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Address the Stress

Apple pie

Apple pie (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Who cannot smile after viewing this picture?

The season is upon us! Finals for the high school and college crowd, the holidays with travel and extended family events, and the ending of another year. You might think I am jumping forward a bit but it is always better to prep for the oncoming season of stressors. We cannot change some events but we can lessen the stress factor. Another reason to reduce the stress is because it is contagious. Yes, your children, your spouse, your employees, and if you teach, your students will feed off your stress. The higher the stress the more it will affect your body. You become grumpy. You lose sleep. You can become depressed. Your immune system lowers its ability to fight illnesses. Your relationships suffer. It is a never-ending cycle of downward issues which build more stress.

Get started now to make this season a less stressful one. If you are a music lover, surround yourself with happy and peppy tunes. If you are a visual sort, surround yourself with color and fun pictures. Never under-estimate the power of the refrigerator gallery. Fill the space with pictures of fun memories and pictures of friends and family. Also fill your pages with doodles. Lots of fun doodles are pleasing to the eye. If you are a kinesthetic sort, have small baskets of hand fidgets to play with. Stress balls are great for such. Carry one in your purse or backpack. Other ways to reduce stress are sucking on mints, chewing gum, and revisiting the childhood favorites, lollipops. Another way is my filling your environment with wonderful smells. Aroma therapy works! Wonderful holiday smells will bring back fond memories. Fill your house will the smell of cinnamon, apple pie, or hot cocoa smells. If those aren’t appealing, go for the fresh pine or bring back the smells of summer such as fresh flowers or a nice ocean breeze. Whatever scent makes you happy, plug it in. Exercise is another wonderful way to reduce stress. Walking helps drain the stress away. Try yoga. Anyone can do it. You do not have to be able to twist and contort your body to receive the benefits of yoga. Meditation is another wonderful destressor.  There are wonderful DVDs and CDs with guided meditations. You can even download them on your phone or Kindle. Please remember to not use medication music or guided ones while driving. I have given you plenty of examples of great ways to reduce the stress.

At your workplace, add some color to enhance the visual needs. Add some calming music if you are allowed. Fill the air with fresh scents of the season. Not only will these additions help you reduce stress it will also enhance the attitudes of your employees and customers.

For kids, get them outside. A cool breeze and fresh air are good for everyone. Play is a great stress reliever. Often we over schedule children during the holiday with parties, sporting events, and family events. We forget they need down time to recoup and unwind. If a child is fussy, when was the last time there was a day when they had nothing scheduled? Find time to fit in family time. There is nothing wrong with lazy days. Not days filled with gaming but days filled with low tech moments to rest the eyes and sensory system. I am certain the universe will survive without the gamer for a day. Keep a record of the fast food meals. Too much junk food stresses the body. Make sure there are veggies and fruit each day. No, I do not care what the food folks say, ketchup is not a vegetable.

Be proactive! Get ahead of the stress by incorporating some of these strategies now instead of reacting. Try to find time for yourself to unwind. It is ok to say no. Keep the stress down so you can enjoy the season more. If you have special ways you reduce stress please share so others can benefit.

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