Today I’m talking about ‘Stress!’ – the modern day epidemic.
But what can we do about it? We experience stress in different ways. Our stress also effects us in different ways. But we all need stress relief. As always, there is no one fix for all of us – we need to find out what works for us as individuals.
I chatted about what stress is here, and words like ‘tension,’ ‘strain,’ ‘adverse’ and ‘demanding’ presented themselves. None of that sounds good to me!
The opposite of these words look more like this: ‘relaxation,’ ‘ease,’ ‘favourable,’ and ‘satisfied.’ Much better.
It is very likely that rest and relaxation are part of the solution for everyone, even if we may achieve them in a different way. We need to rest in order to allow about to restore its energy. I know the feeling of being ‘on-the-go’ for too long and suffering for it. It might be coming down with a cold, or perhaps putting my back out. Either way, it is my body telling me to slow down.
We also need to relax in order to allow our minds to switch off. Making a conscious effort to relax and switch off is rejuvenating. It’s a form of self love and self compassion. Relaxing also allows us to indulge in the things that we truly love. That might be a lovely meal out with a partner, or curling up in bed with your favourite book – it’s good for the soul.
Taking time out for ourselves is usually the last thing on everyone’s agenda. There is always something to do. The majority of us live very busy lifestyles, thinking rarely about relaxing. Finally, when we do get around to allowing ourselves some free time, we find it difficult to let go and enjoy it. This is generally because we can always think of something else apparently more important that needs our immediate attention – perhaps we’re glued to our iPhone or afraid of silence.
Let’s take a moment to think about that. Do we even know ‘how to relax?’
Whatever it is that needs doing is not going to ‘run away.’ It will be there waiting for you. If you are feeling stressed or annoyed at having to complete a certain task, or you’re just too tired then your body is giving you a sign it needs a rest. This is the time you need to give yourself permission to have some time to yourself. When something is most stressful and seemingly ‘pressing’ – that is when you should stop and step back. Whatever it is that requires your attention can wait.
Be it as little as 20 minutes per day to do whatever it is that puts you in a state of calm. it might be walking, yoga, relaxation meditation or just sitting quietly by your self in the sun. These things will make a difference to your bodies’ stress levels.
I can hear the excuses flowing already…
Now is the time to stop, remove all the excuses and start thinking about right now – how you can achieve 20 minutes per day for yourself? Try to think of a time in your day where it would be the most convenient. Is it first thing in the morning? last thing at night? or perhaps lunchtime? Only you have the choice to make time for yourself. You can do it.
Start with making a commitment to your self-care, set an intention to take time out once a day for you. It is in your best interest to look after yourself – then you can look after those around you. Try this out today if you’re not sure where to get started. Once you have adopted a regular pattern in your day to do so, you will probably wonder how you ever got through without it. Create positive habits that promote good health and mindful living.
So what can you do to relax, release stress and start the healing process?
Rest and digest (tap into the breath and connect with your parasympathetic part of the nervous systems that is our rest and digest aspect of our body).
+ Start by sitting quietly and concentrate on the breath in through the nose and out through the mouth.
+ Do this multiple times per day. Develop a practice (even if you think you don’t need it!)
+ This breath technique helps to calm us, when we relax we give our bodies permission to work efficiently and heal.
+ By practicing this daily we can help to improve many aspects of our general well being. Make this part of you daily health regime.
Acceptance. Accept what is happening in your life, the sooner you accept the situation, the sooner you can move towards helping the healing. You don’t have to like it but you do have to accept it.
Be responsible for yourself.
Take action to change things if they are not right for you. Remember your health & wellness is about you, it’s your truth and your action (no one else’s!)
To self care,