There are stacks of papers everywhere, voicemails to return, meal planning that needs to happen, and the house is a mess. Sound familiar? Life gets busy and sometimes there isn’t enough time in the day to do all that needs to be done.

Your mind and your body are being pulled in every direction, and this is where stress creeps in. Stress is very hard on your body if it continues day in and day out. You’ll likely feel emotional and on-edge. You’ll put your body’s immune system at risk for viruses, and if it’s severe enough, it could cause pressure on your heart muscles.

Stress is a natural part of life, but after weight loss surgery, you’re contending with a lot. You’re recovering from a major medical procedure. You’re getting used to a new way of eating. You may be happy about the promises of the surgery, but all the changes still add up to additional stress. It’s important to get a handle on everything while you’re establishing new habits.

Here are some helpful ways to manage stress after weight loss surgery.

Take time to stay active

Even when you’re busy, make sure to take some time to stay active. Stay motivated, keep moving, and take an active part in changing your lifestyle. Go for a walk in the morning before you head to work. If you’re sitting behind a desk for most of the day, get out and walk or run during your lunch break. Consider joining a sports team or sign up for a gym class on the evenings or weekends. Staying active not only keeps you healthy, but it also allows you to work out that built up stress.

Woman admiring sunset from mountain top

Stick to your eating plan

After weight loss surgery, you’ve likely been put on a strict diet in order to maximize how much weight you can lose. When stress is at its peak, it’s easy to turn to what’s convenient or what sounds good, rather than what’s healthy. Instead of going back to your old habits, keep healthy foods close by at all times, including veggies and lean meats. Plan your meals throughout the week so you’re not tempted to eat fast food or other unhealthy meals.

Take a vacation

Take time off work to recharge. You might plan a trip, or you could stay home. Don’t let your built-up vacation days just sit there. Take them and enjoy them! Time away from the daily grind can help clear your head and reduce your stress.

It is very important to take time to relax on a daily basis. Watch a movie, take a long bath, go out for a drink or dinner with a friend. Focus on doing a few things for yourself. Taking care of yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally is key to living your new lifestyle and keeping the extra weight off.