Health Check Tuesday: Stress

We all have it, some more than others, but how we choose to deal with it will vary from person to person. Unfortunately, there is no pill to take that will work for everyone, there isn’t any one method that will cure everyone’s stress. We’re all so uniquely different that we truly have to find what works for us and my heart goes out to those who have earnestly tried everything and yet they continue to struggle with daily stress.

I’ll be the first to admit that when I get stressed,depending on the level, I can get ugly, impatient, merciless, and not a very nice person. I had a moment of extreme stress recently during a visit with family. We were making breakfast before everyone arrived from the hotel and my stress level shot through the roof because I felt I was running behind with the things that needed to be made that morning. I had originally planned to make the main portion of breakfast the night before but was advised that it could wait till the morning. Mentally drained I decided to wait till morning and try to be up as early as I could manage (I’m a night owl after all). I was a grouch when it came time to making the main dish that morning because I knew I had less than hour to do it. But once the dish was in the oven I felt an overwhelming calm and knew that even if I pulled it out as soon as the family walked through the door it was going to be ok. Of course I apologized to my family for the way I had acted and thanked them for helping out as much as possible, but this just shows that I’m not any different from anyone else. And that I should never go on the Iron Chef show 😉

At the end of a long day the last thing most of us want to do is keep moving. Let’s be honest, how many here reading this now come home and just collapse on the sofa. I’d raise my hand but I’m typing 😀 When we’re done with a school day I go downstairs and sit in the recliner with a glass of water vegging for a bit. It’s not that I don’t want to do anything else but for 30 minutes I don’t want to look at anything, think about anything, or pretty much do anything. It’s my way of unwinding, letting the stress of the day go before I can do anything else.

What are some ways to unwind? Keep in mind we’re all different and not everything listed will work for everyone. If you’re game, try it all to see what will work and what doesn’t work for you.

Meditate — There are many forms of meditation, I won’t go into them, but in speaking to Christians…meditating on a bible verse, on God’s promises, or even just thanking Him for all He has done for you can be very calming and relaxing.

Exercise — Not everyone enjoys it, I know I don’t when the end result could be an injury either to my lower back, calves, or feet. I know they say “no pain, no gain” but I tend to draw the line if it’s going to lay me up for a week in recovery. Last year one of my favorite things to do during our school day, especially when my kid would be working on spelling words, would be doing some leg exercises, chair sit ups and various chair yoga moves. Just some simple exercises like that can stimulate blood flow, bring the heart rate up a bit, and in an odd way be relaxing!

Vitamins — With today’s technology and advances in medicine we rarely consider that the pills we have to take may be draining us of our vital nutrients. If you’re not a pill taker, like me, look into some adult gummy vitamins. I know, adult gummies sounds a bit childish but it’s actually better than swallowing 20+ pills every day. Yes I take that many vitamins and supplements. I don’t believe in multivitamins because I can’t get enough of anything to make a difference. Instead I break those things down and take them individually for maximum benefit. It’s easier to take a bulk of those in gummy form throughout the day to help break up the supplements that I cannot find in gummy form but are either capsules or tablets. Find out through your doctor if you have an deficiencies, it will help you to figure out what you should be getting more of on a daily basis.

Hobbies — There truly is something for everyone, the trick is finding the time to practice said hobby. I used to love scrapbooking, in fact my son has three scrapbooks already and two of them are for his first year of life. But as life goes, I got busy trying to keep up with him and the house. I haven’t created a scrapbook page in several years, I’ve done a few paper crafts here and there but my hobby has more or less dropped to the way side, but I have other hobbies that have filled it’s place. Cooking, baking, crafting, finger knitting and writing. No pressure to find multiple hobbies just pick one, something that is relaxing for you and try to perfect it! Who knows you may want to create your own blog or sell your crafts on Etsy!

Dancing — I’m not a sitcom fan, one night I was up late typing and happened to look up to see what was on the tv. A show called “The Exes”, Holly volunteers to help Stuart impress his ex at a ballroom dance competition. I just happened to catch it when they were in her apartment practicing. He mentioned a dance style and she hitched up her skirt and started dancing like a monkey…it was painful to watch and yet I found myself giggling! Moral of the story: dance like no one is watching!

Massage — I’m a glutton for one of my Dad’s neck massages. Especially when I’ve had a crick in my neck or slept wrong. There are many forms of massages, a few top favorites for many folks are aromatherapy, deep tissue, hot stone, Swedish, Shiatsu, and reflexology.

Herbal Teas — Chamomile is one of the more popular teas to drink when stressed. It’s soothing, relaxing, great for anxiety, and does wonders for hair care too! Brew a cup of chamomile tea, let it cool completely and then pour it over your hair as a final rinse after watching it. It always left my hair feeling silky soft!

Chocolate — While I’m not a chocolate fan *gasp* criminal I know, many people find eating a few pieces of chocolate helps boost their mood and to de-stress.  I’ve read that dark chocolate is the preferred choice if one wants to use it for stress relief. The percent of chocolate is up to you and what you can tolerate. My oldest nephew loves 85%-90% all natural dark chocolate, I try to get him a bar every year for Christmas. To him it has a hint of sweetness, to me it’s like biting into unsweetened baker’s chocolate…bitter, flavorless, mildly chalky. Amazing how different we are within the same gene pool!

And finally…

picture-110  Now that is totally doable!! Hehe!! Any time is a great time for a dessert and while many would argue that stress eating is unhealthy, it all depends on what you’re eating 🙂 Choose wisely my young Padawans and enjoy!




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