Almost everyone can agree it’s important to look at what, how and why we’re eating. Often times however we overlook the most crucial element and that’s the issue of “what’s eating us”. Stress is an important factor that impacts our health and well-being. The way our modern society is designed it can be pretty easy to get stressed out. Things that contribute to stress include
1. The pace of life- it almost seems like we’re on this non-stop treadmill and so we just keep going, going, going. We’re over-scheduled, get little sleep and are always going somewhere and doing something.
2. Lack of downtime- we work long hours, have long commutes to and from work, and are chauffeuring our kids to a myriad of endless activities.
3. Negativity – being surrounded by negative people and negative news is a sure way to increase or stress level. Just 5 minutes of the Nightly News and my pulse rate starts to rise.
4. Media overload- this is definitely proven to increase our stress level. Excessive TV, talk radio, ads and constant bombardment by the media is draining and mentally exhausting.
5. Lack of water and poor nutrition – dehydration and poor nourishment plays a role in our coping abilities or lack of ability to deal with stress. Negative stress causes unpleasant symptoms. A few of which include anxiety, poor sleep, forgetfulness, fatigue, headaches, constipation and depression. And that’s just the short list. Stress has also been linked to many diseases such as heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure and suicide.
So what’s a girl to do when she feels stressed out and overwhelmed. First it is important not to ignore that there is a problem. Acknowledge that you are stressed out and that something has to be done to address this.
1. Slow down – there are only so many hours in a day. You cannot get everything done today. You can’t make it to every event. Don’t give into the temptation to over schedule yourself or your family.
2. Take some time for you – reserve a few moments on a regular basis to hear your own thoughts. Time for deep breathing and to feel the relaxing power of a slow exhale. Time to be with yourself before you forget who that is.
3. Minimize negativity- negative news and people should be taken in small doses only, and not frequently.
4. Decrease media time- limit the amount of time you spend on your devices. Your mood will likely improve and you won’t be as drained.
5. Drink more water and eliminate junk food- this simple intervention will increase your stamina and allow you to face stress with more vigor and vitality.
As you take inventory of your daily stress remember to say the serenity prayer- 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!
Enjoy the holidays with a little less stress,