BETWEEN WORK AND FAMILY, I think you’ll agree when I say it’s easy to feel the stress. When to-do lists are growing faster than you can cross off the items, and the midnight oil is being burned so much there is almost no oil left, it’s easy to let the pressure and anxiety get to you.
Well, I’m here to tell you — there’s a solution. I utilize several practices to help keep the stress at bay, and they are simple things that not only provide relief, but also help keep focus in the midst of what sometimes seems to be a whole lot of organized chaos. If you are wrestling with stress and anxiety (and honestly, I’d like to meet the person who says that he doesn’t), then give these a try:
• Take a few minutes each day to meditate. For some, this word is not meditation, but prayer. For others, it’s simply called quiet time. Regardless of its name, it benefits you to push out all the noise and get your head on straight. Our guest columnist, Mary Joye, who is also a licensed mental health counselor in the area, talks more about this tactic here (and on page 24 of our print edition).
• Take deep breaths. When feeling the stress of the day, take a minute or two to breathe deeply. Medical experts agree that taking deep breaths has a physical effect on reducing stress because it helps to slow the heart rate and lower blood pressure.
• Get your sleep. Without adequate rest, you will lose efficiency and only increase your stress level. So no matter how long your to-do list is, it benefits you to get an adequate amount of sleep to help you tackle your chores the next day.
• Have a mantra. When you are feeling overwhelmed by all the noise of the day, have a positive reminder, phrase, or note to repeat in your head. It can be as general as “I can do this,” or as specific as “I’ve already accomplished three things this week, and that’s a great thing.” Doing this helps me focus on the positive, rather than the things that might add to my stress level and hold up productivity.
column by CELESTE JO WALLS
Celeste Jo Walls is managing editor of Central Florida Health News. She may be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted January 29, 2016