Stress is such a huge aspect in today’s society. It is brought onto the body by all different elements and by any change the body is subjected to. This can vary from small daily changes such as being startled or becoming angry, to life altering changes such as a loss of a job. It is a natural occurrence in life. But there seems to be an alarming rise in mental stress and anxiety.
Maintaining our mental, emotional and spiritual health is more important than ever right now. Between the recent effects of the COVID 19 pandemic, racial injustices and disparities, the loss of loved ones and the loss of influential people that touch our lives such as John Lewis and Chadwick Boseman we have had quite a year so far. Factor in balancing home, work and school life there is a need to become more alert and mindful of our thoughts, feelings and actions. It is important for you to know that there are techniques and lifestyle changes that can help the mind and body process stress. This will in turn reduce your stress levels.
I recently had a labor intensive work week. Deadlines to be met. New tasks added to the list, etc. Add two quarantined school age boys needing to exert their energy and remote learning that can quickly cause a more stressful week. One particular morning I considered calling out sick from work because my body felt like it was trying to fight off a cold for 3 days (symptoms weren't getting worse but subtle ones were lingering and I just didn’t feel like myself). Even after morning prayer and a long hot shower I was still apprehensive about getting out that door.
As I stood in the living room making small talk with my husband (definitely just procrastination at its best). I started to pick off the dead leaves on the house plant sitting in front of me. After about 10 minutes of this I went on to snip off the dying tips on the healthier looking leaves, spray them then water the roots. In the end, I couldn’t believe how soothing it was. How therapeutic it felt in the moment. I’ve watered that same plant several times a week for the last year. But this particular day was simple yet special. My caring for it at this moment gave it a new life. The dead leaves were gone. The tips of the leaves were refreshed (further decreasing its chances from the whole leaf dying). The plant looked like a new plant. It probably felt new and vibrant also :)
And just like I gave the plant new life, I gave myself new life in this moment. Suddenly, I was ready to walk right out that door and conquer the day. All because I stopped and pruned that plant. Just like the saying “Stop and Smell the Roses” to relax and take time out of your busy schedule to enjoy and appreciate the beauty of life; on this day “Stopping to Prune my Plant” revitalized me.
I opened up the door to release any apprehension, stress, or anxiety that was trying to loom. I gave myself a day that did not have to be spent focusing on how I did not feel like my 100% self. A day not run by the stressors of work or school life.
Of course, this will not be a complete solution all of the time. Sometimes you will need to take that sick day to rest your body and recuperate. To take that vacation to get away and be in the peacefulness of nature.
But there are times when we just need to stop for a brief second to simply pause time to allow peace, relaxation and comfort to come over your body. To reflect on any stress relief techniques that will help get you through the moment. Maybe a deep breathing exercise, meditation or aromatherapy. (Bath & Body Works stress relief line is my absolute favorite aromatherapy. It's something about the mix of spearmint and eucalyptus that soothes me.)
What small gesture throughout the day will give you that breakthrough or release?
Incorporating stress relief techniques and coping strategies is important in maintaining your health and well being. Especially for those of us that live in the hustling and bustling of city life. Enjoyable and relaxing activities calm the nervous system which can help your body physically relax and maintain physical health. Even further, long term proper stress management can decrease your odds of developing certain illnesses such as headaches, heart disease, cancers, stroke, infection, asthma attacks and digestive problems. Stress management can also help your emotional well-being as well as your spiritual connection linking the mind-body connection.
Be open to the challenges that can come your way today and embrace the moment with a new found peace.
This small incorporation can be a WHOLE world of a difference for your body.
Feel free to go over to my Instagram or Facebook page to follow some of my favorite activities I engage in this week to keep my physical, emotional, environmental, spiritual and nutritional being in check.
During this time of increased challenges what will you practice to manage your stress?
Comment below and share some of your stress relief techniques.