Stress Management

“Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.” ~ Charles Spurgeon

Previously we addressed Time Management. Now let’s take a look at its cousin, Stress Management. After all, lack of Time Management can easily lead to Stress Management problems. What is stress? What is its effect on your body?  And what can you do about it?

What is stress? We've all seen the "stress tests" where you circle the number of events that have occurred in your life in the past year-good and bad- tally them up, receive your score and somehow from that number determine that you are or are not stressed. It seems, therefore, that stress can come from healthy and unhealthy things, events and people in our lives.From a medical perspective, stress is a physical, mental, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension.

How does stress affect me? Your mindset may be, "I'll address that later when I have time." I urge you to reconsider this approach. While you continue on your high-stress path in life, the effects of stress are not slowing down. What you can't see is the changing ratio of good and bad bacteria in your gut causing bloating, reflux, and ulcers; the large amounts of cortisol being excreted from your adrenal glands leading to insulin resistance, adrenal fatigue and autoimmune disorders; or the constricted blood flow leading to headaches, stroke and/or heart disease.

So...what's a woman to do?

LIVE WELL: Be honest with yourself. You don't need to tally up the amount of stress in your life. Simply take a good honest look at all that you have going on. Do you have time in your life for quiet reflection? Are you constantly on the go? How do you handle interruptions in your day? Are you more irritable? Short tempered? Do you have stomach issues? Headaches? Fatigue? Not sleeping well? Poor memory? Low libido? All of these could be the effects of high stress.

Tell someone. You're not Superwoman. A shared burden is half the burden. Reach out to a trusted friend, counselor or therapist.

Socialize.  Don’t spend too much time alone. Get a group of friends together.  Make dinner. Linger longer at the table and enjoy good conversation.

Take the focus off of yourself. Volunteer. Reach out to someone in need. Practice your faith.

SLEEP WELL: Get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Turn off all screens 1 hour prior to bedtime, read a book instead (one with actual paper pages).Soak in an Epsom Salt bath (2 cups added to a tub of water) for 15 minutes. Eat a palm-full of cherries and almonds before bed.

EAT WELL: Eat whole foods as much as possible. 80% of your plate should be colorful veggies, 20% is protein. Drizzle olive oil over your veggies for your fat. Don't skip meals.

Maxine says, "Stressed is desserts spelled backwards." Don’t’ fall for it. Limit the sweet stuff!

MOVE WELL: Stretch, take a walk, ride a bike, go for a run, get back to the gym, sit outdoors, breathe deep, laugh out loud, sing, hum.