Take a Breath
In our busy lives, often it is the everyday little stressors that are really impacting our health more than those bigger life events, like losing a job. Our bodies weren’t designed to live in stress mode 24/7. That causes a constant release of steroids like cortisol and adrenaline that can lead to some serious health issues like heart disease and diabetes. So rather than dismiss those “little” stressors, here are few tips to kick them to the curb.
Eating too few calories. While we should maintain a healthy weight, skipping meals can often lead to being irritable. To beat the stress, be sure your diet is rich with fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains. These will keep you full and you will be less inclined to skip meals or over-indulge on unhealthy options like sweets.
Is anyone listening? Feel like you are talking to the wall or the cat? We have become accustomed to lives that have lost the art of talking and listening. To beat the stress, when you have something that really needs attention you might say, “I’m going to talk for five minutes and I need your attention.” Then, stick to your promise, keep it short, simple, and direct. And, always reciprocate when someone asks for your full attention.
Who is that in the mirror? The mirror is a reminder that, while you are taking care of others, you also need to take care of yourself. When you present a positive appearance, people respond in kind. To beat the stress, invest in a good wash & go haircut, adopt a 5-minute skin care routine, and don’t forget to smile.
Too many to-do’s. Even if you like being busy, ask yourself if your days are so packed that one small hiccup would send you into emotional overload. If you start your day rushing and stressing about deadlines that stays with you all day. To beat the stress, try to find one or two things that you can eliminate. Do you have too many extra activities? Find ways to add more downtime and breathing room in your daily schedule.
Can I get a little quiet time? We all need that time without noise and demands to recharge our batteries. To beat the stress, step into the shower. Running water is a great noise buffer and the sound and feel of water is therapeutic. This can be the perfect alone time as long as you don’t bring thoughts of work in with you or let anyone interrupt. Lock the door!
Does anyone else see the mess? This can happen at home and at work. Not everyone will have the same desire for order as you. To beat the stress, be sure to set clear expectations with family or co-workers on what is acceptable and hold everyone accountable. Just a few minutes a day can make it easier for everyone.
Well, those are just a few. You probably have a few of your own, but just remember, if you start to feel those “little” stressors starting to build, step outside and take a breath, count backwards from 5, and start over.
Until next time…