Good Morning. Well, I must say, it has been one of those weeks that when it came to deciding what I was going to focus on for Wellness Wednesday, I knew this week I needed to talk about stress management because yep, it has been one of those weeks, heck it has already been one of those mornings! From our dog throwing up in the middle of the night to my son’s blow out diaper this morning which required him to take a bath and me to change my outfit, I already need to take a deep breath! So, Happy Wellness Wednesday! You know, like many women, I am constantly trying to find a balance to being a good mom, wife, friend, co-worker and the list goes on and on. How many of you are like me and realize that while we get so caught up in caring for everyone else, we often neglect to take care of ourselves. If we can’t take care of ourselves, how can we take care of others? Many of us have an incredible amount of stress. In a recent study, 80% of Americans reported that they are stressed out. Stress can have a major effect on our bodies and this morning, I had to take a step back and really think about what was it in my life that was making me so stressed? Sure the obvious throw up and poop in the past 12 hours contributes to my immediate stress, but what about the constant stress that I feel bear on my shoulders. What can I do to change my level of stress or should I say, better manage my stress? Stress takes a toll on more than just your mood, it also impacts our bodies. Realizing that this week has been a hectic week where I myself needed to work on some stress busters, I wanted to share with you a few simple things that work for me when I am having one of those stressful weeks:
Find Your Zen…whether it is a trip to the spa for a massage, taking a bath, meditating or journaling, take 10-20 minutes to do this for yourself. Realize that you need to allow yourself to feel what you are feeling and give yourself permission to have your moment…but…remember…nothing is going to change unless you decide to change it yourself.
Move, Move and Then Move Some More: The endorphins released during workouts make you feel great! Remember that anything is better than nothing! Go for a walk, run, or dance in your living room…anything to get you moving! You will feel so much better knowing that you took the time for yourself to lead a healthier life! When I work out, it gives me time to decompress and have some alone time where I can just mentally get a break from everything and know that when I am done, I will feel so much better and my stress will have had time to settle down.
Hello Doggy: Research shows that people with pets have lower blood pressure than the rest of the population. One explanation: Pets provide constant companionship and unconditional affection. I can’t say enough about this. Our dog, Bentley is such a part of our family. He is sometimes all the therapy that I need! From him stretching out in the morning, to loving his Halloween costumes (okay he hates it, I just put the costume on him long enough to take a picture) to the excitement he gets when we take him on a walk, he is our special little guy!
Hang with Happy People: Like your friend with an infectious laugh or buddy who seems to make lemons into lemonade, our happiness is contingent on how connected we feel to a network of positive-thinking friends. Between my son Brody and my husband David, they are what bring a smile to my face. When my life seems so stressful, I take a step back and think about how blessed I am to have such a wonderful family. My stress could be so much worse and I know that there is someone out there who is dealing with much worse than my stress of worrying about a project at work or getting caught up on my laundry.
Plan Ahead: With my husband being a high school football coach, our schedule is crazy busy right now. I have to plan ahead with my workouts, our meals, managing the household chores, paying the bills, you name it…but I find that by planning ahead and making my lists, I can better manage my schedule. Don’t pack too much on your plate. If your schedule is already packed, now is probably not a great time to plan a gathering at your house where you are going to have to cook, clean and entertain.
As you get through your day, your week, your month, think about the stress that you have in your life and what you can change to make it better. Count your blessings and know that this too shall pass, today is a new day and with a positive attitude you can better manage your stress. If you have any other tips you would like to add on how you best find that balance, comment and let me know….you never know, I may need it later today. 🙂