My article below was recently featured on my friend, Lindsay Young’s website. She helps busy moms find balance in their lives so they can raise healthy families while feeling awesome in their own skin, radiating health, and walking out the door each day with confidence. She has a a lot of great tips so go check her website out!
Do you feel like you are being pulled in a million different directions, especially during the holiday season?
Uh-huh, me too.
When stress hits us we feel it in our body from the fatigue to bloating and everything in between.
We feel it emotionally by getting cranky with those we love, crying, or avoid it and power through – aka not dealing (something I tend to do).
We feel it mentally by feeling forgetful, scattered and unorganized. I mean I forgot the coconut oil at the grocery store when it was right there on my list. Come on!
We all have our own unique reactions to how we handle stress and how it impacts our bodies. One common reaction to stress is the release of a nasty hormone called cortisol. This impacts our health in various ways including hormone levels, quality of sleep and weight loss or gain, to name just a few. I will spare you the flashback to your college or high school biology class and skip the science mumbo jumbo, but what it boils down to is that we need to find ways to deal with our stress.
Here are 5 of my favorite things to do when I feel like I could scream when the stress gets to be too much.
1. Acknowledge and accept the stress you are under
I am stressed out pretty much 24/7. Whether you are a working professional, mom or both there is a lot going on in your world. I have found the more that I try to fight my stress the more I become frazzled, moody and unorganized. However, if I lean into the stress, acknowledge that it is there and accept my feelings in the moment then I can begin to move past it.
2. Gain some perspective
Ask yourself if this is the worst thing that happens to me all day, will I still consider myself grateful and blessed? The goal with this question is to put in perspective the stressors in your life: that email from your boss or the disaster in your kitchen waiting to be cleaned for the 10th time today. Millions of people all over the world are dealing with tragic situations from famine, natural disasters destroying homes, slavery to war. Prayerfully, you will not deal with any of these. So, although it’s easier said than done this could help reign in your reaction to a stressful situation.
3. Breathe or meditate
When your stress is at its peak, your head is racing with thoughts and so is your heart; sometimes even your blood pressure. Try to slow things down by doing a few breathing exercises or a simple meditation. If you can only take a few deep breaths then do it. Anything to slow your mind and body down will help.
4. Take a time out
If slowing down does not seem to work then try to take a time out. If you are at work, get up and get away from your desk. Go outside and walk around your building a time or two to get some fresh air! If you are at home with your kids and can’t sneak away for a little mommy time out, then have everyone do an activity like jumping jacks, the hokey pokey or turn on a favorite song and have an impromptu dance party. Move your body to get your mind of your stress even for a few minutes.
5. Your favorite things
When stress gets the best of us our bodies need a little TLC. Do you have a favorite tea that helps you relax? Do you love to take bubble baths? What’s your favorite song? Crank it up and dance it out. Maybe you have a favorite work out move that lets you release some tension like a medicine ball slam or yoga (downward dog, tree or child pose). Maybe you love to get a massages or pedicures. You don’t have to spend money, but the point is to find one or two things that bring you joy and take care of you!
In order to be the best employee, mother, wife and person we can be that means we have to show ourselves some love! Try one or try all of these stress tips or experiment with your own, but do me (and more importantly yourself) this one favor. Let one of your New Year’s resolutions be to find a way to deal with your stress that works for you.
Tell me what you do to help handle stress in the comments below?
Image Credit to Sheila Sund via Flickr