6 Stress-Busting Secrets From Real Appeal Coaches


Stress can feel like kryptonite for your weight loss goals, making it harder to stick to your healthy eating habits and activity goals. But while you can’t control the stressors that life might throw your way (see: global pandemic), you can develop effective ways to manage your stress. Real Appeal coaches share what’s helped them keep stress levels in check over the past year. 

Sneak in some giggles

When you feel like you’re in a pressure cooker, laughter is a quick way to feel some release and get a mood boost, says Real Appeal Coach David Blasucci. And you don’t need to devote hours to a funny movie to get your fix, either. Go ahead and watch some funny cat videos, listen to your favorite comedian’s podcast, or ogle watermelon dresses. Science backs up the energizing and stress-relieving effects of a little humor.

Get outside 

“Spending time in nature has been a great stress reliever for me,” says Real Appeal Coach Hilary Simmons. “Going on walks and feeling the sunlight and air on my skin lifts me up instantaneously.” She makes it a habit to hike on her favorite trails or go to the beach every Sunday, which she says has been “immensely restorative.” If you’re not able to explore the outdoors, even just getting some sun on your face through an open window may help your mood.

Feed your curiosity

More time at home can be its own sort of stressor, so Real Appeal Coach Rachel Kerce has been intentional about trying new activities — including baking, sewing projects, painting, and computer games. “Testing my creativity brings me joy, while keeping my stress down,” she says. Ever wanted to take up piano lessons or try sourdough baking or writing a short story? Now might be the perfect time to start.

Forge connections

Research shows that connecting with loved ones can help keep stress levels in check. And while the pandemic has largely meant more time apart, it’s also been a time for reconnecting with old friends and family members who have fallen out of touch. Blasucci says his ability to stay level-headed even during the most stressful periods of the pandemic is directly tied to his strong support network. And remember, you don’t have to meet in person to stay connected. Try a virtual game night or turn your solo walk into a lengthy phone call. 

Set screen-free times

“Disconnecting from the daily news and social media has allowed my nervous system a break,” says Real Appeal Coach Shelley Craig. “Instead, I watch the birds at my bird feeder, pet my cat, read uplifting books, and listen to positive podcasts.” Try setting “screen-free” hours to give yourself a rest from the constant inundations of notifications. (Bonus points if you turn off electronics an hour or two before bedtime.)

Sweat it out

Exercise is a guaranteed stress-buster for many. Can’t imagine fitting a workout into your already crowded calendar? No problem. “When there are moments that I feel the stress building up, I stop and do jumping jacks or run up and down the stairs, right then and there. I instantly feel the endorphins and I feel much better afterward,” says Real Appeal Coach Mary Arguelles.