My client Tara helps run conferences (which are currently all virtual), and she is in the thick of a busy time at work. In session this week, she told me that she’s been having trouble prioritizing healthy eating and exercise because she has so much work to do. She keeps having though sabotaging thought, “It’s okay, just let it slide until the conference is over next week.”
I asked Tara to think about the pros and cons of “letting it slide” until the conference is over. Here is her list:
- I won’t have to take time away from work to exercise.
- I’ll be able to justify eating whatever I want.
- I won’t have the added burden of trying to make healthy choices.
- Exercise is a huge stress reliever. When I don’t exercise during busy work times, I end up overeating every evening to help me calm down.
- “Eating whatever I want” doesn’t actually make me feel good. It makes me feel overly stuffed and bloated, which impacts my sleep and concentration.
- While trying to make healthy choices IS a burden, feeling out of control of my eating is a much greater burden.
- Going into full “work mode” and not taking time for myself isn’t good for my mental health.
- There is always another conference coming. If I reinforce that it’s okay to “let it slide” during this one, I’ll continue to do it for the next one. This will completely sabotage my ability to achieve the things on my Advantages List, which are really, really important to me!
When Tara took a more objective view of what “letting it slide” actually meant, she realized that it was not something she was willing to do! Her health and mental health were at stake here, and she couldn’t sacrifice them. Plus, when Tara really thought about it, she realized that she always got her work done, regardless of whether she took time to exercise and be mindful of her eating choices.
If you are tempted to “let it slide” during a stressful work or life phase, think objectively about what that means. Does feeling out of control of your eating make you feel less chaotic? Does not exercising help you feel better, or does it make things worse? Would gaining weight every time things got busy help you achieve your goals or sabotage them? Even though working on healthy eating and exercise can be harder during stressful periods, it’s ALWAYS worth it!