Snapshot Stress Response

As a result of seeking ways to minimize my stress levels, mostly because I now see how stress triggers my eating disorder behaviors, I am more aware of how I handle stress.

I have been working quite a bit recently on my 1st first-author paper on my asthma research, which has definitely been stressful. I contribute to that stress by first creating unreasonable deadlines for myself, trying to use added pressure as a way to motivate me to work. Then, when I do sit down to work, I browse online, “wasting time” before finally starting on the main task at hand. Often, I then take a food break, during which I am usually more interested in unhealthy foods than healthy foods, much to the chagrin of my quieted eating disorder. When I finally do start working, I get stuck in a bubble of obsession about the work and do not want to stop to eat or do anything besides work. I deny myself time for fun activities throughout the day, like going to the dog park or dancing, because I feel guilty about having wasted time earlier in the day and I do not want to lose my newfound work flow.

I was in the middle of this cycle yesterday, when Ben helped me break it by encouraging me to go run a couple errands with him and stop by at the gym. As a result, I was able to tackle that stressful paper task at a leisurely pace this morning and send a new draft off to my collaborators before the afternoon rolled around.

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