Balancing Act: A Holistic Approach to Tackling Stress
In a world with so many options for stress management, it can be tough navigating which choice is the right choice for you. Not to mention, some proactive ways (gym memberships, counselors, journaling) may not be possible regularly due to time and budget. We believe that the basics often get overlooked, yet they are so effective. Let’s start simple and give you 2 ways that you can manage your stress effortlessly, and possibly reduce it!
Proactive: Get some shut-eye!
How do you feel when you know you haven’t slept for as long, or as well as you should have? An integral part of our routine, shut-down mode allows our mind and body to relax, while our systems reset themselves. Research also shows that “sleep plays a crucial role in the robustness of our immune system”. While we sleep, our immune system is boosting itself with more cells that fight off infection, inflammation and more.
I get it: life happens and we may feel the need to sacrifice sleep to work, be with family, or complete house chores. Once in a while is fine (although we will argue that you still do not function at your best the next day). However, when your body isn’t regularly getting the z’s it needs, your total wellness is affected, in more ways than we can list in one blog article. Your immune system is at risk, your mood is delicate, and your brain function may be limited or seem chaotic.
Try these tips:
Set a sleep schedule on your phone to reduce scrolling, late night communications. This is your wind down time.
Use lavender essential oil, breathing techniques or meditation
Search your app store for an app with meditations, music or visualizations
Find a night time, wind down or calming yoga session on YouTube
Responsive: Be present with 5 senses.
When you catch yourself in a stressful situation, you may notice your mind running a million miles an hour, with no end in sight. If you pay close attention to those thoughts, you will probably notice that the majority of them might relate to the future- things beyond your control- for right now.
One way you can ease your reaction, is to bring yourself to the present. It will calm your mind, giving you the ability to look at it with a fresh set of eyes, so you can choose the BEST solution moving forward.
Try this right now, and every time you feel stressed:
Find as quiet of a space as you can. Take a few slow deep breaths, and close your eyes if you feel compelled to do so.
Ask yourself these five questions, and be aware of the first thing you notice.
What can I see? (even if its the person in front of you)
What can I feel? (my hands are dry, I’m overheated, I’m tired)
What can I hear? (keyboard clicking, music etc)
What can I smell? (someone’s cooking with garlic)
What can I taste? (my morning coffee)
How do you feel now?
Has your heart stopped pounding out of your chest? Has your mind cleared a bit? Imagine the result when you are stressed to the max!
I want you to be able to live your life fully, by being proactive and prepared. While there are many more tools to use, starting somewhere is important to developing the habit and our responses. Holding yourself accountable to that is one of the most important choices you can make to improve and maintain your well-being. Start simply with evaluating your sleep, and practicing awareness.