Here we are! It’s finally spring. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and flowers are blooming all around us. We made it through the seemingly endless winter months and our emotions are lifted by the longer days and raised temperature. Life is good, right? What if despite the beauty all around us, you are still left feeling like something is off, like you just can’t seem to get it together? Maybe it’s constant work deadlines, your daily commute, the running around, feeling like a chauffeur hustling about, driving your kids to and from sports and events. And if that wasn’t enough, you still need to get the groceries, make dinners, pack lunches and oh, don’t forget cleaning the house! Did I mention the pressures to keep up with the latest fashion trends, to get your workouts in and grow an organic garden in your back yard?
Maybe you feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done or that the pressures to have it all together are downright overwhelming! You might be thinking; how do other women do it? Well, you are not alone! We are all affected by the daily stresses of our fast-paced modern society. Although I am not a mother myself, I have the upmost respect for those of you who are. Seeing as how this month we celebrate Moms; this message is especially for you. And for those of you who do not have children, I’m sure you can relate to the immense pressures life throws at you as well. I know I can.
Let me ask you a question, what percentage of your day feels like it’s dedicated to taking care of you, instead of someone else? Some of you might even feel a bit guilty asking ourselves that question. Why do we feel like we have to be strong for everyone and to take care of everyone else at the expense of our own sanity and health? As a woman, it seems to be an innate characteristic to put others first, to nurture, to provide and to keep the ship afloat. But when we put ourselves last, when we don’t take time to care for ourselves, not only can’t we be at our best for the ones we love, left uncontrolled stress can threaten our physical health as well as our mental wellbeing. You may not even realize how much you are being affected by stress, but it is important that we regularly take time out of our busy schedules to ensure a healthy balance. You may not be able to eliminate all the stress in your life, but there are certainly some things you can do to release tension and enjoy a more balanced life!
Stay in the moment
How many times during the day are you thinking about what you need to do next or beating yourself up about something that happened in the past? Worrying about future events that may or may not even happen can add unneeded stress in your life. And we all know, you just can’t change the past. Make peace with that concept. Whatever you are doing, or who you are with, make an effort to focus solely on that task or the person you are spending time with. Try to settle your mind to be in the moment and focus on what’s in front of you. If you are working on a project at work, try putting on headphones and listen to relaxing music or simply shut off your email until you finish that project. When in conversation with someone, really try to just listen. You’d be surprised at how often you feel the need to jump in and fix things.
Enjoy the little things
Stop and smell the roses! Literally! Drink your daily cup or tea or coffee slowly. Enjoy the smell, the taste and the warmth. Admire the sky and feel the breeze against your skin. Take time to appreciate the simple things that bring you joy.
Each time you smile, you throw a little feel-good party in your brain. The act of smiling activates neural messaging that benefits your health and happiness. To read more on the mood boosting effects of smiling, read this article.
Fuel your body with real food
It might seem easy when you are rushing around to stop at the closest fast-food restaurant for dinner but, is that what your body really needs? Fueling your body with real food is not only important, it’s necessary to help you combat the effects of stress. Stash healthy, portable, natural snacks in your purse or car like nuts and fruit. Eating throughout the day helps stabilize your blood sugar and helps to keep you from binging on unhealthy foods on a whim. At BeBalanced, we equip clients with knowledge and practical tools to heal and fuel their bodies with whole foods they can find in the grocery store.
Keep a “stress” journal
We all have situations or circumstances that trigger stress. Try keeping a journal and make a note of when you are feeling stressed. Is it happening during a certain time of day? Do certain people or events seem to tip you off? Keeping a journal will help you connect the dots and map out patterns that you might not be aware exist. When you are aware of your triggers you can try to avoid them or be prepared of how they will make you feel and be mindful of how they affect you.
Understand what you have control over
The mind is a powerful thing. Stress is often heightened by not feeling in control of a situation. Rather than focusing on the things you can’t change, think about the things that you can.
At least once a day, take 5 minutes to be in complete silence and just breath or meditate on something positive. Try getting into a simple yoga pose or repeat your favorite mantra. Just breath, relax your whole body, and focus on letting go.
Be kind to yourself
Speak positively to yourself, laugh when you make a mistake, be your biggest cheerleader and remember that no one is perfect!
Schedule an appointment with yourself
When you put yourself on your schedule, you won’t have meetings and appointments that prevent you from taking care of yourself. Spend that dedicated time doing something that relaxes you. Drink a cup of tea, read a book, take a bath, go for a walk, practice yoga or call a friend who always makes you laugh. Unfortunately, you can’t eliminate all the stress in your life but, by you can find balance by investing in your mental and physical health. When you take the time to re-connect with yourself, to trust what your body needs, to learn to let go of the things you cannot control, you are taking care of yourself. If you listen to our heart, embrace your imperfections, and stay true to who you are, you are honoring yourself. When you ground yourself in the present and are kind, loving and forgiving of yourself, you create space to fully love others. No one expects you had to have it all together all the time, and neither should you!
Let BeBalanced help
We focus on optimizing the benefits of natural hormone balance for the whole person. We believe our clients aren’t just a number on the scale—each one is a complex person and we want to approach their needs holistically. We are passionate about restoring women to holistic wellness, and we are confident that natural adjustments to diet, sleep, and lifestyle can be lifechanging for clients who have tried everything else. We help our clients bring their hormones back into balance by teaching them to minimize stress in their lives while providing simple tools to compensate for daily stress. For more information about our program, contact your local BeBalanced Center. You can also take our free hormone assessment survey and begin your own success story!
~ Dawn M. Cutillo
Founder of BeBalanced, Author of The Hormone Shift