April is Stress Awareness Month. Since it’s so easy for me to let my stress get out of balance, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to look at how I’ve been living, and share some of my insights with you.
Some of the questions I asked myself are:
- Am I still living my intentions that I set at the beginning of 2018?
- Am I feeling energized? Healthy? Aligned?
- Am I remaining focused on the practices that balance me?
A confession: It’s uncomfortable for me to slow down, and I have become used to living my life in low-grade stress all the time. The reality I live in is that even low-grade stress throws off my adrenal function, increases my cortisol and blood sugar levels, depletes my hormone production, and compromises my liver and thyroid function. It’s not the best. So I am always looking for good practices that help me slow down and keep my stress levels in check.
I’m certainly not perfect at it, but here are some of the things I do to help manage my stress and heal my body.
- I block off one day per week on my calendar to do nothing. This is my play day – no meal prep, chores, or plans. I stay mostly away from my phone so I don’t get pulled into work.
- I set a daily alarm for 2pm. It’s like my pause button. When it goes off, I breathe, say a prayer, or acknowledge something I am grateful for. I am reminded to be present in the moment and slow down. If I can get a moment alone, I will take 10 deep belly breaths to ground myself.
- I try not to over-schedule. I have a tendency to squeeze a million things into a day, which immediately increases my stress, and it takes me forever to slow down, and I usually can’t sleep after a day like that.
- My Meditation Practice. I can’t start my day without my quiet time to connect, align, pray, and journal. This first hour of my day is the most important time of my day.
- Airplane Mode. I keep my phone on airplane mode an hour before going to bed and that first hour in the morning when I wake up.
- Slowing down. I have been working on walking and moving with more grace and intention instead of just running my body from place to place. I am slowing down while driving, talking, walking, and eating.
- Nourishing my body with the right foods for me. I’m always looking for foods that will support my body. When I am stressed, foods like leafy greens, cilantro, chlorella, celery juice, and wild berries really help me. To learn more about why, read the blog from the Medical Medium. I love his suggestions for foods to support my thyroid, adrenals, and liver.
- Earthing/Grounding. Talk about therapy for your nervous system! I put my bare feet on Mother Earth regularly – – and last week I even spent a few minutes hugging a tree in my back yard.
I think we are all working on finding our way out of our stressed out lives and moving into happier, more harmonious lives. These tips have been helping me. What do you do to keep your stress in check?