Did you know that stress management is a skill you can learn?
Just as you can acquire time management or conflict resolution or even better parenting skills, you can develop the ability to manage your stress better.
You can learn to work on your stress triggers and totally improve your life.
STRESS MANAGEMENT ACTIVITIES
A 2017 Gallup poll found:
About eight in 10 Americans say they frequently (44%) or sometimes (35%) encounter stress in their daily lives. Just 17% say they rarely feel stressed, while 4% say they never do.
But I have your back on this one. This post is for you if you
want to learn to do a few simple stress management activities and rewire your life for happiness.
This post tackles:
• What stress is
• How the body reacts to stress
• Symptoms of stress
• How self-care helps with stress relief
• How sleep helps reduce stress
• How to use exercise to destress
Ready? Let’s get to it then.
WHAT IS STRESS
Check out this YouTube video which gives a great overview of stress
What does your stress feel like? Can you even describe it?
Imagine carrying a load that is 3 times your body weight. You’ve stumbled beneath its weight and borne it for a long time.
But you’ve now reached a state of near collapse and you need the heavy, painful burden to be lifted. Or else ….. You simply can’t take any more.
Is this what you’re feeling?
THE EFFECTS OF STRESS
This extract from an infographic on stress illustrates the effect of stress on the body in a dangerous situation.
See, your body enters into a fight or flee mode to help you to protect yourself – you fight the threat or you flee it.
Imagine dealing with teenagers, managing a home and trying to start a side hustle if your mind and body are walking a constant tightrope.
Here’s a helpful YouTube video that highlights the symptoms of stress
Troubling picture, isn’t it?
Okay. Let’s plot a route to cultivate good habits to help you kick the stressors out the door for good. I’ll walk you through the process in this post.
IDENTIFY YOUR STRESS TRIGGERS
To free yourself from the tentacles of stress, you need to pinpoint your triggers. Here’s what you need to do:
• Pick 3 times in the day when you feel overwhelmed
• Note the activity that is the cause of your tension
For example, you may find mornings a nightmare- your teen not up on time, whining about breakfast, late for carpool and so on.
What you are doing is a kind of stocktaking of all your stressors. Once, you’ve got a list of the stuff that winds you up, you can get to work to cut them out.
Here are a few surprisingly simple things to do to start the process to cut stress from your life.
CRUSH STRESS WITH SELF CARE
For starters, take time to care for your bruised spirit.
I know you’re thinking. There are only 24 hours in the day. So where will you find the time? Right?
Actually, you have to make the time. Get up an hour earlier to carve out some time for yourself.
Leo Babauta, in a post on 10 Benefits of rising Early and How to Do it wrote:
The early morning hours are so peaceful, so quiet. It’s my favorite time of day. I truly enjoy that time of peace, that time to myself, when I can think, when I can read, when I can breathe.
You’re thinking you’ll be too tired to get up earlier. Here’s the thing, if you want to be happy, you have to take care of yourself first.
What to do:
Start a simple me-time ritual to charge yourself for the day ahead.
– Deep breathing to center yourself
– Light stretching – consider simple yoga
– A cup of coffee in the garden
– Read a spiritual/motivational book
– Listen to your favorite hymn/piece of music
Cameron Diaz wrote on the benefits of prioritizing yourself in
The Body Book:
You will laugh with your kids more often than you snap at them…… You will smile more. Enjoy your days more. Even the “ must do’s ” of life seem less daunting.
Seems to me, this simple step will smooth the way to a stress – free day. So why not try it?
NOURISH YOUR BODY TO BE STRESS-FREE
Right, now you have to get your body into gear so you can move from exhausted to energized.
Focus on just 3 things:
GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Ever grounded your teen for a week only to find out that he had a valid reason for breaking his curfew?
Found yourself flooded with guilt after that?
Because you know the real reason – drop down dead exhaustion from sleeplessness and endless chores.
The National Sleep Foundation states that sleep is vital to your mental health and physical well – being.
Not getting good sleep regularly causes fatigue, irritability, and moodiness. This strains your relationship with loved ones when you take your fatigue – fuelled anger out on them.
Studies carried out by The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute show that a lack of sleep changes activity in parts of the brain that are used in problem-solving.
This explains why you find yourself unable to cope with the demands of managing your home and trying to start your online business. The overload stresses you out which takes its toll on your mental and physical health.
So take steps to set up a healthy sleep routine.
– Go to bed at the same time every day.
– Avoid coffee and tech of any kind as they are stimulants
– Drink camomile tea
– Make the bedroom conducive to sleep – comfy bed, not too much light or noise.
– Start an evening routine – read an inspirational book, listen to calming music to prepare your body for sleep
What you eat is especially important to fight stress. Some foods have superman powers to help you in your battle with stress.
Watch this YouTube video to find out the superfoods you need to eat to beat stress
Read 10 Powerful Foods that Reduce Stress and Improve your Life for more information on this.
I’ve created a 7-Day Superfood Meal Plan to help you get started with a plan to eat healthy foods that reduce stress. Just print and keep handy when you’re planning your menus and in no time at all, you can kiss stress goodbye.
Just click the graphic below to get immediate access to it.
I know …. you don’t have the time or energy to think never mind exercise. A good exercise program is a must to perk your mindset.
The Mayo Clinic states that exercise helps to curb stress and anxiety.
HOW EXERCISE FIGHTS STRESS
Have you ever found yourself in a good mood after walking the dogs?
Funny, isn’t it? When you exercise regularly, you function better. Regular exercise gives you more energy which boosts your confidence. The result is a greater sense of self-worth.
You feel you can meet any challenge head-on.
TYPES OF EXERCISE TO RELIEVE STRESS
Start by taking a walk. This is an immediate mood booster. Chatting with a neighbor or taking in the splendor of roses in the park shifts the focus away from yourself and your issues.
Build exercise into your daily routine. Do simple things at first to make it a routine. For example, walking the dogs daily.
Gardening is another good habit to grow. Weeding, turning over the soil, planting and watering plants give you a sense of purpose and joy. Just the sight of a flowering pot of begonias is enough to cancel all your cares.
If you think yoga is only for ashram types, you’re dead wrong.
Anna Coventry, a fellow stressee, discusses the numerous advantages of yoga in 6 Ways Yoga Can Help You Reduce Stress | DOYOUYOGA
• Removes tension in the body.
• Calms both mind and body
• Stills the stressed mind
• Teaches good breathing
• Balances moods
Here’s an example of 4 yoga poses that help when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
You may be, though, so fueled by anger and frustration that you need more vigorous activities. Good ideas are Kickboxing, boxing, running, basketball – anything that gets the heart rate up and causes you to break into a sweat.
Group exercises like cycling, aerobics, and rowing are also great. The added bonus is the company of like-minded people working to improve their fitness levels.
The result for you is meeting new people, finding a new interest and working on a calm mindset.
Any form of physical activity produces endorphins, the feel-good hormone, in the body. So after a workout, you feel like you’re riding the crest of a wave and that nothing is impossible.
A regular fitness routine transforms your life filling it with positivity and happiness.
So, moms, there’s no need to be overwhelmed. No need to yearn for me and free time.
You can make your life zoom from dull and dreary to brisk and bouncy in no time at all.
Stress-reducing steps to take:
– Prioritize yourself
– Start a me-time morning ritual.
– Ensure that you get good quality sleep.
– Improve your diet with superfoods.
– Get rid of stress with daily exercise.
Do you have any successful stress management techniques? Share them in the comments below.