Look To the Western Sky

A blog about single life as a parent & the dreams of a writer by Margo L. Dill

Tag: stress relief

Stress Busting 101: How To Reduce It In Your Life

We are coming upon one of the most stressful times of the year for people–the holidays. This contributed article has some good tips to consider to focus on reducing your stress:

We all lead busy lives and can find ourselves feeling stressed from time to time. Heck, not even time to time for many of us; more like all of the time! It could be family, work, health, or other issues that can lead to the stress, if not a combination of them all. But whatever your source of stress is, it is a good idea to take control of it now, so that you can deal with it and find ways to eliminate it. After all, stress can make many aspects of your life worse, such as your health (both mental and physical).

Professor Cary Cooper, from robertsoncooper.com, has stated that in our lives, there is always a solution to the problems that we face, even if it doesn’t feel like it or that it feels impossible. But when we just let things carry on as they are, it can make things much worse. The keys to dealing with and managing stress tend to be building up some emotional strength and having less of a “woe is me” kind of attitude. When you do have a victim attitude, you are justifying the situation rather than doing anything about it. Taking control of the situation can help, as well as being positive and having a good group of people around you. Being able to share the load, so to speak, can help massively. Even if it is just someone to talk to over the phone.

What else can you do to address and then eliminate the stress that you have in your life? Here are some stress-busting suggestions.

Be Active

Being active and exercising isn’t going to make your stress disappear. But what it does do is help you to manage it. Exercise can lead to a bit of an escape, as well as reducing the intensity of it all for you. Exercise can lead to a production of happy hormones that can lift your mood. So when you have to go back to a stressful situation, you are likely to deal with it in a better way.

Seek Alternative Therapies

As well as exercise, there could be an alternative therapy that could help you to feel better about things. Regular massages, reflexology appointments or even seeing a chiropractor could help you. Again, it isn’t going to eliminate the stress in your life. But it will help you to deal with it better. The reason behind these kinds of treatments is whole-body healing. The focus, according to myauburnchiro.com, is not so much on sickness, but rather on overall wellness and healthy living. So it could be really beneficial for you to give it a try.

Connect with Others

A good support network of people around you–friends, family, or colleagues–is a good way to help to lift your mood. They can offer support and fun, as well as offering advice to help you deal with the situations that you face. As they say, a problem shared is a problem halved. It can be good to just talk about your feelings, too, even if you just want people to listen, rather than offer solutions. Sometimes, when we say things out loud, it can help us to resolve the issues that we had on our mind.

Avoid Unhealthy Habits

As we know, there are many things that can make us feel better when we are feeling stressed. But there are also some things that can make us feel worse. We may think that they are going to help us, but unhealthy habits can actually have the opposite effect. Smoking, alcohol, and too much caffeine can actually make our bodies feel more on edge and stressed. In the long-term, these are just crutches and can make things worse. This is especially true if you end up feeling like you can’t get through your day without a bottle of wine, for example. So look for healthier habits, as said above, such as exercise or an alternative therapy.

Be More Productive

You may feel stressed because you have so much on your plate that you need to do. But the key is to be more efficient with your time, rather than spending every waking minute doing things. What things could you tick off your list at the same time? What work can be prioritized and others not as much? Can you get help at home, like a cleaner, for example, so that you can focus on other tasks that have more value to you? Set aside time to be more productive and remove distractions, such as your phone. It could mean putting it in airplane mode, for instance, until you get a specific task done. It is all about working smarter and being more productive, rather than working harder.

Make a Positive List

You will be surprised at what a difference being positive can make. If you find it hard to be positive, then it can be a good idea to take some time out and write out what you are grateful for, as well as the positive things in your life. When you take the time to do just that, it can make a massive difference and, you’ll see all of the good and happy things that you do have. It can put the stressful side of your life into perspective a little bit and help you to refocus.

Help Others

Along a similar line of making a happy and positive list of things in your life, it can also be a good idea to look for ways to help other people. It can give you a different focus and again, puts things into perspective for you. It can act as escapism and does help to give you a happy and euphoric feeling. You may not think that you even have time to do something like this. But when you make an effort to do it, you will see the benefit of it in your life.

Hopefully, one of these ideas helps you handle your current stress. What works for you? 

 

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4 Tips to Control What Goes In and Comes Out of Your Mouth

I made a sign for my bulletin board that said: “THINK: Before food goes in and words come out!” One night after I binged on potato chips and dip (my favorite comfort snack) and said something to someone I wished I had not, I jotted that down. Because we are always moving so fast and trying to accomplish so much, we often don’t give ourselves time to think. And let’s face it, the older we get and the more responsibilities we add to our plates, the more we have to make a conscious effort to think before we eat or speak.

Here are four tips I use to try to help me with this (besides keeping a sign with these words on my bulletin board):

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  •  Have a confidant or confidants.

This is no-brainer. You’re going to be crabby sometimes. You’re not always going to say the right thing. People are going to piss you off.  But you really should think before you speak–you don’t want your neighbors to plan your move or your co-workers to take bets on who wants to throat punch you first. So you need a group of trusted friends, or at least one, where you can share your witty and sarcastic thoughts, instead of saying them directly to the people who are driving you crazy. I know this sounds like I’m advocating talking behind people’s backs. That’s the glass half-empty way of looking at this because everyone needs an outlet–that’s real life.

  • Don’t be around people who make you crazy.

I realize this is easier said than done. And if you can limit contact with people who drive you crazy, you won’t need to share so much with those confidants mentioned above. But there are some people in your life who you will not be able to avoid. For example–your adorable children, who can turn into little beasts when hungry, tired, and overstimulated. (This is why you need those confidants.) If it’s a co-worker who is rude, you don’t have much choice, except for the confidants or finding a new job. But I bet there are some people in your life who drive you crazy, and you don’t have to be around them. You are CHOOSING this. Why? Why are you doing this to yourself? (Look, I have been guilty, trust me–I know it is easier said than done!) If someone does not treat you with the respect and kindness you deserve, then you don’t have to be around this person. 

  • Make yourself write down the food you eat.

Now we get to the what goes in your mouth–or “a minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips”.  If you have trouble with your eating habits, one thing I have found to work, to be aware of what I’m doing, is to write down everything I eat/drink. After I had my daughter, I went to Weight Watchers to lose the baby weight, and I found the program worked great. I know it’s not the answer for everyone, but one of the things they preach is: keep track of the food and the portions you eat.  I had to go back to Weight Watchers–I reached my goal about 7 months after Katie was born, and then had to go back when she was 3? But I have managed to keep it all off since then (almost 3 years) and stay well below my goal weight, using the principles of being aware (most days), portion control, balanced diet, and exercise–all things I learned from WW.

  • Don’t buy food you like.

Okay, maybe I should change that to don’ t buy junk food you like. I wouldn’t have binged on those chips and dip that I mentioned above if I wouldn’t have bought them. Ah, it seems so simple–I know it’s not. But if you have only healthy snacks that satisfy you, the chances of you putting on clothes to go out and buy junk food when it is late at night and the kids are in bed are much lower.  ESPECIALLY if you think about what goes into your mouth before you put it in. 🙂

 

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