“Life is to be enjoyed, not endured.” – Gordon B. Hinckley
Before we reveal the defrazzle me!—4 stress busters that really work, let me ask you, do you ever feel like you spend the majority of your life rushing?
Rushing from one meeting to the next, one idea to the next, one recital to the next, even from one thought to the next…with hardly any time, space, or energy left to to stop and really soak in life’s blessings and achievements?
Does your inner dialogue ever sound something like this:
I don’t have time to relax…
Everyone counts on me to get things done…
If I don’t do it, it won’t get done right…
I can’t relax until I know things are taken care of…
I don’t think I remember how to relax…
With stress being arguably #1 cause of disease in this country, perhaps NOW is the time to relook at our priorities in relation to our own health, happiness, and longevity.
• Does it really matter if I get to that text message right away?
• Will the neighbors actually care if my annuals don’t get planted this weekend?
• Does that report really need to be in three days early?
• Can’t the dishes wait until after family time…or even until the morning GASP?!
• Who can I ask for help with what needs to be done…even if it mean letting go control?
• How can I cut myself some slack?
What really matters?
The habit (and it is a habit, isn’t it?) of stressful living can be tough to break.
It’s almost like the world requires you to feel stressed, or you might appear lazy, out of touch, or aloof.
Let’s look at some stress-habit-busters you can use to defrazzle four main areas of your life right now:
Your health, your home, your, career, and your community.
1. Health—no matter how much we may like to think so, we can’t be healthy if we never step out of the fast lane.
Here are some of the best ways I’ve found to remain healthy, relaxed, AND productive:
• Keep flower remedies (not booze) handy for stressful moments.
• Be mindful of your food and beverage choices—eat less sugar and more gut-friendly foods, like yogurt, kombucha, and fiber-rich foods.
• Practice some form of meditation/relaxation techniques—even for 5 minutes a day.
2. Home—it’s a sad truth that home life can be more stressful than anything. Our homes, and our relationships at home, should represent a refuge, a safety zone, a soft place to fall.
Here are some ways to help make that a reality right now.
• Communicate clearly with family members and have honest expectations—as our good friend and therapist Don would say, don’t expect the dog to set the table.
• Utilize outside resources, ask for help, barter.
• Allow your children have a childhood—playing in the backyard counts as an after school enrichment activity! Resist the social pressure to overschedule…them or you!
3. Career—ah, this is one none of us want to talk about.
It’s so easy to fall into the “if I’m not stressed about work then I’m not working hard enough” mentality. I’ll admit, I’m guilty of succumbing to this on occasion.
Here’s how to turn up the bass on your productivity, while muting your stress:
• Plan for the day’s foreseeable events and activities the night before—this should only take a few minutes, and you’ll rest easy knowing you’re one step ahead of the game.
• Learn ways to be more productive without spinning your wheels—may I recommend, Getting Things Done The Art of Stress Free Productivity by David Allen.
It will change you life, and it’s only nine bucks!
• Find a mentor—a mentor is someone who you admire and trust, who can offer sound advice, counsel, (a good kick in the pants when needed) and will help you realize your dreams.
4. Community—I’ve included community because I think one of the most overlooked ways to banish stress is to reach beyond ourselves. To be selfless.
• Find a cause and volunteer—you know you’ve been meaning to get to this. Even if it’s just once a month, or once a quarter, make the time give selflessly to a cause that needs YOU.
• Make your community a beautiful place. Get outside!—plant a tree in your neighborhood, adopt a highway, clean up hiking trails, host an open air kid’s art fair. The outdoors offers the perfect setting to unplug and decompress.
• Share what you know—we’re all experts at something…who could benefit from your knowledge in real estate, parenting, photography, sales, cooking?
Start a blog, offer to speak at a local club, join toastmasters…who knows what may come of it.
These are a few of MANY ways to step out of our heads and let go of daily stressors in the process.
We aren’t living if we aren’t giving, are we?
Happiness, inner peace, and an expanded capacity to handle life’s stress will easily and naturally follow.
Reach beyond yourself and your day-to-day world.
just for the health of it