combined families we became a family of six. Needless to say it put a lot of stress on our marriage. We had six personalities under one roof, one child with cerebral palsy, and more financial expenses. My automatic response to stress is to do two workouts a day, stay busy, or clean the house so I don't have to reflect on what's going on. It wasn't healthy and it didn't make the feelings go away. Once I became aware of my behavior, I changed my coping strategies. Now I slow down and try to be more present with my family. I lean on my husband more and I ask for help." Melissa Davis: "I went through a divorce about a year ago. During the time of the pandemic I didn't have a family support system to lean into. I was the one having to make all the decisions, including homeschooling the kids on my own. I was recovering from the damage that had been done in my marriage. At the time I put everything and everyone else first. I burnt myself out and lost my sense of self-worth. Loneliness was an issue during the pandemic. My coping mechanism at the time was drinking a lot more alcohol than I wanted to. I realized it had gone too far and I needed to nurture myself and find myself again. Now I cope with stress by running, healthy eating habits, getting a good night sleep, and exercising in a group. Now I live by the motto 'Be you, do you, for you.' I set healthy boundaries, and I'm doing more to take care of me." Tricia Arriagada: "It's not a surprise to many that I closed Beyond Barriers brick and mortar location as soon as the pandemic hit in an effort to keep people safe. My biggest stressors involved the stability of the business, and my personal financial stability. My husband and I are both entrepreneurs. We had additional stressors at home. My 17-year old has severe autism and we lost all of our home staff support during the stay at home order and remote learning wasn't possible. We also had a 3-year old so that meant we had two kids that required constant attention. During this time, my father-in-law was dying of cancer and my husband was traveling back and forth to Florida. Initially, I did the opposite of what a personal trainer would do. I was stress eating! I went to the Dr. three months after the crisis started and I stepped on the scale. I gained the Covid-15! It was a wake-up call to me that I wasn't managing my stress well. I made some mindful changes. I started logging my food, making healthy choices and baking healthy desserts. I still ate foods I loved but in moderation. I made small changes over the year without being too restrictive and got my weight back down. Now I feel great!"




10 Most Stressful Life Events

  1. Death of a spouse

  2. Divorce

  3. Marital Separation

  4. Incarceration

  5. Death of a close family member

  6. Major personal injury or illness

  7. Marriage

  8. Being fired at work

  9. Marital reconciliation with partner

  10. Retirement from Work

The Holmes-Rahe Life Stress Inventory is a stress rating scale that will help you determine your susceptibility to a stressed-induced health breakdown.

Click here to find your score: https://www.stress.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/stress-inventory-1.pdf

As you move into next year, give yourself some grace and compassion. Life is hard. Think of all the ways you can bring more joy into your life. We are here for you and hope your workout sessions help counteract some of the stress.


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