Have you ever been around someone that has hit their limit? They are no fun to be around. I know that our family has had bad days from overloaded schedules and commitments, especially with our kids!
For most of us when fall shows up; kids are going back to school, parties and festivals start showing up on the calendar, and new routines must be created (including new commitments, obligations, activities, etc.). Many times in marriages and relationships we start getting pulled in many directions and lose site of our connection, which is what we are suppose to protect at all costs. When we choose to allow stress to over take us, sometimes intentionally and not intentionally, this has a profound effect on ALL of our relationships…not just with our spouse. Stress can also lead to anxiety and depression as well. The sense of being overwhelmed can have a huge impact on our daily lives and how we even handle life’s simple challenges, especially with the holiday season quickly approaching.
HERE ARE 12 IDEAS TO HELP REDUCE YOUR STRESS:
LEARN HOW TO TAKE A DEEP BREATH
Many of us have smart watches that have breathing exercises on them. I have an apple watch and my watch religiously reminds me to take a break and breath. Breathing exercises are incredibly helpful when you feel stressed or anxious and usually work immediately. Controlled breathing not only keeps your mind and body functioning at their best, but it can also lower your blood pressure, promote feelings of calm and relaxation and help you de-stress.
GET RID OF UNNECESSARY SPENDING
I’ve experienced this and I also see this with many of my couples during counseling. Financial stress can lead to a lot of fear and anxiety, especially when you’re planning for a big event or even Thanksgiving, Christmas, or the New Year. Get on a budget, stop overspending, and be money wise. One resource that our couples have access to is an amazing financial advisor. If you don’t already have one… I would encourage you to call us and we would be glad to connect you with our financial advisor at no charge.
CREATE A BEDTIME ROUTINE
Before you go to bed, stretch, meditate, or read a light-hearted book. TURN OFF ALL technology at least an hour before going to bed to help your brain settle down for sleep.
LIMIT YOUR CAFFEINE INTAKE
The problem is that caffeine has been shown to inhibit levels of serotonin in the brain, and when serotonin levels are suppressed, you can become depressed and feel irritable. One suggestion is if you still need a pick up in the middle of the day, switch to green tea.
GET RID OF CLUTTER
A messy home or office can make you feel out of control and anxious. When there are messes everywhere, it’s difficult to know where to even start cleaning and then you just feel overwhelmed. Start with one area and move to the next. Baby steps Bob!
GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Sleep deprivation is one of the biggest factors of stress. For those of you who have a hard time shutting off your brain at night make a rule to turn off your phone after 9pm and if you’re brave enough, leave it outside of your room. Consider purchasing a sound machine and investing in some ear plugs if you’re a light sleeper. I really enjoy my Apple AirPods. We also use Alexa and they have an amazing “Sleep Sounds” library that we use every night.
GIVE YOURSELF ALONE TIME
I know most of you are reading thinking, “Yeah right, how is that ever going to happen?!” And what I have to say to that is: you can’t afford NOT to create the time to be by yourself. Create at least 15 minutes of alone time a day for just YOU to unwind. No exceptions to this rule! Meditate, pray, sleep, read, or take a walk short walk.
TRY LAVENDER OIL OR OTHER ESSENTIAL OILS
My wife is very much into essential oils. In fact there is no shortage of Lavender oil around out house. Lavender’s aroma is great for relaxing and winding down before bedtime. Add it to your bath or diffuse it to create a calming and comforting environment. So simple but this seems to work in our home and our kids if they need some help calming down.
KNOW THAT YOUR FEELINGS ARE NOT FACTS
Negative thoughts cause negative feelings. Truth v/s Lies… just because you feel a certain way, does not mean that it will happen.
• Don’t make a mountain out of a mole hill.
• Be reasonable with yourself. Accept that bad feelings are occasionally unavoidable and think of ways to make yourself feel better.
• Learn. Notice how grief, loss and anger make you feel and which events trigger those feelings so you can prepare in advance. If you are having issues doing this, we are here to help.
• Let go of the past. Constantly going over negative events robs you of the present and makes you feel bad. Choose forgiveness. If you need help learning how to do this, we would love to guide you through this.
THINK POSITIVE THOUGHTS
Every time your brain starts thinking of negative thoughts, write down 5 positive things about your life. This actually tricks your brain into focusing on the good in your life.
Move, exercise, go for a walk and check out all the great colors that are painting our scenery. Exercising lowers your level of “stress chemicals” and allows you to cope better with any negative emotions. You don’t have to join a cross fit gym or learn how to Zumba to get active.
LISTEN TO QUIET MUSIC IN THE CAR
Studies show that listening to classical music is best while driving. It instantly releases fear, doubt, worry and anxiety. I also enjoy listening to worship music as well while I am driving. Stay away from your phone while you are driving… you’re not suppose to be using it anyway. So take a moment and just be a driver and enjoy the drive with some relaxing music.
– Matt Rowe