Are you looking to reduce stress? Here are 9 self-care tips to reduce stress that you can start practicing today!
Let’s talk about how stress affects us and how to deal with it before it manifests in the body. If you’re like me, you are a perfectionist. Most people don’t realize the energy involved to produce beauty with flowers for large events like weddings. But we florists do.
Each wedding tends to bring on heightened stress levels and requires, meticulous planning, design, communication with brides, workflow management, and bookkeeping. So, here’s what I’ve found; our bodies stress levels go up and down like yo-yos during flower season causing health problems.
Regardless of your profession stress, if not managed, disrupts the body and keeps it out of balance. It suppresses the immune system, the digestive and reproductive systems, increases the risk of heart attack and stroke, and speeds up the aging process (yikes! no thanks). It causes anxiety, depression, and other health problems.
It did to me! Here is what I suffered. Out of the blue, I came down with Bells Palsy; it lasted six months. Then I lost my sense of taste and smell due to a sinus infection ( so the Doctors say, nothing conclusive.) And now recently I’ve developed Eczema on my feet (very sore.)
Health problems caused by stress.
Depression and anxiety
Skin conditions, such as eczema
Thinking and memory problems
Our bodies natural evolution is to use these heightened spikes of stress during emergencies and for only short periods of time. Modern society is faced with social, personal and work stressors, proven difficult to switch off.
How self care can reduce stress.
The Europeans describe self-care as creating a routine for the little things one does each day to help build a more vibrant and healthy self. I think of self-care as depositing “joyful things” into say “my health bank.” Eventually, it adds up emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually.
My 9 Self Care Tips to reduce stress and illness.
Eat whole foods:
- My number one tip is. You are what you eat, and if you are eating crap, your body will be crap. Sugar and GMO foods are making us sick and are added to commercial foods. I use extreme caution when buying food. I read labels all the time.
I am a vegetarian and have been for many years. An essential fact about eating vegetarian is it’s supposed to be healthy for you, or so you’d think. I’ve followed a plant-based diet for eight years, and without knowing my body was still not right. I do still maintain the opinion that eating vegetables is naturally the ideal way to sustain a healthy body.
However, I was overcompensating to feel satisfied with brown rice, soy products, and plenty of nightshade vegetables to fill me up. I didn’t know that these foods were creating havoc in my gut and destroying my microbes. Now that I’ve removed these foods my skin is healing. (I will keep you posted!)
Nourishing and feeding the body is an art. It’s up to me to stay current with clinical research by asking plenty of questions. Yes, I can complain about all the confusion there is in report after report, maybe fake news hoping to keep us overwhelmed and scared. Confusing us enough NOT to ask any in-depth questions about what is being sold as food in supermarkets.
In the end, I am in control of what I eat, not the big food companies. So, eat healthy to maintain your body healthy.
- I am not an athlete and never was but I can walk, and that is what I do. Walking helps me relax and allows me time to contemplate about life and gets my heart rate up. Once a day for forty-five minutes is all I do.
- Work stressors are magnified when I can’t sleep, I become foggy-brained, impatient, cranky and concentrating throughout the day becomes difficult. My eyes look sleepy, I’m invariably yawning, and my skin looks dehydrated and grey. Sleeping helps me solve problems with a clear mind, and I smile more.
To do list:
- Nothing more satisfied than crossing off from the list. That is why I write my to-do list before I go to sleep. It gives my mind assurance I have things under control and in order. No need thinking about it in my sleep. And if I’m finding it hard to fall asleep, I have a mantra I repeat over and over in my mind. ” I love you, I am sorry, please forgive me” over and over until I wake up the next morning. It keeps me in a state of gratitude and happiness.
- I love surrounding myself with people that are genuine, creative, and happy. My guilty pleasures are reading new books, learning new things, exploring new places for vintage shopping and sketching. If someone or something produces a great deal of stress, I’m quick to identify it and eliminate it. Experimenting and learning new stress management techniques is fun and helps create balance in my world.
Stop thinking unkind thoughts:
- Would we ever consciously act unkindly to a child by using unkind words? Well, then why would we think then it’s ok to be hateful to ourselves? I consciously stop those nasty words every time they take over. What helps me avoid negative self-talk is choosing to live in a state of “NOW.” By being conscience and identifying negative thoughts, it helps me to grow rather than live in fear. Stress begins in a scattered mind, with fear as it’s driving force. I continuously find myself centering and adjusting my thoughts to keep stress under control.
No is a complete sentence:
- Learn to say no. It’s ok!
Know your purpose!:
- For me, my purpose, while my boys were young, was to run a home business allowing me the flexibility to manage both. My intention was never driven to make lots of money, but to create quality in my life. Admittedly it did get hectic and spill into family time yet we managed and supported each other so as not to feel guilty. Now my purpose once again has changed now that the boys are grown. Know your purpose and the “why” of your life and never be afraid of change.
The green reed which bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak which breaks in a storm.” ― Confucius
- An active mind naturally seeks stimulation to grow and stay sharp. Stress inhibits us. It sabotages hard work and discipline. It manifests itself by creating fearful thoughts keeping us from even trying for fear of failure. As I tell my boys, “I want you to fail more times than not.” What did you fail at today? And now go and be proud of those accomplishments. Remember that we should always be doing the work. Feeding the inner child and seeking creativity keeps me motivated and in a state of flow.
What keeps you motivated?
I encourage you to keep a journal on what you learn from your failures. This practice will help you think more critically and keep you moving forward more confidently and hopefully with less stress.