8 Ways to Decompress & De-Stress

Everyone gets stressed! It is just part of being human. It is the way that a person handles stress or prevents it that sets people apart from others. I am currently going through (what people tell me) are 2 of the biggest stressors in a person's life, getting married and moving. I have to say, up until recently I was telling everyone they were crazy! I was strutting around having a BLAST planning our wedding and finding a house to buy! And than it hit me...POW! All of the stress came out at once. In-law and parent problems, guest list troubles, paperwork out the wazoo for the house, the fact that a house costs LOADS of money and on and on and on. I thought my head was going to explode at one point!

That is when I had to take a step back out of my head and ask myself, "what is it about these things that are making you stressed? Can you fix it? If not, how are you going to handle it? Are these problems that huge? Or are you making them bigger than they have to be?" I remember sitting on the couch in my office just thinking about these questions over and over and finally I got up, fixed what I could about the stressors and than told myself that the other stressors are out of my control and I can't worry about them. 

There are always going to be ups and downs in life, but the key is to not let them ruin your happiness. Put those stressors into God's hands, and brush it off. Life is too short to worry about silly little things because half the time we create a bigger problem in our head than what it really is in real life! Do you agree? We have so much going on in our head that sometimes we need to take a step out of it.

Sometimes sitting in silence and breathing just doesn't work for me, I need other things to distract me and calm my brain and nerves. Here are a list of what I do to help relax my nerves when I feel like I am going to be stressed or I already am.

1. As I said earlier, breathing. Breathing is one of the best practices for stress relief. When you breathe deeply it sends a message to your brain telling it to calm down and relax.

2. Take a walk outside. Science has proven that fresh air and sunlight reduce stress and improve overall mood.

3. Craft or color. It is no coincidence that within the past few years, adult coloring books are everywhere! It can be very meditative, fun  and, somewhat, mindless. 

4. Yoga or meditation. Yoga is known to reduce stress, anxiety, lower blood pressure, lower your heart rate and much much more!

5. Clean. Cleaning can actually be a form of meditation believe it or not. Also, cleaning provides relief from clutter and, SHOCKER, clutter is very stressful.

6. Journal. Studies have shown that journalling is associated with significant decreases in stress, depression and anxiety. 

7. Listen to soothing music. Listening to music can have a relaxing effect on our mind and body, especially slow, relaxing music.

8. Light a lavender scented candle. Lavender is known for its calming and relaxing effects on the body. It has been shown that, cortisol, a stress hormone produced by the body, was shown to have a great reduction in the measured levels within 5 minutes of the patient smelling Lavender. You don't have to just light a lavender scented candle. I, also, use a lavender eye pillow and lavender linen spray for nights that I have trouble sleeping. Keeping a little jar of lavender essential oil is, also, helpful. I keep one in my purse. It helps if you are feeling tense or stressed to rub a small amount on your temples. Or put a few drops in your bath for a nice, soothing lavender bath.

 

These are just some ways that help me with stress management and relief. I hope they help! Please, feel free to share what stress relief tactics work for you! I would love to hear them! 

 

XOXO 

Lisa Catherine

Simple Steps to Manage Holiday Stress

It's that time of year again! I don't know about you but after Halloween is over, I tend to skip Thanksgiving and automatically start to think about Christmas. For me, I start thinking about everything I love about Christmas time; the smells, the sounds, family, cookie exchanges, cutting down our christmas tree, decorating, lights and so much more!

For those of you that know me, I am a Christmas fanatic!! However, the one thing I dislike is the stress that goes into it. In Great Britain, the word holiday means the same thing as vacation. For many, the holidays are not a time of rest, relaxation and joy, they are a time of stress, anger and anxiety. Planning for the holidays can leave many feeling impatient, cranky and sometimes even a little depressed. When the realities of day-to-day life conflict with our efforts to make the holiday season perfect, stress results.

Here are some examples of holiday stressors and what you can do to minimize the stress so that you can have a relaxing, enjoyable and joyous holiday season:

 

Holiday Shopping Stress

 

  • Ask people what they want instead of trying to find the "perfect" gift.
  • Shop early, when there is more of a selection and sales.
  • Online shop! 
  • Stick to a budget and do not stray from it.
  • If you are crafty, make some of your gifts.

Hosting Stress

  • Cook and freeze foods ahead of time.
  • Ask others to bring a dish instead of preparing everything yourself.
  • If you don't like to cook, don't feel like you have to! You can cater or go out to eat, it's not cheating. The holidays are a time to be with family and friends and not stress over the food that you are eating. It is a time to be thankful.

Scheduling Time with Family and Friends

Picture1.png
  • Simplify holiday commitments and traditions. Discuss what family traditions are most important to you and your family. It is okay to reevaluate past traditions. One of the biggest stressors for many people are traditions. Some members of families are so set on certain family traditions and not willing to stray from them that sometimes it can push people away. Everyone's life changes and family has to be willing to adapt to that.
  • Allow time for yourself. Don't get caught up in the season for giving. Taking care of yourself is just as important, if not more important, as taking care and giving to others. Without your health and happiness, how can you make others happy?
  • Don't over schedule yourself. The holidays should be a time of relaxation and joy. Remember, holiday means vacation. 
  • Make sure to tell your family members about your other commitments so you are not struggling to meet their expectations.
  • Do not travel during rush hour.
  • When traveling long distances, make sure to stop and rest.

Conscious Eating

  • Avoid overeating. I know this is always a tricky one to do around the holidays. However, overeating can quickly turn into a slippery slope that you do not want to go down. 
  • Avoid starving yourself before a holiday party or meal. This will lead to overeating and eating foods that may not be the healthiest option.
  • Continue to exercise and watch your diet. Many people stop going to the gym around the holiday when, in reality, this is the most crucial time to continue to go to the gym. I know the holidays are a busy and stressful time but exercising relieves stress. Build your workout into your schedule so that you don't have an excuse not to go.

Manage Your Time

  • Set priorities and let go of impossible goals.
  • Stop and breath! Set aside some time during the day to relax and appreciate all of your hard work.
  • Take time you need to finish tasks that are important to you. You don't have to complete everything at once. Set priorities and goals that are attainable. 
  • Ask your kids or your significant other to help! Don't do everything on your own.
  • Listen to your body and rest when it tells you to.

 

The holidays don't have to be a stressful time. It is meant to be a vacation, a time to be spent with your loved ones. If you find yourself getting too stressed, stop, breath, and think about what the holidays are really about. I love the holiday season because there is always so much love and magic in the air. I have stopped trying to live up to the stereotypical "Christmas craziness" and started relaxing and enjoying every second of the season. Enjoy the time you can spend with your family and friends during the magical holiday season.

I hope you have an amazing, stress free holiday season everyone!!

Until next time!

xoxo

Lisa Catherine