Stress and How to Manage it
Stress. STRESS. STREEESSSSS!! There is so much of it in abundance with all of us. Our lifestyles have become a barrage of to do lists and constant running around that we are beyond overwhelmed and it is starting to affect us mentally, emotionally, and physically. The constant go, go go, and multitude of projects personally and professionally has gotten us so wound up we are ready to burst at a moment's notice. Our society has started to glorify being "busy". With technological advances that allow to seemingly conquer more in a day we find more ways to fill the void of non-business with adding in more things to do. Is it just me or does that sound like the exact opposite of what these new fangled tools were meant to do?
As an entrepreneur, full time college student, full time nanny, homeschooling mom, wife, and friend I am finding my time is split between caring for so many others and dreaming about cycling or sleeping. My stress levels have impacted my health in ways that I didn't think would ever actually apply to me, but more over it has affected the way I interact with the world. I am still struggling with finding a nice balance of down time and work time; and as an entrepreneur this balance is more like a harsh tip in the scale towards work time. I know, I know. I'm now actively working towards finding that balance that works for me and in it I have had to force myself to take an hour or so out of my day and do something just for me. Admittedly, I have become quite addicted to it. It hasn't been a total stress release thought it has made a greater impact on how I deal with situations that are a bit more stressful like client cancellations or rescheduling of appointments, homework deadlines, or just how I tackle household chores. It helps to clear my mind, helps me sleep, and I am not nearly as moody. Don't look at me like that, I did say not nearly as moody. Gah.
In order to continue on my own journey of finding a somewhat equal balance, who am I kidding there will never be an equal balance with me, but perhaps more of a sway to down time and combat the stresses that make my life feel like it is spiraling out of control into the fire pit of doom and destruction where all is lost and I will never find my way out again.........................deep breath, Sazhrah, deep breath. Anyway, I reached out on social media to find out what other creatives do to help them combat their own stress. Mostly, I was looking for things you can do every day that are little but used either consistently (habitually) or even combined with other small activities that they have found to have a profound effect on their stress management. Below is a list.
Deep Breathing - concentrating on releasing and positive energy throughout the day.
Cigarettes (I do not recommend this one)
Meditation - along the lines of the deep breathing though more centered in release of or concentrated thought.
Get up and move - It has been proven over and over again how our sedentary lifestyles have made it difficult to combat stress and be healthy not only physically, but mentally. Every so often get up and move around and detach from the task you are doing. I personally like to do some squats, sit-ups, or go for a walk around.
Cuddling - I love this one as it forces me to create downtime for myself and connection with a loved one such as my husband or kids. That bonding and release of oxytocin makes managing my stress so much better.
Creating Lists - by breaking down your overwhelming amount of tasks write them down and tackle by smaller tasks so it doesn't seem so daunting. I need to relearn to do this more.
Say NO! - Really this is probably the single hardest thing for me to do as I do love to help people, but I need to realize that I can not serve water from an empty cup. If I say yes to everything and everyone then I am not replenishing myself. Sometimes a no is the preventative measure to stress.
Orgasms - I did not write this list y'all. LOL However, though there is a lot of information out there about the benefits of a healthy sex life and orgasms this seems to be ignored by many. I urge you to read up on it.
Letting go - I often ask myself if I can change the situation I am dealing with. If the answer is no then I remind myself to not stress over it as nothing I do can change it and I must accept it. If the answer is yes then I need to get to thinking and planning and just hop to it. Easier said than done, but then I am not stressing because I have a plan of action.
These are just some of the responses I got and I hope they are able to help you out a bit. What are your stress relieving methods? How do you cope? Please share as I am sure we can all use a little more insight in our incredibly busy and overworked lives.