Stress 2.0

Well, I hope you had a good week putting at least one of those tips into practice. Let’s get to the next 5!

#5 Learn to breathe and stretch.  Try a stretching, yoga or tai chi.

We can get into a pattern of shallow breathing.  When we do this we may be short changing ourselves of oxygen.  Oxygen is our primary source of energy. Taking breathing breaks, especially when feeling tense, can help your body on many levels. Try this. Take a deep breath in, hold for 5 seconds and break out slowly until your lungs feel empty.  Ready and go… in and out slow and repeat.  Do you feel different?  Can you feel your muscles relax as you do this.  It seems so basic and simple, because it is.  It doesn’t cost us anything to take a deep breath. The great thing about yoga, tai chi or pilates is that it is a gentle way to stretch, build muscle and it has a huge focus on breathing.  You can also do this while stretching.

#4 Set personal and professional goals that you would like to accomplish and read your list first thing in the morning and before you go to bed at night.

Sometimes the day to day routine can feel mundane.  Having goals can help you look at the bigger picture.  As you accomplish those goals, it gives a sense of satisfaction.  You can celebrate the progress.  Break the goals into smaller attainable steps.  I think this is especially important for moms who do not work outside of the home.  I have heard some moms say that one of the hard things about being home full time is that you don’t have a boss telling you you are doing a good job.  When you are working there are awards and reviews where you get positive feed back.  Unfortunately, our kids don’t have quarterly reviews with us and give us achievement awards.  You may go a while before someone tells you “you are a good mom.” There are many rewards to being with your kids full time and having goals can offer another form of positive reinforcement.  As you review your goals, you can feel accomplishment in the mundane. I also think this is good for the moms who are empty- nesters or retired.  There can be an emptiness that comes along that.  Having new goals can help you to continue to grow and give purpose to this season of life.  There is so much to offer and achieve during those years of your life as well. I am a huge fan of setting goals and writing them down.  This can help manage the daily stresses by giving a bigger picture.

#3 Improve quality time at home.

I recently read in 2 different articles that successful people make it home for dinner.  This needs to be a priority for everyone.  If you are too busy to be home for dinner, then you need to cut back on something and do less. As a culture, we have a mentality that we need to constantly do more.  I can be guilty of that as well.  I am here to tell you that we need to do less. Especially with our kids.  Sometimes their schedules can be busier than ours.  Kids need free time to explore, play and rest.

We love to end our week with a family movie night.  It is nice to slow down, kick back and enjoy a movie or a game together.  There was a time that stands out in my mind from 2 summers ago.  My stress level was higher than normal, as we was in the early months of opening our new clinic.  We had planned to go to Monkey Joe’s but one of the kids wasn’t feeling 100% so we didn’t want to risk spending the money to get in and then have to leave shortly after.  So we decided to go to Pet’s Park and hike.  We had such a nice time going on the trails at spending time together.  Half way through our hike, my oldest said “this is even better than Monkey Joe’s”  It was a win-win.  We didn’t spend any money and it was better quality time together as a family.  Then on the fly, we started playing we were going on a bear hunt, one of our kids favorite books.  We left the park and went to an ice cream place where they can choose their mix ins.  We let them all get gummy bears, so we finally found the bear from our bear hunt.  I remember feeling so refreshed and relaxed after that time together with my family.  I needed it more than I realized during that season of stress.

It is so easy to get sucked into constant technology.  Our phones are loaded with resources and information.  You could spend all day looking at it without even realizing.  Our kids have so much access to technology as well.  While there are many benefits to what this has to offer, it can come at a cost.  I think it is a great idea to have a day or time when you “unplug” and use no electronics.  Enjoy a long conversation face-to-face or get outside.  It can be so refreshing to have time without electronics.

#2 Make sleep a priority. 

This is essential!  Aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night.  This requires some discipline.  Set a bed time for yourself, based off the time you need to wake up, and stick to it. You can handle stressors so much better when you have had a full night of rest. When you are tired, your ability to deal with stress goes down.

I know some women struggle with falling asleep and/or staying asleep. This can be a complete talk alone.  There are many things to look at to evaluate to sleep better.  A great place to start is to cut out caffeine completely, and see how you do with that.  If you continue to have trouble sleeping, talk with your health provider to look at other options to help with sleep. 

#1 Take care of your nervous system.

This is done with chiropractic care.  You nervous system in the power house in your body, controlling every other function your body does.  It is essential to have it working at 100% so your body to deal with the stress as it comes day in and day out.  I can not tell you how many times people tell me how they feel less anxiety when they are under regular chiropractic care.  Your nervous system is supported through chiropractic care because all the nerves that pass through the vertebrae.  If your spine is misaligned, this puts pressure on the nerves in that area.  Your nerves work like a garden hose.  If there is pressure on the nerves, there is not as much flow going through the nerves.  When you get a chiropractic adjustment it aligns the spine which relieves pressure on the nerves.

When you get adjusted, it give a boost to your immune system.  When you are under stress, your immune system can be compromised.  When I was in chiropractic school, it never failed that I would get sick the week of finals or the week after.  I am sure you can see other situations when you end up sick after a stressful time.  Getting adjusted can help your immune system fight against the effect of the stress.  If you still do get sick, it can help shorten your recovery time.

There is a hormone response when we are under stress.  As I said, the nervous system controls all other systems in your body and getting adjusted can help your regulate hormones.

 The number 1 area where stress settles into in the neck and shoulders.  Getting adjusted can help alleviate the tension that builds in those areas. One of the most memorial testimonials I ever heard about chiropractic was from a little boy whose mother started chiropractic care.  When asked what he liked about his mom getting care, he said “my mom doesn’t yell at me as much since she started seeing a chiropractor.”

When we are stressed and in pain it is easy to take that out on our family and those closest to us.  We need to do our best to manage our stress so we can give our best to our family and those we love.

I hope you all got something you can use to manage your stress out of these last 2 blogs. Have a happy and stress-less holiday season!