Life comes at you hard! You try to keep moving, but you feel you are trampled underfoot, by the series of events overwhelming you. Trying to support your family, have some time for yourself and personal nurturing/care, keeping the bills paid and managing to spend as much time as possible with the your children. You’ve got deadlines and quotas to meet, you might even have to travel far to get to and from work, which further adds stress and strain on your already taxed life and mental well-being.
HOW DO YOU COPE? How do keep your head well above the water, in order to see life clearly, and navigate your ship of life around each situational iceberg? How do you keep yourself from losing your mind? How do you keep your cool and manage yourself and you stress?
I have the tools that may help you management and even reduce/remove your stress:
- Talk/Communicate – Speak to a trusted and confidential source, this may be a friend, family member, life coach, spiritual advisor, and/or a licensed counselor. Talk to them about what’s going on that is causing you stress. Talking your situation out releases pent up space, being held hostage by the stressor, in your soul. The person that you are speaking with will provide a sound board and empathetic listening. Some may provide tools, resources and/or advice/methods for you to use to gain control of whatever is being a nuisance to you. It also helps for you to address the stressor directly, in a non-confrontational way and when you are calm, cool and collected. Speaking assertively and without anger to the individual(s), when addressing your concerns is an effective course of action. With the assertive step, you are taking a stand in defense of yourself, which is a critical step in the process. So, talk it out.
- Write – Blog, poetry, poems, letters, prayer journaling, are all great ways to get your thoughts out of your head and on to a surface that faces you. Once you have written out your fears, anxieties, depressive modes, stressors, anger, frustrations, annoyances, etc. you can then “SEE” the situation more clearly. The issue is no longer rumbling around in your head, which has left space in your brain for free thoughts and productive problem solving to set up shop and begin to work. I have a saying, “I write to keep myself sane and to release the pressure in my brain.” So, get it OUT of your head, through the “OUT”let of writing.
- De-Clutter – If you are feeling as though you are closed in, trapped, having lack of space, confined, and/or restricted give yourself more space to work with and/or more organized space to be in. Sometimes just straightening up a bit more, or changing a room around/resituating/rearranging things, throwing unnecessary items away, letting some old things go, consolidating items, like boxes and containers can also be a great way to free the mind and give the soul more space to dwell and roam.
- Exercise – Find, join, and participate in an aerobics, yoga, martial arts, arts and crafts, dance, drama/theatre, swim, and/or boxing class. These types of classes are great to join as they not only help you to immediately relieve and release, as well as get rid of/provide an outlet for stress, they also condition and focus the mind. So, as you’re getting physically fit you are also getting emotionally fit.
- Education – Find out what your triggers are. What sets you off? What makes you fly off the handle or lose control? What distracts you so that you are unable to think and react properly? What is going on in your environment? Who are you interacting with? What is being said or done that you do not like or that sends up red flags and warning signs and signals in your brain? What critical life events have occurred that you may not have dealt with completely? Educating yourself about your personal pressure points is important as it serves to equip you in identifying, facing and warding-off your potential stressors/stresses. Without knowledge we perish. So, educate yourself, protecting yourself against potential stress.
- Health – Take your blood pressure reading often, when you are stressed (many grocery and drug stores have free blood pressure reading machines, that only take 5 minutes to test). You can’t “feel” your blood pressure rising, until it is already entirely too high and thus at critical, life-threatening stages. So, take the pro-active route and test yourself regularly, ESPECIALLY when under extreme stress. If you do find that your blood pressure is heading toward unfavorable levels you need to see a doctor immediately, and they will TALK to you about ways to manage your blood pressure. If you find yourself breaking out for no apparent reason, if you find that you are getting sick frequently (once or more in a month, each month) you need to seek medical or psychological help. In some states, you can Google to find the ones in your area, their are 24-hour Nurse lines that are free of charge. Search for one in your area first, if you find one that is not in you locale, you can still contact them and they will help you. The main thing with searching locally is that they will direct you to the resources that are in your direct physical location. Get enough rest at least 8 hours per day and eat/refine your diet. Just tackling these too alone can have impressive results for your stress levels.
Stress is termed, in the medical community, as the “SILENT KILLER”. So, applying these steps can help you to refocus, regain control, manage and in some cases alleviate certain stress/stressors all together. There is no one that can protect you better than yourself, so do right by you and on behalf of your children. Always remember… if you’re stressed your children are stressed. No matter how young they are they can tell and are, in some cases, acutely aware of the fact that you are experiencing stress. So, follow these steps to get it under control.
Have some additional tips or you would like to share your routine for managing stress? Share, I’d love to hear from you. When we share, we all grow! Until next time: Be well and stay well!