I’ve realized lately that The Workaholic and I have both been wound tighter than brand new bed springs. We walk on eggshells around one another and are both really frazzled. I don’t remember feeling this stressed out in my life ever, even when I was a single mom working 2 jobs, going to school full time, and raising The Nerd alone. I don’t know how we got here, but I do know that we need to do something about it.
Stress takes a huge toll on your body and can affect both your emotional and physical well being. Did you know that being stressed out causes your blood pressure to rise, your heart rate and breathing to increase, your muscles to tense considerably, and your hormones to go nuts? The combination of all of these things is literally taking minutes, hours, years off of your life.
It is so important to learn to calm down, become less reactionary, and to go with the flow. But where do you even begin?
Right here, with 5 simple ways to de-stress, right now.
1. Do Something You Love
What do you love to do? What brings you joy? I want you to take 2 minutes right now; grab a journal, a piece of paper, or an old envelope; a pen, and write down 5 things that bring you joy. Don’t think of your spouse, your children, or your friends when thinking about this list. Think only of yourself. Sounds selfish, right? Do it. My list looks like this: dance, hike, paint, crochet, and read in a quiet, secluded place.
Write them down. Right now.
Now DO them. Finding time and resources to do them all might be impossible right now, and that’s OK. Find time to do one of them, every single day. Doing things that bring you joy and not stress you out, make the stressful times seem a little less painful. If you need help finding more time in your day, read this enlightening post on how to find more time in 3 easy steps.
2. Spend Some Quiet Time Alone Daily
Spend time in prayer, meditation, or otherwise without an occupied brain every morning. My best advice to you is to NOT put this off. Try to spend time in silent meditation, in mediation with your soul every, single morning before your feet hit the floor. Because the needs of our physical beings are so much stronger than those of our spirits, we often push our spiritual needs aside for a “better time”.
There IS no better time than before your day starts. Take this time to get your thoughts in order, to mentally plan out your day, to remove any lingering ill thoughts, and to name your day in a positive way. My day is often called “Productivity”. When I think back on my word during a stressful moment during the day, I take a deep breath, meditate on the word, and pray that God help me bring that word to fruition. Should your beliefs be different than mine, spend time simply meditating on that word and what it means to you. Pause. Think. Do it first thing in the morning, otherwise your physical self will win out and you will find yourself crawling between the sheets at night realizing that you never took a minute to spend time just being.
You busy moms with 5:30am crying babies? Schedule your time for when you go to bed at night, or set an alarm for ten minutes before you know your kids will rise in the morning. That way you have had time to wake up, reconcile your thoughts, and start your day off on the right foot.
3. Add Herbal Supplements to Your Routine
When you get out of bed in the morning, drink at least 8oz of water to kick-start your pulmonary system, and take your vitamins and supplements. Your supplemental needs will look different than mine, but mine include herbs for mild depression, energy, and adrenal support. Herbs are a fantastic way to add natural support into your hectic, stressful life. Stress can completely drain you of your energy, raise cortisol levels, and keep you from having a good night’s sleep.
Our Earth is so fantastic in that it provides many, many plants that cure ailments of all sorts. I’ve been an avid herb user since The Nerd was a wee lad. One of my favorite ways to impress my family is through the use of peppermint tea and elderberry during the cold and flu season. They work every time, and I’ve made believers out of many family members.
Some specific information on which herbs you can take for de-stressing are below:
Better your body’s resistance to stress.
Consider what can help your body resist stress before it takes over. Schisandra berries provide powerful antioxidant protection and support mental endurance, nourishing the body’s natural defenses and reinforcing overall resistance to stress.
Maintain a healthy mood.
Beyond the physical implications, stress can have negative effects on your
emotions. Rhodiola root helps support a healthy mood by normalizing cortisol levels and other stress‐related hormones.
Focus on conserving – instead of creating – energy.
Stress can zap your energy. Rather than worry about how to create more, focus on
conserving the energy you have. Ashwagandha supports your ability to conserve energy by rejuvenating your entire system, especially the endocrine and immune systems.
Aim for a consistent, good night’s sleep.
Restful sleep is essential to achieving optimal health, yet it’s a necessity often overlooked when trying to combat stress. Wild Oats contain relaxing properties that support your nervous system, promoting relaxation after a stressful day.
4. Remove Unnecessary Stress
Sometimes this is the hardest thing to do. What is unnecessary stress? Sometimes we add stress to our own lives without realizing that we’re doing it. Tuesdays are my most stressful day. I wake up at 5:30 to get The Nerd to Science Olympiad by 6:30, come home, feed the babes, go to an 8:30 toning class, home for lunch, nap, dinner making, then to ballet for The Muffin for an hour at 4:30, dinner time at 6, bath and bed before 8. There is so much jam-packed into that day, that anything unnecessary causes even more stress and makes my head hot. Literally.
On those busy days, I only check my email twice a day, once before I take The Nerd to school, then once after the babies are in bed. I’m not the President of the world and my emails will still be there when I get back. When I sit down and cuddle with my computer on a Tuesday, I am a complete and utter bear by the end of the day because I’ve added additional stress.
Sometimes it’s also a good idea to rid your life of unnecessary people, places, and things. If someone or something is not causing you joy anymore, it might be time to remove it from your life. Of course, relationships experience ebbs and flows, and life is not always sunshine and rainbows. Truth is, we all know at least one toxic person in our lives. For me recently, it was the Ex. He was making me physically and emotionally ill and I had to completely cut off all communication so that I didn’t go completely insane.
These aren’t always easy decisions to make, but they are necessary decisions that have to be made in order to live the healthiest, most full life possible.
5. Cut out the Junk (food)
It is amazing how a simple diet change will increase your health, energy, and eliminate your stress. Can cooking all the time be stressful in and of itself? Sure. But my body feels so much better now that I’m eating real food than it did 2 years ago when I was eating packaged junk all the time. We don’t realize how sick we are until we make small changes.
The mind-body connection is incredibly real, and absolutely alive. When we fuel our bodies with the right foods, we give it the highest quality fuel we can possibly give it. When your body is running on premium, you feel premium, and the better you feel, the less stress you experience. Even when the baby is hanging on your leg crying while you’re trying to think.
These 5 tips will help you lead a much healthier, less stressful 2013. Sit down, write about what brings you joy, promise to do those things, and spend time quietly with your thoughts daily. Eat better, have healthier thoughts, and take your herbal supplements to compliment your new, less stressful lifestyle.
If I can do it you can too.
Get a jump start on your less stressful life by entering to win this phenomenal giveaway from Gaia Herbs and Brandfluential. Don’t stress about winning, just put positive energy out there every time you think about it, and it shall be yours.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This post was inspired by Gaia Herbs. Meet your calm prize pack provided by Gaia Herbs. Compensation and Amazon Gift Card provided by Brandfluential.com.