Stress after Bariatric Surgery
After your bariatric surgery, you will be dealing with a multitude of long-term lifestyle changes. Your post-bariatric lifestyle will include dietary changes, a new exercise routine and social changes that you may not have been expecting. There are many behaviors, emotions and thoughts that can affect the outcome of your bariatric surgery. Unwanted stress is typical following your bariatric surgery, so don’t be overwhelmed. In order to be successful with these long-term commitments, you can learn how to effectively handle any arising stressors or negative emotions and apply these techniques to your everyday routine. If you don’t, you may find yourself relying on unhealthy behaviors that could potentially hinder your progress and lead to weight regain.
Dealing with Stress after Bariatric Surgery
With the amount of weight you will lose after weight loss surgery, it may seem like a “quick fix” to problems that plagued your life while you were overweight. However, drastic weight loss comes with mental changes too, not just physical ones. Take the time to understand just how far you’ve come and give yourself a small pat on the back, then find the proper steps to move forward and deal with new emotional challenges effectively.
After your bariatric surgery, you may be dealing with:
- Negative body image. Despite having lost the weight, you may still not like what you see in the mirror.
- Relationship issues. This may include problems you previously had with a loved one, or new problems due to the dramatic adjustment you and your loved ones are facing.
- Time management. Your new lifestyle goals will require time that you may have normally spent doing something else. Balancing your new schedule with your old life may leave you feeling overwhelmed.
- Social anxiety. Social interaction may be difficult after undergoing such a dramatic transformation. Newfound attention may make you feel uncomfortable or anxious in social settings.
Each of these issues can cause a great deal of stress to develop after your weight loss surgery. If you practice positive coping methods, you can better deal with stress and avoid weight regain.
Positive ways to deal with stress and avoid negative behaviors include:
- Meditation. Taking a few minutes out of your day to clear your head and breath is extremely beneficial. Take time in your mornings and nights to separate yourself from any negativity you may be retaining a slowly learn to let it all go.
- Create a schedule. And stick to it! If you’re finding that time is stressing you out the most, create a realistic daily schedule. If things are planned out, you are less likely to stress over time management.
- Find a way to love yourself. Don’t avoid mirrors or reflections. Face who you are and find things about yourself that you love. Find positive affirmations that you can repeat to yourself when you feel negative thoughts creep into your mind.
- Journaling. Write down how you feel when you are stressed. That way, you can pinpoint exactly what has been upsetting you and work to eliminate or better handle these emotions.
- Support groups. Don’t feel ashamed to seek someone to talk to. You’re not alone, and connecting with other people who are going through the same things can relieve some of the pressure you may be feeling.
- Creative outlets. If you don’t like talking about how you’re feeling, find another way to get it out. Drawing, painting or even building model airplanes can get your mind off of your stress and leave you feeling relaxed and accomplished.
No matter how you decide to tackle stress, just remember that it is normal to feel overwhelmed after bariatric surgery. You’ve overcome a lot of obstacles after your weight loss surgery, and with the right determination and proper mindset, you can continue to move towards your lifestyle and wellness goals.