Stress Relief for the Weary


Stress Relief…

It has been a heck of a week!  Each day seems packed with commitments, appointments and the never ending to-do list.  One of my best friends, elementary school teacher and mother of 3, describes herself as a hamster on a wheel.  Gotta keep moving, no stopping allowed!

I was so tired by the end of the day today that when I ran to the salon for a quick hair cut, I nearly fell asleep while they were blow drying my hair!  I just had to laugh, it’s so ridiculous.  So, I was thinking, how do I cope?  How do I get through these marathon weeks?  I came up with some good ideas and I wanted to share them with you.

These work for me, please let me know what strategies work for you!

1. Get as much sleep as possible…at the end of the evening, do not turn on the TV, but rather, get into bed and relax or maybe read a book (on paper).  Those screens can make it hard to fall asleep, and I think we all know we can’t function without sleep, so do what you can to stock up!

2. Move the body (gently).  When I’m stressed and exhausted, somehow getting a little bit of exercise makes me feel better.  If possible I go for a walk, preferably somewhere with trees or other nature to view.  (Looking at nature calms the mind, no doubt about that one!)

2-A. Still on the gentle motion path, do a little stretching or yoga.  I’m talking, like 5 or 10 minutes.  It makes you feel good because it allows you to stretch out those tight muscles and focus on your body for a few minutes.  It’s supposed to be slow, so take some calming breaths and relax into that stretch.  (My favorite yoga poses are Warrior 1 & 2, I can do them without too much effort and they make me feel powerful, like I can handle whatever comes my way.)

3. Take a mini-mental vacation…If I’m all out of sync, I try to close my eyes and go to my happy place for a few minutes.  This, of course, requires some quiet-ish space where you can be alone for 5 minutes.  I like to imagine myself on the beach, slouched down in my chair, watching the people and the water, nothing to do but relax.  If you can really bring that imagine to life, it’ll relax your body and mind, and give you the focus to go on again, back to that hamster wheel!

4. Take the time to focus on the good stuff that is happening, even as life is whipping by at mach 10, those happy memories can go a long way towards positive mental health.

5. And last, but not least, if you are stressed out, for goodness sake, treat yourself kindly.  Drink a big glass of water and eat some fresh healthy foods, give your mind and body the fuel it needs.  And, just possibly, you’ll decide to give yourself a break and blow off some of the non-essential things on your to-do list.

I’d love to hear from you if you have feedback or suggestions, but, you know, I gotta run…


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