I’m sure you will agree, women are the busiest creatures on earth. So, how can you keep from going stir crazy as you juggle life and multi-task your way through each day? A key to staying sane is developing and practicing stress relieving habits. Simple techniques can prevent you from hitting panic mode. Use this stress survival guide to help you stay balanced.
- Change Your Mind Stress is relative. That means our perception of things has much to do with our personal stress meter. Simply changing the way you view things can actually lessen stress. Try conceptualizing events in a positive manner rather than negative. View daily obstacles as a challenge, rather than a threat. When you feel threatened, your stress response is activated, certain hormones are released and anxiety sets in. If you can control your mind when pressure ensues, you can control your stress.
- Schedule “Me Time” Set time aside to do something YOU enjoy. While it may be difficult to find the time, it is important that you do. Likely you take care of everyone around you; but you cannot continue to do so if you don’t take care of yourself. Hobbies like painting, writing, gardening, and reading can be rejuvenating and help you refocus. When you neglect yourself, you may neglect your health too, and this often leads to weight gain and even depression. Take care of yourself first, then you can take care of others.
- Exercise & Eat Healthy Exercising and eating healthy are vital to physical health, but not to be overlooked is their effect on your mental and emotional health. Exercise releases the “feel good chemicals,” known as endorphins. Moderate activity like house work and gardening can relieve stress too. Being physically engaged in an activity can take your mind off the problems at hand and redirect your thinking to the activity. A diet comprised of health foods is another line of defense against stress. Certain foods that contain caffeine and sugar can have negative consequences on your parasympathetic nervous system, inducing stress and preventing you from achieving a relaxed state. They can induce mood swings leaving you to experience highs and lows. Choose whole, natural foods that are packed with vitamins, nutrients, and minerals that promote overall health and well-being.
- Organize Your Chaos Do you sometimes feel like your mind is slipping? Likely, it is not a serious condition, but rather, the consequence of having a million things to do. Organization can go a long way in managing stress. Simply keeping a schedule and making a daily to-do list can considerably minimize chaos. Get a day planner, or utilize your smart phone’s calendar to schedule your workouts and other important tasks. Studies show that individuals that write down goals or tasks are more likely to accomplish that set forth, than those who do not. The physical act of writing can help alleviate pressure ecause you feel you have already started on the task, simply by acknowledging it needs to get done.
Use this stress survival guide and be determined to control your thoughts, schedule time for yourself, eat with health in view, regularly move your body, and organize each day. You will add harmony to your chaos, breathe easier, and achieve lasting balance!
Stretch the Stress Away
When you feel stretched to your limit; relieve the tension by stretching your body. Stretching exercises can be a tremendous stress reliever. Stretching increases blood flow, improving circulation while encouraging flexibility, and relieving muscle tension. The key factor is the mind-body response achieved from stretching. When a person stretches receptors in the nervous system are stimulated, and the production of stress hormones decrease.
Before you begin stretching, prep your body by warming up a little. Jogging in place or riding a stationary bicycle for a few minutes can get the blood pumping quickly. As your body temperature increases, the temperature of your muscles increases, creating greater flexibility.
Static stretching is the most popular form of stretching. A static stretch is a stretch held for 10-20 seconds. This type of stretching is a safe way to improve your flexibility, while creating a sense of relaxation.
A few tips to remember: When stretching, do not bounce; this will increase your risk of injury. You should feel a slight pull, but it should not be painful. Hold each stretch for 10 – 20 seconds. Take a few minutes to stretch each major muscle group: arms, legs, neck, shoulders, lower back, abs, and butt. When you have completed your stretching session, you should feel more relaxed and have less tension.