As the new year begins, many of us are thinking about our health. We want to lose weight, get in shape, and have more energy.
There is one factor that will help all of these areas, but is often overlooked. That area is stress.
We all have it in some form, and its impact is great.
Stress can affect our mind and body in many ways. Some of which include:
- impaired digestion
- weight issues (loss or gain)
- adrenal fatigue
- increased cravings/poor food choices
- increased risk of heart attack
- inflammation (which may lead to autoimmune disease)
In the past I felt that in order to live with less stress, I had to eliminate stressful things from my life. And yes, this does help, but there is no way to eliminate all stressful things from life. Especially if you are a mom. Let’s face it, mothering has many stressful moments.
While it’s still a great idea to remove extra stress whenever possible, such as heading a committee or over-scheduling the family, what we really need is to develop skills that will help us manage stress.
So, how can we deal with stress on a daily basis?
Here are a few ideas:
1. Let things go
Letting things go might mean quitting some big stress-inducing activities, but it may also mean skipping the from-scratch dinner we planned to make tonight and instead choosing the healthiest store-bought or takeout meal we can find.
There are times when choosing the “healthy” thing can actually be more harmful because of the stress involved. It doesn’t seem to make sense, but it’s true. That healthy meal we slaved over and stressed about, may not even be digested properly if we are wound up and stressed out while eating it.
Of course, stressing about eating something that’s not healthy is also harmful, so there has to be some balance. And that’s where mindset comes in. . .
2. Be careful how you think
The words we tell ourselves are powerful. And they affect us greatly.
Choosing a positive mindset is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves.
If the words you speak to yourself are often negative, it might be time for an adjustment. This can be difficult to change on our own, so seeking help in the form of therapy or a mentor may be a good idea.
3. Put systems in place to help the home run more smoothly
Sometimes stress is caused by having to make too many decisions. Making decisions ahead of time, then setting up our home with routines, menu plans, and a well maintained calendar are all helpful in reducing stress on a daily basis.
If you are homeschooling, you might want to read Kathie’s post on Stress Free Homeschooling.
4. Get rid of clutter
Clutter adds to our stress load. Seeing it and dealing with it daily impacts us negatively.
This article from Lifehacker states, “physical clutter overloads your senses, making you feel stressed, and impairs your ability to think creatively.” I have to agree!
Getting rid of clutter is one way to reduce the stress in our lives.
5. Find time to do something you enjoy
I know this is hard! Especially when you have so many responsibilities. But try to figure out a way. Even if it’s just a little time each week.
Doing something you enjoy revives your spirit. It’s completely worth the time it takes to arrange a way to make it happen.
6. Supplement with herbs and adaptogens
Taking an adoptogen can help the body deal with stress more effectively. One on my favorites is Holy Basil, but there are many others (such as Ashwaganhda and Rhodiola).
Drinking chamomile tea or taking a bath infused with chamomile can also be helpful.
If you enjoy using essential oils, consider diffusing bergamot or making a bergamot massage oil.
If you would like more ideas for dealing with stress, you might enjoy reading 20 Ways to Reduce Stress.
What are your best tips for reducing stress?
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