Wash and Rejuvenate Your Soul

Ever need a day to yourself? No schedule, no list of things needing crossed off, no places you have to be. I see some of you nodding yes. Maybe some are rolling their eyes saying that could never happen. Ok, let’s scale back. Not an entire day, what about afternoon, or a few hours, or an hour? Could you dedicate one hour to yourself completely?

Tricky question I know. I cannot dedicate an entire day to myself, or to the act of doing nothing but what I want. It actually stresses me out! Which is funny because it’s supposed to have the exact opposite effect and I should feel relaxed. But I stress and digress!

Today, however, I found that if the window was made a bit smaller, I could relax, calm down, and do whatever it is I wanted to do. I was able to sit on my back patio, write, and enjoy the amazing fall breeze. I slowed my breathing, felt the air completely fill my lungs before I exhaled. And then I felt something else……calm.

Our lives are very busy, whether your single, involved, having kids, without kids, working, job hunting and so forth. It’s busy. How about trying a short meditation exercise? Sit in a comfortable chair with your feet on the ground. Close your eyes, and breathe in and out. Listen to your breath, feel the air entering your lungs, filling them, and feel your heart beating. Then exhale. Feel your shoulders roll down, your back relax, the air exiting your lungs. Imagine your body becoming calmer, quieter, relaxed. Just be present for one minute. Then, open your eyes with your new found state of calmness and get ready to tackle whatever comes your way.

Let’s talk about stress baby

We all have it, and we all want it to go away. But how can we decrease our stress level in an already demanding and overpacked scheduled? Some will say to remove certain things from your life. Well, if you’re like most of us, our stress comes from work, our family responsibilities, and daily tasks, which, are not removable. Others will say exercise, but if you are already overloaded, the idea of adding in one more thing just seems daunting. So the questions remains, WHAT CAN WE DO TO DECREASE OUR STRESS!?

I think what’s important is to find out that triggers an increase in your stress level that ISN’T one of the above stated responsibilities. For me, I tend to start getting a little worked up when my house is, shall we say, a disaster. To be more specific, every room seems to have been attacked by a mini tornado of stuff….clothes, toys, art projects, dishes, laundry etc. I then turn into a cleaning monster and do a full attack on the mess, but not in a graceful way. Something inside erupts and I find myself saying, “I can’t take it anymore!” Once everything is cleaned up, and organized into an acceptable fashion, I feel better. My trigger is clutter. Which means, I just need to stay on top of straightening and cleaning, oh mercy I’m already stressed about this task!

This will be a forever work in progress. Stress just doesn’t go away. It’s sneaky, and is like a chameleon, it can change and take many different forms. It can rise up at any time, which means we need to be ready to handle it at any moment. How do you do this, you ask? There are a few techniques to bring down a rise is stress. The first is controlled breathing. When you feel stress coming on, stop what you’re doing. Breathe in through your nose for 4-5 counts, and out through your mouth for 4-5 counts (like you’re blowing out a birthday candle). Do this a few times in a row. It will help decreases your heart rate, increase the oxygen to your brain and throughout your body. Deep breathing can be a tool to help you relax and can be done anywhere. If you need something more active, I recommend exercise. Sometimes just a good sweat session can be exactly what the doctor ordered. Another more fun option is to dance it out! Play your favorite song and sing and dance along! Blast the radio in the car, sing along, and move yourself to a better state of mind.

We all struggle with stress. Taking the first step to decrease it is the hardest, but keep at it!