Let's get a handle on the stress!
September is just around the corner which often is a season for change and resets. Maybe your kids are settling into new school routines, and you are catching your breath after a busy summer.
This time of year has typically been an opportunity for me to get back on track with nourishing habits and goals. I hope this season might also be a catalyst of intentional growth for you!
I would encourage you to be gracious with yourself, acknowledge the difficult pieces you’re holding together and take some proactive steps to lighten you stress load.
The problem with stress is that the destructive course it takes in our body is often silent. We don’t realize the devastation it’s causing until it’s too late and disease has settled in. Our bodies were designed to deal with episodes of acute stress, but the problem is when stress becomes chronic.
When the stress signals are triggered too frequently, our bodies build resistance to the constant influx of hormones, and they become more tolerant of these stress signals. This depletes energy pathways in our bodies and creates the perfect storm for conditions like type 2 diabetes, autoimmune disease, digestive problems, and weight loss resistance.
This is why being intentional with stress management is so important. We want to weave practices into our day that activate our parasympathetic nervous system (rest, digest and repair). Here are some practices that bring your body back to a place of balance:
· Diaphragmatic/deep belly breathing
· Talking about your stress with a trusted friend
· The right type of exercise (for some people this might be a high intensity work out, for other people yoga or Tai Chi)
· Spending time in nature
· Carving out regular time for hobbies that bring you joy
Another thing to keep in mind is that much of the battle with stress actually starts in our mind. It’s the perception or anticipation of stress that ends up being worse than the situation itself. If we can begin to think differently about stressful things in life like our child’s behaviors, a work deadline or everything on our to-do list, then we are on the right track.
Being proactive is not easy, but it’s vitally important for our wellbeing and for the overall health of our family!