Stress is a crazy thing. It comes, we process, and, if we are lucky, it goes. We aren’t always that lucky.
One of my old professors once said, “there is no such thing as no stress.” I am beginning to see this in my own life. Beneficial stress, often called eustress, still can cause havoc in the body just as “bad” stress can. The question is what to do with it.
In recent months, I’ve been dealing with the effects of stress on my body. I have discovered that even the act of writing this post causes a few issues that have built up over time.
The pain that this build-up has caused sent me to the doctor. Currently, I am seeing a physical therapist and massage therapist and, though not healed, I can feel a difference.
It is not enough.
Now, I must deal with the causes of this pain. The process isn’t easy. I’ve known for a little while that my life is out of balance. My body gives me these cues and I can no longer ignore them.
Relaxation is high on my list of priorities. Here are five ways I may be using to help me with this priority:
1. Yoga – This has a two-fold benefit. One, yoga automatically stretches the body helping it to work better. Two, yoga is about breath, which can help with stress levels. There are many more benefits, but these are the ones I will focus on for now.
2. Walking – Again, there are lots of benefits besides getting my butt up off the couch – or writing chair. Physical movement can help release the tension stored in the body.
3. Hot Baths – I’m not normally a bath person, but a good soak with salt and essential oils can do wonders for a body.
4. Unplug – I’m hearing more and more about turning electronics off. I’ve even heard the recommendation to turn off the WIFI at night. I can do this – not sure if everyone can – I just forget to do it. One way I have added this to my life is that my new writing space doesn’t have electricity (yet) nor can it receive the WIFI signal from my house. I don’t spend a lot of time out there, but for me its a start.
5. Do Nothing – This one may be the hardest of all. after all who has the time to just sit and do nothing? Doing nothing may be a relative term. Doing nothing may be a few moments of sitting outside and watching the world go by. It may be that you pick up that book, find a comfy chair and read for a while. It may be some form of doodling. The main point for me is telling myself it’s okay to not worry about my to-do list at the moment. Yep, that’s the hard one.
Each of these is a doable option. Your list may look different, but I believe everyone should have one. Our bodies, and minds, can only take so much before we begin to break down. And, I’ve discovered it happens quicker as we age.
Challenge: Create your own list of doable ways to help you bust some stress.