There are days aren’t there? Days when the overwhelmingness of life weighs heavy and the stress knot in the back of the neck grows from the size of a penny to the size of a grapefruit. Days when it is very difficult to see beyond the covers of the bed. Days when it takes pure willpower to muster the energy and gumption to simply make it from morning to night.
Those days can be predicated by an illness, a death of a loved one, an unexpected change in plans, unemployment, a loved one who has lost their way or just a simple conversation with someone that set the world off kilter. Stress can overwhelm and overtake in an instant and today I would love to share with you a few things that I have found help during stressful times.
1. First of all as a Christian I pray. I pray for calm. I pray for positivity. I pray for the situation. And then I pray some more. There is no limit to prayer and that is what gives me the most comfort both in times of trial AND in times of great thankfulness.
2. Acknowledge that there will be some sleepless nights but don’t allow that to continue for too long. It is not healthy and the body needs to rest. My natural reaction to bad news is to toss and turn at night. Even if there is absolutely nothing that “I” can do about the situation my mind does not rest and especially at nighttime it wrestles with trying to come up with an answer. Once I realize that “I” can’t solve it my body responds and sleep comes. But in my life it is a reality that sleep will be difficult. I have often taken natural sleeping aids to assist even if it is only a cup of chamomile tea. It relaxes.
3.Be able to draw on history to move on. I am always able to look back on things that have happened in the past and say “hey–you know what? That WAS a horrible time but I made it through it to the other side and I am a stronger person now”. At the time it may be difficult to see beyond but it is important to understand that this setback or issue is in the moment. There is another day coming.
4. Allow yourself time to grieve the loss, the change, the disappointment. Don’t try to hold it all in. Holding it in is not healthy for you or for anyone else around you. One day it will come out and probably not in a positive way.
5. Surround yourself with trusted friends and a support system who will let you be who and what you need to be as you work through your situation. Positive folks only need apply for this position because who needs Debbie Downer when you are down yourself? You know who those people are that support you in all things—go to them and even if you can’t share specifics, share that you need support. If they are who you think they are they will be there for you.
6.Breathe. Simply sit and concentrate on breathing slowly and deliberately. It is a natural calmer.
7.Eat chocolate. No joke here. Dark chocolate especially holds great value when it comes to being a stress reliever. Cocoa beans are rich in flavonoids, an antioxidant, which counteract the anxiety-producing hormone, cortisol. A little bit will do you.
8.Take a bath with relaxing scents around you. Nothing chills me out faster than a nice soak in a hot steamy bath with candles glowing all around me. Don’t knock it until you have tried it.
9. Don’t be static. Get up, do something physical if you can. Go for a walk. Clean a closet. If that is too much to tackle start small and clean a drawer. Just the distraction and sense of accomplishment can make a huge difference.
10. Know that tomorrow is a new day with new possibilities. Embrace that and repeat it out loud numerous times to allow yourself to fully accept that you can get through this situation and you WILL! Keep calm and press on. You’ve got this!