Tips on Reducing Stress
As a woman in her thirties I have learned many tough lessons. Some I learn right away, while others I have to live through over and over again only to derive at the same conclusion each and every time. I have always prided myself on being quite astute. I am quick, I am perceptive, but still I cannot seem to understand definitively that life will never fit into a pretty box. I will never be able to summarize my life into bullet points. I will never be able to plan to the minute, how I will pursue and accomplish my goals by making color coded calendars and to do lists. I will never be able to logic my way into the type of life I want. For example, if I do this, that and the other, then the probability of a favorable conclusion is this and therefore… No!
Unfortunately, this is not how life works.
This has been by far the toughest lesson for me to comprehend because I have indulged my control freak nature for much too long. Life does not make sense. I can only do so much before outside factors affect and determine any type of outcome. It’s funny because most of my friends would describe me as calm, easy going and self-assured, but my husband and my journal know me best and they both know that I am crazy. While I have always been comfortable with my kind of crazy, (because deep down we all are to a certain degree), I am not okay with the fact that my high strung control freak and obsessive nature is now starting to affect my health. I will not go into it too deeply because I am okay and I will be completely okay soon. But it has come to my attention that I stress over everything to my detriment.
As a result, this past Saturday afternoon marked the official kick-off event for my new lifestyle. Thanks to a birthday gift for a massage and a facial I received back in August from my sister in law, I was able to luxuriously embark on a conscious journey to reduce stress. While I received my Swedish massage and learned that I carry an inordinate amount of tension on my back, I decided that it was imperative that I incorporate more me time into my constantly overbooked schedule. And while I received a torturous facial, (which would have made more sense to have done first and not after a pleasant massage), I decided to release the feelings of guilt I get when I treat myself to anything nice.
I often tell people that in order to properly take care of others, one has to take care of one’s self first, but as embarrassing as it is to admit, I have not been living by this rule. I take care of everything and everyone, and leave myself for last when there is hardly any energy or resources left. This stops now. But because change, even conscious change is difficult and slow to take, I could not help myself, I made a list…
Conscious ways to reduce stress
- Stop multitasking and focus on one activity at a time.
- Stop carrying the phone around with me in my hand. I check the time, my email, my calendar and lists too much.
- Limit the amount of driving I do. I drive stick and even though it is fun, hills and LA traffic still stresses me out.
- Meditate, stretch or do yoga in the morning so that I start my day off slowly and in a focused manner.
- Do what I do to the best of my ability and stop trying to control the outcome.
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