Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Stress List...

I'm not talking about a list of your stressors, but a list of things you can do to reduce stress if it feels like it's getting in the way of life or if you just want to manage it in advance so it doesn't become a problem.

Don't let stress get in the way of life...
My list is as follows:

  • eat (fruit/veg)
  • drink (water, not booze - haha)

  • bike ride

  • walk

  • yoga

  • nap

  • read

  • clean/tidy
I have this list of go-to's on an app called Google Keep and set to give me reminders. These reminders pop up, so I can remember 1) that I have a list and 2) to use them to keep myself sane. Or to bring sanity back faster, should a crisis arise.

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Let's talk about my go-to's a little further...
Food and water. I don't know if this is true for everyone, but I often feel stressed and irritable when it changes after eating something healthy or drinking some water. Increased calories or dehydration can trigger a feeling of need and if you aren't tuned in to your body it might take a little focus to figure it out.
Exercise. There're tons of articles and studies out there to prove that getting your body moving releases happy endorphins. It helps to relax you and improves your mood. For me, it's like a moving meditation. I focus on the exercise and my body's movements or my breathing. Or, I will often focus on the actual problem. That's right, on the problem. Not pushing it away and trying to hide from it but trying to figure it out and going through the options.
Essential oils. Ooooohhhh how I love my essential oils! Many recommend lavender and lemon for stress-relief. I am a huge fan of using intuition to decide on which is best for each person. For instance, as I mentioned before, lemon is often recommended for stress relief but when I'm under stress I have found that it made me more tense than I was before I started using it. Everyone is different and everyone's situation, from day to day, is different. Simply smell the essential oil before using it. Easy peasy. If you feel like you could drink it, then it's the one for you. If you feel like throwing up when you smell it then don't use it. Don't throw it away either, though. If you smell it another day you might be fine with it. For me, today, lavender was it. It smelled watered down and weak but cedarwood oil was heavenly. Maybe before bed I'll be all over the lavender. We shall see!
Meditation. What can I say? I firmly believe we all need it and the world would be a better place. Some don't understand it and others who make it so complicated that people want to run screaming from their cushion. I have a minimalist approach... sit, just be. Maybe focus on your breath or maybe a nearby sound. It doesn't need to be complicated. It's simply listening. Listening to your breath. Listening for a solution to your problem. Just sit and listen.
Nap. Who couldn't use a few more hours sleep? I need 8-10 hours. Some might need more or some less but studies show that it has a great impact on your health so stress would go hand in hand.
Reading. Transport yourself into a different land. A different time. Someone else's life. Who knows, maybe their problems will be so much worse than yours that you might feel better about your own challenges. If nothing else, reading would give you a break and it can be FREE so give it a try.
Cleaning/tidying. Not something I want to do but often the source of my anxiety. Sometimes I don't know it until after the mess is cleaned up. Who wouldn't feel more relaxed with a clean, tidy space that is fresh-smelling??
Speaking of a tidy space... I don't believe minimalism is all about possessions BUT if I collect too many things it also gives me anxiety. I could go on and on about that topic! Another blog post in my near future....

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