10 Ways to De-Stress Year Round
Can we talk about life? It has been nothing short of a horrible news cycle, and we are heading full speed into the holiday season. I worry about friends, family, health, money, kids, school, and even the news. I also internalize all this worry, which leads to migraines, inflammation of chronic pain, intestinal issues, lack of sleep, as well as those nightmarish panic attacks. I have to remind myself to stay healthy, and since many of you have asked, I want to share my 10 tips to de-stress. These are not cures or secrets, nor are they in any particular order. My list is what has worked for me, and would love to know if there are any tips you have to share!
1. Get Involved - If it's a natural disaster, social issue, or political topic that seems to be stressing you out, get involved! I have been surprised when I feel like I can't do anymore, giving back to others can make me feel reenergized. I could barely sleep when I saw the images of Houston in the days during and after Hurricane Harvey. There's not much little old me could do out in California, but when I found out some friends put together a donation drive for victims of the hurricane, my family and I donated at least 50 pounds of clothing, toys, and food items. My friend's efforts filled an 18-wheeler, how cool is that!?! I also suggest volunteering at local animal shelters, senior centers, or beach cleanups. If you'd like to volunteer or make a donation to those effected by the recent events you can go to UNICEF or The Red Cross.
2. Get Out - I am at my house, a lot. Cleaning, editing photos, homework with kids, preparing everyone's meals... aaaahhh! I love to be at home, but sometimes it can make me nutty! Taking the kids to the park, visiting the botanical gardens, or driving down to a beautiful location by the coast, like the Monarch Beach Resort (the location of this post), for a walk will help in making me not feel so overwhelmed. If you're workspace or daily routine is being inside, a little sunshine & fresh air could do a whole lot of good for YOU!
3. Take a Break - This goes for just about anything. Sometimes I get trapped in a cycle of always watching the news, checking Instagram & Email 50 times a day, or continuing to talk to a friend about their drama with someone else. I have been surprised what a different it makes to just switch the channel, put my phone away for a few hours, or telling my friend I need positive conversations.
4. Go Shopping! - I give great advice don't I? I am definitely one of those that shops when stressed. But it does help! Usually my stress builds up when I haven't been focusing on my own self health. This doesn't mean go broke and purchase those Charlotte Olympia heels you've been drooling over, but a dress you can wear again & again like the Micheline Pitt dress I am wearing. Even going to the mall to pick up something as small as a new red lipstick, tells me I thought of myself that day.
5. Get Finances in Order - I know, boring! BUT... monthly bills and credit card debt can get out of control real quick. Taking a couple of hours to set up automatic payments and budgeting your monthly expenses goes a long way! I felt so in control when I got those credit card bills down. If you have multiple cards, prioritize by paying off your lowest balance card first.
6. Declutter Your Life - Clothes that aren't worn can be donated, the kid's toys that aren't played with can leave, and exhausting people can take a hike. I love throwing things away, and that also includes relationships. That sounds so horrible, but we've all done it, or maybe need to. I can think of two times in my life when I finally got rid of two people who caused so much stress in my life, and when they were cut off, that "weight on the shoulders" reference I had heard my whole life actually came true.
7. Use Essential Oils - This is becoming more and more popular, and there's a reason why. They do work! My good friend Jolie who works for Doterra Essential Oils, knew I would be hesitant to this oil craze. She sent me home with lavender, lemon, and peppermint oils, as well as a roller of what they call "Liquid Xanax" (which I always have sitting on my desk or in my purse. I have been putting the lavender on both mine and Max's feet at night, and I have been noticing a significant difference in how quickly that makes each of us fall asleep & stay asleep. I also get throbbing migraines from too much sun, which make me dizzy and faint. A few weeks ago I took an aqua fitness class and forgot my sunglasses. When I went back into the gym, the throbbing came on almost immediately. After a few minutes of trying to figure out how I was going to let this pass without any ibuprofen, I remembered I had the peppermint oil in my bag. I rubbed it on my temples and back of my neck, and within 2 minutes I was fine. You can contact my friend Jolie by messaging her directly here.
8. Make Time for Diet & Exercise - I will admit I take on way too much. I find myself agreeing to more than I can handle, but I'd be bored if there wasn't too much. Because I am constantly running around and fulfilling my obligations, I too frequently find myself running through fast food restaurants and not making it to the gym. Taking just 20 minutes a couple of days a week to put together some snacks like nuts, dried fruit, or cheese, not only saves me the expense of buying food on the go, but also saves me from bloating, heartburn, and inflammation of my sciatica, all caused by junk food. The best way for me to get my exercise in is going first thing in the morning. If I tell myself to go later in the day, I'll end up having too much to do. If all fails, stretching for 20-3o minutes before bed is very relaxing.
9. Make Time with Friends & Family - I'm always stressing about work work work, but those times that I am actually enjoying my day is when I go to Disneyland with my Dad & kids, playing tennis with my husband, getting nails done with my mom, laughing with my sister, or even having a good phone call with one of my girl friends.
10. Have a Glass of Wine - Yes! There are those days when a glass of wine will remind me that all the errands I didn't get to are not a big deal, and everything will be fine. However, I do not have more than two glasses anymore, as that will lead to more anxiety. Just enough to take the edge off.
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