Stress Busters for Crazy Times
Soni’s Suds Soap
Stress is like a really good piece of chocolate. It’s really good for you in small amounts, like a little snickers, but eating it everyday can have some effects on you and your body. Stress in little amounts is actually good for you…motivates you to get things done, gives you an opportunity to push yourself, and gets your adrenaline flowing. However, constant or chronic stress can damage your body and mind and may have long term effects on the body. According to the American Phycological Association, stress may damage the heart, coronary arteries, threaten your endocrine system, and cause irritation and inflammation issues with your gastrointestinal system. And that is just a start. That is why it is critical to reduce our stress and just have enough to thrive but not to be pushed over the edge constantly. This list is my top 7.
1. Simplify and Priortize
Cut your to-do list in half. How do you do that? Ask yourself this question after every item: Will I die tomorrow if this doesn’t get accomplished? I’m thinking the answer is no. Some people perceive they have to get it all done but in reality probably only 1/3 of the list needs to be accomplished that day. If you tell yourself everything on your list is an A, be honest and watch your self talk. Chances are you are building up your list too much in your mind. This is what I try. Every morning I immediately jot down my to-do list. Then I prioritize with an A, B, C. C are those things that sound good but honestly can wait till you get everything else done. Once I experience the first heart palpitation, the list gets cut in half. Yep, even the high priority A items get cut in half. Once your stress level remains low…go back and see if it is possible to reevaluate and add some other items.
2. Fill a jar with Happy Thoughts
Take a mason jar and put 25 folded up happy thoughts in the jar. When you start to feel overwhelmed, pull one out of the jar. Take a deep breath. Read the happy thought and for two minutes let your mind wonder to your happy place. Kids driving you nuts, work sending you way too many emails, trying to please everyone. Chunk everything out and only focus on your happy thought and what needs to get done in the next hour.
3. Give Away Your Cape
Yep it’s true. None of us are superheroes. We don’t possess super natural powers and can’t jump from building to building. And we don’t need to be a super hero. Often, we put more pressure on ourselves than anyone else. If you haven’t already guessed by now, you are not a superhero and don’t possess supernatural qualities and capabilities. Learn to say no, set boundaries, and give yourself permission to relax. I know, I said relax! If that seems impossible, start small…5 minutes each day for a week and grow from there. Don’t try to be all things to all people. Put your barbie doll dreamhouse away and your bat mobile and realize you are beautiful without needing to be everything to everyone.
Just as chronic and severe stress can damage multiple systems in your body, research shows that humor can heal. When you laugh, the autonomic nervous system mellows out and the heart is allowed to relax. Laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts mood, diminishes pain and protects you from damaging effects of stress. Try this tonight, when you get home from a long day at work ask your family for a standing ovation. Hey, you deserve it but I’m sure they will laugh and so will you! Or watch a funny video, call your friend and share a silly story, or watch a funny movie. Laughter really can be the best medicine!!!
Exercise is a real stress buster in several ways. First, exercise increases the activity of serotonin and norepinephrine and distract you from your worries. Second, a raised heart rate releases endorphins and a hormone known as ANP, which reduces pain, contributes to feeling happy and energized. You don’t need to be a marathon runner like me, all you have to do is try yoga, or take a walk, or go outside and play with your dogs for 30 minutes. Basically, just get moving. Third, exercise improves your mood and lifts your self confidence. Who wouldn’t want to be in a better mood. Give it a try. Don’t go wild, just pencil in 20 to 30 minutes of some kind of activity weekly.
6. Set Boundaries
Hey it’s ok to say no and to set limits for yourself. Set up an appointment for yourself on a weekly basis. That’s right, pencil it in and don’t let anyone know the appointment is with yourself! Go ahead and do something just for you. Read a book, talk a walk, enjoy a long bath, wear only one hat…the you hat. Plus set boundaries with electronics. For the whole family, if possible. Take a thirty minute break to give your brain a rest. You need to rest your brain from all the chaos in life. I thought this was impossible as an owner of my own company and someone that works from home. However, when I put my electronics down my brain adjusted nicely. I found that I was more relaxed and could think clearer! I definitely need all the help I can get in thinking clearer lol!
7. Try CBD
Who knew that something so natural could really help with reducing stress. My go to is the 10 mg calming berries. A study conducted in 2016 showed that a small amount of CBD reduces anxiety in people. It also helps calm the brain so it does not react in stressful situation, and instead, helps to decrease receptors that trigger stress. Always consult with your physician before taking CBD. For more information on calming berries, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Relax! Don’t fret the small stuff and it is all small stuff!