Stress Awareness MONTH
April is Stress Awareness Month
Spring is new beginnings. Spring is cleansing time for creation, including humans. Creation has cleansing built in for purpose. Let’s make a goal to tune in and clean out our lives this spring.
Stress. Tension. Worry. Pressure. Anxiety. Panic attack. Many words describe it; it is important to find ways to deal with it. I have some tips from various sources on how to manage stress (a few of my own lines thrown into each point also).
- Unplug. Don’t let the technologies that help you do your word get in the way of your leisure time. Consider turning off work cellphones when you are with family or friends. Avoid checking work email while away from work. Try a “turn off” time of day, or one day a week, and turn attention on the things you did before handy device news and communication.
- Be realistic. Remember that everyone has good days and bad days at work, home, leisure, etc. Avoid negative self-talk.
- Reward yourself. When you finish a difficult task, or a simple one, celebrate. Enjoy a snack at your desk, take a short walk, call someone, or visit with a coworker or friend. Make a list of the things you enjoy, and have it handy when it is time for a reward. Your social network is one of your best tools for handling stress. Talk to others — preferably face to face, or at least on the phone
- Schedule time for fun. This is vital. If you spend every second of your day getting things done, you may resent never having time for yourself. Make a point to allow yourself some time for active rest and relaxation. I personally have made a schedule for break times in the day, and I have scheduled time for hiking and or other outdoor activity during the day or in the week and make it a priority that is not exchanged for work projects like (unless that is fun J ). A good belly laugh doesn’t just lighten the load mentally. It lowers cortisol, your body’s stress hormone, and boosts brain chemicals called endorphins, which help your mood. Lighten up by tuning in to your favorite sitcom or video, reading the comics, or chatting with someone who makes you smile.
- Practice breathing and relaxation techniques. You can do these at home or in a quiet place at work. Techniques include deep breathing, meditation, rhythmic exercise and yoga. I have a specific place, or places, in the day for these things when I know I will not be bothered, and know I have the free time consistently. A few minutes of practice per day can help ease anxiety. Research suggests that daily meditation may alter the brain’s neural pathways, making you more resilient to stress. Deep breathing counters the effects of stress by slowing the heart rate and lowering blood pressure. Be present. Take 5 minutes and focus on only one behavior with awareness. Notice how the air feels on your face when you’re walking and how your feet feel hitting the ground. Enjoy the texture and taste of each bite of food.
- Get moving. All forms of exercise, including yoga and walking, can ease depression and anxiety by helping the brain release feel-good chemicals and by giving your body a chance to practice dealing with stress. You can go for a quick walk around the block, take the stairs up and down a few flights, or do some stretching exercises like head rolls and shoulder shrug.
- Be grateful. Keep a gratitude journal or several (one by your bed, one in your purse, and one at work) to help you remember all the things that are good in your life. Use these journals to savor good experiences like a child’s smile, a sunshine-filled day, and good health. Don’t forget to celebrate accomplishments like mastering a new task at work or a new hobby.
- Enjoy good food. Eat well. Eat healthy. Incorporating the right foods into your lifestyle can reduce the amount of stress you currently suffer from. One of the main issues with stress is that it can cause unhealthy eating habits. The opposite can also be true, that unhealthy eating habits create stress. Additionally, stress makes the body crave foods that are high in fats and sugars. This flaw in eating, in time will inflict a greater stress on the body, plus other problems that pose a threat to your physical and mental health. Cravings are interconnected with food nourishment that does not appear on your plate. One way to create good habits in food is to balance the two categories of “foods”: Primary and Secondary. Primary are Relationships, Physical Movement, Career, and Spirituality. Secondary foods are the foods on your plate. “Eating healthy” is balancing within your bio-individuality. Nutrition on your plate can be one of your greatest healers to stress.
Health Coach, Massage Therapist, Infant Massage Instructor, Holistic guidance, Youth services, Herbal Education, and Survival Education