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.

 

Time Management

“The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is. C.S. Lewis

Do you find yourself saying or thinking things like: “I’m too busy“, “I just don’t have enough time”, “The month went so fast!” or “I could use a 25 hour day”? Do you really need more time or do you need to better manage the time you have? As C.S. Lewis points out, time is the great equalizer, we all are given 60 minutes in an hour and 24 hours in a day.

True “Time Management” is not a matter of the amount of time you have, it’s how you manage the time you’re given. Undoubtedly there are people and things in your life that you highly value. Understanding who and what they are is the key to addressing your supposed lack of time. When you clearly establish your values you are able to attach the things that you do to the things that are important to you. In this way, the things you do hold value and time is not an issue.

Here’s an exercise to make this happen. Although the following steps are simple, they will require some soul searching to accomplish. This also requires that you get absolutely clear on what you value most in life and what you do with your time. Okay, here it is:

First, write down everything you do in 24 hours. Everything. (ie, drink coffee, read newspaper, text, talk on phone, get dressed, pray, drive to work, eat lunch, check email, work on project, watch TV, etc)

Next, write down 5 things you value most in life. Think BIG- relationships, faith, work, health, people etc.

Now compare your list of your 5 top values to your daily activities.   Do your daily activities support the things you value?

If not- START ELIMINATING ACTIVITIES- one by one.

Give the above exercise a try and see how much better you feel about the 24 hours you are given each day. Here are a few extra ideas for time management:

• Do you have multiple big projects? Pick your top 3. Do the hardest one first. Give yourself a reasonable amount of time to accomplish it and move on to the next one.

• Ask for help. You don’t have to be a lone ranger. Ask a friend to help you on a project and in return you can help her with something on her list.

• Tell someone what you’re doing and ask to be held accountable.

• Take time to relax. Take a break in between projects. Breathe deeply from you abdomen. (not your chest!)

How did this go?  Were you able to cross something off your list?

 

 

Email me and let me know how it went.

renee@yourfoodfight.com