Seven Ways to Stay Well in Stressful Times.
Our nervous system can easily become jangled from all different sorts of triggers – over thinking, overwhelm, nagging children, being busy, feeling time poor, self employment, single parenting, being a perfectionist, emotional stress such as relationship issues, excess time spent on technology, hormonal changes, not enough sleep, too much coffee, sugar, or alcohol… and the list goes on!
These triggers often leave us feeling burnt out, overly sensitive and unable to be present with loved ones, and importantly – awake to what our own personal needs are, so we can gain some separation between ourselves and the very thing that is adding stress to our experience.
This post was inspired by a client who came to class this week and told me the only time she doesn’t feel stressed at the moment, is the hour we spend together twice a week, plus a 30 minute post workout window of happy hormone (thank you endorphins) time.
Being someone who errs on the side of overwhelm and anxiousness, I left the class feeling compelled to write a few quick tools I use to help find calm and recharge my batteries when I feel like the world (or myself) is asking too much of me.
Stretching can offer immense benefits to our emotional wellbeing! When our muscles feel tight, it can quite literally be from an emotion “holding on” (did you know we store emotions in our muscles?) so when we stretch, our fascia (the gladwrap like coating that surrounds our muscles) releases, helping to let go of both physical and emotional tension!! Whenever I take time to stretch, I always drop in to a calmer, more still version of myself. Candice Fit Tip: Make sure you’re breathing deep in to the muscles of which your stretching, holding for at least one minute per stretch.
When I am feeling stressed, the feeling can often escalate in to a sense of overwhelm, like everything is too much (often nothing has actually changed), and as a result I freeze up.. which is not so productive for a woman running her own business.
When I find myself here, I open my journal and get everything that seems to be swamping my mind out on paper. I don’t try to make sense of it, I just write and write and write, until there is nothing left to put to paper. Consider this a safe dumping ground where you can just let everything come out with no judgement. It’s amazing how much better I sleep when I do this process in the evening. Candice Fit Tip: I finish by lying on my back with my hands on my abdomen, breathing in to my belly finding three things I feel grateful for in my life.
READ A BOOK:
This one has been a game changer for me in calming my nervous system when I am feeling fried, frantic, or both – aka tired and wired. I turn off all my devices, light a candle, jump in to bed and sink in to a novel.. Candice Fit Tip: Read fiction only!! I find my mind remains too active when I read educational or spiritual growth books in this state, which feels counter productive to trying to unwind, but when I read fiction, I get to run away with the characters in to fantasy land, instead of getting lost in my own indulgent life issues.. or being told in a self help book, new ways to try harder, or why I am the way I am, I don’t need to work on myself when I am stressed, I just need to be still!
I consider this my dynamic meditation time (because I am rubbish at meditating, despite my ongoing attempts)! Taking time out on my own when I am feeling frazzled to go for a slow walk can seem like the last thing I “have time” for, however my higher self knows it is absolutely necessary in gaining some perspective and to regroup in nature. This is one of my favourite things to do on a Friday to seal my week, followed by a swim to clear it all away. I usually walk along a dog beach so I get the added bonus heart explosions from all the cute puppies that pass my way! Candice Fit Tip: No shoes, company or mobile phone allowed!
LIE IN THE SUN:
Throw on your swim suit and head for the beach, or a sunny patch in your backyard. A vitamin D hit will have you feeling better in no time. Feeling the sun warm up my body makes me feel like I all my worries are melting in to the ground and dissolving away from me. Candice Fit Tip: Don’t take a book, or any other possible distraction, instead take in the surroundings!
This one may not apply for anyone who cooks for a living… I don’t, so I really enjoy spending time in my kitchen. Most days of the week I am rushing after work to throw something simple together so I can eat before 8:30pm, so the days I get to prep dinner and share my food with a friend, brings me so much joy and reminds me of how much a ritual cooking can be in the process of nourishing your soul. Candice Fit Tip: I choose something I haven’t made before, or an old favourite, put on some cooking tunes (Al Green or Jill Scott) and take my time to enjoy the whole process. When I cook like this, my food always ends up tasting amazing, I sleep well and wake the next day feeling happy and nourished!
Moving my body gets stagnant energy flowing again and gives me an ability to see situations from new angles. Just like my client mentioned at the beginning, it’s the time I no longer feel stressed – I quite literally get out of my mind and in to my body! Discovering exercise as a form of therpay or release can change your life, and reactive behavior patterns, which as women, we are all guilty of at times… whoops!! Look up a local gym or group fitness class and get that emotion moving. Candice Fit Tip: If you live in Byron Bay, join the Candice Fit tribe and melt your stresses away with my sweat sessions – find out more details on my classes click >> here!
What do you think? Comments welcome below...