Stress Awareness

Take a break!

Holiday time can bring with it so much fun. It is also has the potential to bring some stress with it as well. So why not take some time to pay attention to our stress levels and focus on learning how to cope with stress and bring some more self care into our daily lives that will last past the holiday time. Children will also benefit as they will learn more about reducing stress by watching you.

Here are a few suggestions to get you off to a good start:

  1. Learn to recognize how stress shows up in your body. Our bodies are a great source of information and can give us clues as to how we are feeling. Many people experience stress through tight shoulders, a clenched jaw, or shallowness of breath. Take a minute and scan your body. How are you feeling? What clues can you gather?
  2. While breathing is something we do without having to think about it, we are able to control our breathing. When we are stressed our heart rate goes up and many times our breathing becomes more shallow. By deepening our breath, we have the ability to slow down our sometimes racing heart. Find a quiet place where you can do deep belly breathing. Belly breathing taps into the parasympathetic nervous system, the more relaxed nervous system.
  3. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This quote that I have heard throughout my life does have a note of truth. If we take time out of our day to do things that help us regulate, calm down, and bring a smile to our faces, we are better equipped to handle stress when it come our way. What do you enjoy? Yoga? A walk with your dog? Doing art? Block some time on your calendar that is nonnegotiable stress reduction time.
  4. Know your boundaries and how much you can handle. Many times we fall into the pattern of stepping outside our boundaries in order to make others happy or to meet other people’s expectations. While many times our intentions come from a good place, we forgot that we have to take care of ourselves in order to be able to be there for others. If we keep pushing our boundaries, stress can build up and sometimes other emotions may creep in like anger or sadness.

Throughout the month of December look for other stress awareness tips that you can implement in your life to help with stress reduction.

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