For us as Americans, we know how to live stressful lives. Everything is go, go, GO. Big cities are filled with people coming and going, cars beeping and zooming. We have premade meals so that we have more time to work. There are watches, phones, tablets, and computers to keep lists, remind us of duties, and loads of information so that we can do more!
In the middle of all that is, you. A person who can only handle so much, even though society says that success means doing. I know this all too well. I ended up in the doctor's office, about a year ago, wondering why my body was acting so weird. Since then I have taken it upon myself to find ways to stop and "smell the roses." It is important to take care of ourselves so that we can be more present, live intentionally, and hopefully, have fulfilling lives.
I've made a list of a few ideas. I could go on and on with this list, but then I would never publish it. I also know that some of these things might not seem realistic for your situation. When we are overstressed, it's usually because we are pushed to the max. It's ok to stop and try one of these out. Really. I always say that quality dominates quantity. Give your time quality.
- take a quick or long walk outside
- switch up the task + come back later when you can think clearly
- keep your phone out of reach while unwinding at the end of the day
- notice if you are holding your breath, then breathe deeply for a few moments
- reevaluate your priorities
- recognize that God is near + understands your stress
- play calming music
- use your favorite essential oils in a diffuser
- start a prayer journal
- drop the chores + immerse yourself in just being with your kids
- understand that it is ok to stop + relax
- make a list of self-care ideas that you enjoy + do them!
- find a babysitter for the kids + have an in-home date with your spouse
- finish that book you started instead of browsing Instagram
- drive to your favorite scenic spot and spend an hour observing nature
- take up grown up coloring
- realize that you are enough, right here + right now, in the middle of the mess
- don't take yourself too seriously
- continue to ask God for insight in how to better handle stress
- get some bird seed + a feeder, then watch what comes by the window
- drink calming tea in the evening such as peppermint, chamomile, or include maca powder in your favorite blend.
If you have more suggestions or ways in which you take time to de-stress, please share in the comments! I know that not everyone is in the same situation so sharing ideas with each other will go a long way. Go, treat yourself!