The Olive Tree Pilates Blog

Overcoming Obstacles: Stress & Overwhelm

benefits of pilates breathing holistic health motivation obstacles stress workout Feb 04, 2024
too stressed and overwhelmed to take care of yourself

If you read my last blog post - you were probably feeling like I left you hanging....

I give you a list of all these reasons that make it difficult to take care of your health and that's it?!

I know, I know... but the obstacles needed a post all their own because I think they require a mindset shift all on their own. And I want you to actually SEE what obstacles are getting in your way. That's the first step.

We have to see what is actually in our way in order to jump the hurdle and keep going!

If you missed my recent post - be sure to check it out. You are not alone in the hurdles that can get in the way of taking care of yourself!


NOW....some help and encouragement in overcoming the obstacles...


So, if I'm going to be honest...

I originally had all of the obstacles in ONE post 😳 but it was basically a novel (soooooo long 🙈) and so I am splitting them up. I'm going to focus on one obstacle in each of my posts so look out for the ones that resonate with you the most!

First up...




I have found that stress and overwhelm is one of the TOP reasons that people don't take care of health.

You can only take care of so much, right? You can only handle so much, right?

You feel like you are maxed out and doing all that you can. You're swamped with things to take care of and you don't feel like you can take care of one more thing. You feel like the load you're carrying is already too heavy - how can you add anything more?



I completely feel you on this. I can completely relate and understand. You are not alone!

And let me tell you something to encourage you in your stress and overwhelm...

You should NOT disregard stress.

You are right to REGARD stress.



Stress can come from a multitude of things and comes in multitude of forms. It may be physical, it may be be emotional, and it may be mental. It may be from something life changing or it may be from something seemingly small that we really just struggle to handle.

And if we disregard mental stress - it can BECOME physical stress. If we disregard physical stress - it can become mental stress, etc. etc.

We DO need to regard and give attention to the strains and anxieties we face. I don't believe that it is good or helpful for us to disregard this in any sense. Powering through stress can be just as much a detriment to our health as it is for us to just be completely knocked down by anxiety. (I talk in depth about this in my Stress, Emotions & Nervous System Health Workshop. If you want greater, more in-depth understanding and help with this area of health - check it out - I know it will benefit you!)



I would contend that though stress and overwhelm is one of the TOP reasons we find ourselves not taking care of ourselves, it is absolutely one of the TOP reasons that we NEED to take care of our health!



The Perfect Way to Regard & Release Stress


Working out is one of the best ways for you to take care of stress in your life.

This is ONE OF MY TOP reasons that I workout. Let me tell you why...



Our stress response is often called "fight or flight" because our brain and body produce chemicals to enable us to contend against an attacker or flee from a dangerous situation. So allowing your body to move and use that defensive, agitated or running energy will benefit not only your stress but your health!

If you don't get moving, the stress response chemicals will just circulate in your body.

So don't let stress be a roadblock to your health - see it as a hurdle that you need to clear. 

When you are stressed or overwhelmed remind yourself that working out gives that elevated cortisol and adrenaline a place to go!

And I assure you, if you're doing the right kind of workout, you WILL feel better.


(Small side note here to add: high-intensity workouts can exasperate your nervous system and increase stress levels. I strongly recommend a low-intensity workout that will be challenging for your muscles but gentle on your nervous system. And psssst....I know some purposeful and progressive online Workout Memberships that offer low-intensity, highly-effective workouts at ANY should check it out....)



Check out these stress-related benefits of working out:

-deep breathing helps circulate oxygen to think clearly

-helps move lymph which helps natural detox

-fascial release and mobility which helps release tension

-balances blood sugar

-gives you more energy

-releases “feel good” neurotransmitters and boosts mood

-improves nutrient uptake and improves digestion

-improves sleep


We all know it's nearly impossible to remove stress from our lives. That's why I like to encourage people to STEWARD stress. Regard your stress in a healthy way so that you can continue to take care of yourself.

Exercise can be a HUGE help to your stewarding stress and your ability to handle the difficult things in life.

You won't regret any workout you do because of how it will help you steward your stress.


Other Ways to 'Regard & Release'


So what are some other things you can do for your health to HELP with stress and overwhelm?

  • Go on a walk - it gets your blood, oxygen and lymph moving much like resistance training and can give you some brain space.
  • Epsom salt bath - can help remove excess stress hormones, relax tension, and helps you sleep better
  • Castor oil pack - same benefits as a bath and can help reduce the load that your liver has to handle
  • Acupressure mat - helps release tension/pain in your fascia and can help you relax
  • Deep Pilates breathing - helps you think clearly, resets your vagus nerve, turns on your parasympathetic nervous system, and is scientifically proven to be God's GOOD design for your body to function well
  • Go outside and put your bare feet on the earth - sunshine and grounding can be a helpful reset for our bodies and minds
  • Normalcy - honestly continuing in some amount of your regular responsibilities and routine can be one of the simplest ways to steward your stress (as opposed to just removing yourself from everything which can emphasize to your brain that you are in survival mode)
  • Prayer - giving yourself space to process all that life brings with the Only One who can truly help 
  • Talk to someone who will listen - we weren't made to live life alone or be isolated - we were made for community. 



Regard and Release y'all.

You are RIGHT to regard stress.

You also need to RELEASE it!


Don't let stress be a road block to taking care of yourself.

Which of these can you implement to clear the hurdle of stress and overwhelm?

 KEEP GOING in stewarding your health - I'm ROOTING for you!




I wold LOVE to have you workout with me!

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