This year, one of my goals is to move towards my best health for this stage of my life. In a February blog post, I identified four key areas of focus—food, movement, stress, and sleep—and said I would update you periodically on my progress.
Too often, people focus on food first, and in some ways, I understand this approach because eating the proper food for your body is a major component of getting healthy. But I’m going to save that for another time, because I want to say a little about stress.
I realized I needed to have better ways of coping with stress, and to some degree, the grief I still experience at times since my mother passed away. There are a few ways I have chosen to handle this—grief counseling and talking to my family and friends have helped. I practice moments of stillness, letting myself be quiet. I sit on my cushion and meditate, sometimes quietly, at other times reflecting on a phrase or thought that relaxes or encourages me.
Saying yes only to those commitments or requests where I want to give my time and energy has also been helpful. I scaled back on work and volunteer commitments, and I think carefully before adding anything else to my already full plate. Getting clear on my yes has made saying no much easier. It is not that I did not know how to say no, but I acted as if I was an endless reservoir of energy and resources.
Your way of handling stress might look different, but these are some of the things I have done, and I feel better. Stress affects the body, mind, and spirit; and overload can have adverse consequences. If I stress less, then I can begin to work on some of the other factors affecting my health. Another benefit – I am sleeping better.
What are some of the habits you have developed to manage stress?