As we get closer to Christmas, I can always feel my stress level rising. It is subtle, but it is like my heart beats a little bit faster during the holidays. I went to the doctor yesterday and the nurse said my blood pressure was a little high (not unusually high, I double checked) and asked me, "do you have a lot going on right now, or are you stressed?" AM. I. STRESSED. That is the question that I CONSTANTLY ask myself. Usually the answer is yes. To be quite honest, I stress myself out all the time and sometimes for no reason. It is crazy but I can't help it! SO for this holiday season, I am doing my best to get rid of the STRESS. I want to be easy-going. I want to have time for myself and Jon Luke. I want to RELAX. And this is how I am going to do that.
I have learned that there are a few things lately that help with my stress level. From the moment I wake up, to the moment I go to bed, I am making it a goal to implement these five things in my day to help with my rising stress level. So far it has helped tremendously so I just need to stick to it (and not stress about it!).
1. Have time to myself in the morning - I have a tendency to pack my day FULL of things, sometimes starting at sunrise. When I do this day after day, I quickly become exhausted, which then leads to extra high stress levels for me. I have found that when I have a slow morning to myself, my day just runs smoothly. I can sleep in a little bit, wake up, make coffee, GET BACK IN BED, and read/have my quiet time. These are my favorite mornings to tell you the truth.
2. Workout - I know people say this just puts more on my plate during the day but I feel so much better when I do something active. Even if it means taking the dog on a longer walk than usual, I just need to get out and sweat a little bit!
3. Say "no" - Jon Luke will tell you, I have problem saying no. It is a weird thing I have where I don't want people to be disappointed in me, so I feel like I have to be everything for everyone. Well, attempting this during any season in life can be a struggle, but it is even more stressful trying to do it during the holidays. I just can't be that person and I have to remember that and sometimes just say no.
4. Breathe - You might laugh when you see this, but sometimes I just need to stop and breathe. Seriously, just take big, deep breaths. I have a lot of tension in my shoulders so I this exercise helps me to loosen up. I can get up from my desk, stand up and feel my body relax a little bit when I take these breaths.
5. Sleep - At the end of the day, I need to sleep. I am so guilty of lying in bed and thinking about everything on my plate. I did it last night! I thought about what I needed to pack, then that led to what I still need to buy, then that led to picture ideas for our trip...it was the snowball effect and it just kept going. It is so important for me to try to turn it off at night. When I get in bed, maybe I need to read a little bit to get my mind off of life. I need to put my phone down and not think about the world. I just need to catch my ZZZs.
Photos by Darian Kayce Photography