Want to put your head in the sand? Here’s what to do instead.
Delta variant. Climate Crisis. Global unrest.
If you’re paying attention to the news these days (or even simply sending your kids back to school), it can all be downright terrifying. And infuriating. And just plain stressful.
Because while all of this is on our televisions, our podcasts, and in our social media feeds with unrelenting predictability, at the same time, it all also seems so much BIGGER than us.
If you’re like a lot of women in our community, you might be fraught with worry about these things that seem outside our radius of control.
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference” has never been more relevant.
But how do we cope with all the stress?
A good first step is taking inventory of some of the things you do every day to help you understand what is amplifying your stress - and how you can make simple changes to live a more peaceful day-to-day existence (WITHOUT having to put your head in the sand).
So, let’s start there, shall we? Here are some things you do every day (probably without knowing it) that amplify your stress level:
Not getting enough sleep
There’s no getting around it - you need plenty of sleep to function well. It helps us physically, mentally, and emotionally. If you’re not getting enough sleep, you will feel stress at a heightened level.
Not getting enough movement
Movement is key to stress management because it creates positive energy and feel-good endorphins in your body. Elle Woods said it best:
“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy!” Your body was made to move. If you spend most of the day sitting, it can amplify your stress and prevent you from releasing chemicals that help you keep a level head. So, get out there and get moving! Even if you just start with a simple Bend and Snap! 😉
Too much caffeine or sugar
Food is your fuel, and excess caffeine or sugar can make you jittery and irritable.
Checking your phone first thing in the morning or last thing at night
Yes, the constant buzzing, beeping, and dinging of your phone can prevent you from disconnecting during the day - which can be hard to avoid. But in the morning, it can quickly cloud your clarity, and at night, it can interfere with your ability to relax and fall asleep.
Keeping your to-do list in your head
When it’s in your head, it’s taking up space - and it can feel heavy. Get that list onto paper or into your computer so you can release it from your short-term memory and lighten your cognitive load.
Watching/reading the news
Sure, we like to be connected to what’s happening, but we shouldn’t be connected all the time. Give yourself a break from the 24-hour news cycle, especially when it starts to create stress or anxiety in your body.
Here are some things you can do TODAY to de-stress:
We have a chemical response to stress in our body, and chronic stress happens when we can’t release the pent-up stress response. When you ignore the stress hormone and keep moving on to the next task on your list, the stress keeps mounting. In short, befriending your breath can keep your body and mind healthy and alleviate stress. Try taking a few minutes out of your day today to take some deep breaths and get centered.
Don’t know where to start? Try this 5 minute meditation. All you have to do is press play and settle in for a few mini moments of calm.
Take a break from social media and news
It’s ok to disconnect. The world will still be here when you get back.
Here are three simple steps you can take today to successfully break the cycle of social media and news push notifications:
- Turn off push notifications from social apps and news on your phone.
- Stop posting using social media apps.
- Delete social media and news apps, and only use your browser for access.
Connect with friends and family
We’ve all been more isolated than ever over the last year, and it shows up in different ways for each of us. But it’s so important for your mental and emotional health to stay connected to those you care about.
Here’s a great podcast to listen to that will help you get some perspective on connecting with others again. As this guest says, “when we affirm the humanity of others, we affirm our own humanity in turn.”
Give your body what it needs
There’s no getting around it - you’ve got to cover the basics every single day to take care of your body if you want to feel good. The four main pieces of this equation are:
- Sleep - As in, make sure you are getting enough quality sleep.
- Hydration - Water is key. It provides a long list of health benefits. Make sure you are drinking enough.
- Food - You are what you eat. You don’t have to be perfect on day 1 - just try to eat a little more of the good stuff, and a little less of the bad. You can get better and better with time!
- Movement - Break out that pedometer and make it your new BFF.
Want to do this together? We have a program for this. Get more information on 30 Days to Vibrant Energy here.
Here’s to conquering stress together!
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