Waking up this morning like any other day. About 6am, my bed cosy and warm.
Before getting out of bed, I quickly conjure up the 5 main things I’m grateful for (trust me, it takes about 30 seconds and feels great!).
I get up and go about my morning as per usual.
Things are good, they are flowing, I’m getting things done.
Kids to school. Check.
On my way to work. Check.
Can’t find a park. Slightly more stressful.
Work stress. Starting to make me hold my breath.
By the time I left work, I was wound up pretty tight.
I was feeling stressed, tired, and ready to blow.
I had the choice – to go home, blow up, eat whatever I could get my hands on, and drink some wine.
OR, I could negotiate some time to get to a yoga class (yes, I realise that isn’t always possible, we will get to that), breathe and forgive myself (for not being as ‘zen’ as I expect myself to be).
There is always a choice.
So now, post yoga, cuddled under my blanket, with my tea, I can feel proud of the choice I made.
I am still looking forward to writing today off, but I didn’t take a crappy day and make it worse.
We always have a choice.
Sometimes when we feel overwhelmed and stressed, our decision making goes out the window, there’s a biological reason for this – throughout history, ‘stress’ was life-threatening – which direction to run away from the tiger was the only decision we had to make!
Nowadays the stress is different, but our bodies still react in the same way – impairing our decision making skills.
So let’s look at a list of healthy options to reduce stress.
Pick one that you can do right now and go for it! (if you can’t decide, and they are all an option, close your eyes and point to one).
1. Take a yoga class
2. DO a you tube yoga class (a 10-20min free class on you tube feels good)
3. Take 5 long, deep breathes through your nose – this is particularly good when stuck in traffic (breathing switches us from ‘fight or flight’ mode to ‘rest and digest’, more about that in another blog).
4. Have a cup of herbal tea – a combination of relaxing herbs and taking the time to make the tea is therapeutic.
5. Have a hot shower/bath – literally, washing away the day.
6. When you are at work – taking a toilet break – walking away from the situation for even a few minutes can make a change in your stress response.
7. Avoid the coffee – I know that you want to reach for it – please don’t.
8. Say ‘no’ to extra tasks and responsibilities that add extra pressure at this time.
9. Choose your own adventure – often what feels good and reduces stress, will differ greatly between everyone – take a moment, when you’re not stressed, to figure out what your ‘go to’ will be in those stressful times. This will your secret weapon.
Life is stressful at times, and it’s how we deal with it that counts – this means being prepared, or we default to junk food, coffee wine!
I’d love to hear your ‘go to’ activities when your stressed!