Stress can sometimes seem to come out of nowhere.
Work is flowing wonderfully, you are accomplishing your creative goals, you are finding time for family and keeping your apartment clean – nothing could be sweeter. Then, you receive a fateful phone call that turns everything on its head in mere moments – you lose your highest paying client, a close family member falls extremely ill, your landlord wants to sell your apartment by the end of the month – and suddenly you are plunged into a period marked by worry, fear and a whole lot of stress.
Even if you are the most calm and balanced woman, you can pretty much count on the fact that stress WILL happen in your life. However, you have a choice as to how you respond to it.
Whatever the cause, one thing is certain: if you don’t know how to manage your stress, it can be hard on your body and hard on your heart.
When you respond to a taxing event or incident in an unconscious way – disconnected to your inner world and unaware of your reactions to your anxiety – then the stress only builds on itself. The result is exhaustion, extreme worry, taking anger out on loved ones, sliding into addictive habits, and insomnia, just to name a few.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. You CAN take action in the midst of stressful events and periods in your life that help you to remain calm, centered, and connected.
Imagine how different that would feel!
Here are my top 3 Woman Wisdom tips to help you move through it all with spaciousness, energy, and ease:
1) Take Extreme Self-Care
In a stressful situation self-care is often the first thing we throw out the window since we falsely believe that it is wasting our suddenly ever-so-precious time. It’s often during stressful times that you slip into unhealthy habits like overeating, under-eating, forgetting to take vitamins, neglecting your down time, and getting little sleep.
This is a huge mistake – periods of stress are the times that you need to take care of yourself the most so that your body and soul have the strength to hold up.
Self-care includes getting enough sleep, being careful to eat healthy, drinking an adequate amount of water, taking vitamins, making time to exercise, practicing deep breathing, even going for special treatments like acupuncture or massage.
Taking good care of yourself will help your body stay energized and grounded so that you don’t get tired, sick, or over-anxious during a stressful period.
2) Escort Stress Out of Your Body
Even though stress originates in your mind and thought processes, it is a known phenomenon that tension gets stuck in your body, creating all sorts of physical discomfort. You know this personally because you have certainly felt pain in your shoulders, lower back, neck or calves during periods of pressure.
Stress that gets stuck in your body can also cause emotional discomfort. Just think about the anger, frustration, or depression you experience when you go through a period of tension in your life.
The more stress you experience, the more it gets trapped in your body, and the more physical and emotional pain you feel.
It is essential to actively escort stress out of your body. You can do this by any way that helps you get your physical energy moving ecstatically. Some examples are: running, kickboxing, putting on fast-paced music and dancing, shaking your body and stomping your feet vigorously, or screaming loudly into a pillow. These activities help you move the stressful energy out of your body, drain it from your cells, and renew your mind and soul.
3) Connect to Yourself and Your Emotions
So much happens on the emotional level during stressful times, yet you are usually so busy running around trying to fix the situation that you forget to check in with yourself and understand what is really going on in your heart and soul.
When you forget to connect to your inner feelings and self – especially during stress-filled times, your emotions often leak out in unpleasant ways like sudden outbursts of anger at loved ones, low self-confidence and severe self-judgment, extreme lethargy, emotional eating, or a loss of vigor for life.
A great way to prevent this leaky energy from destroying everything in its path is to take time out to reconnect to yourself and your emotions. The activity I most recommend to really allow all the conflicting, hidden feelings rise to the surface is a flow-of-consciousness writing exercise.
This does not have to take long, just ten quiet minutes will do. If you have more, then that’s also fantastic. Find a quiet place where you won’t be bothered and take a few deep breaths. With a journal and a pen in hand write the words “I find myself…” and then see what comes up.
Write as fast as you can without editing, proofreading, or even thinking twice about what is coming out of your pen. You do not need to write in full sentences or worry if your spelling is correct. You will see how much it helps you to connect to your deepest thoughts and feelings and will immediately feel the therapeutic effects of it.
Ultimately, you have control over how you respond to and move through a stressful period – will you allow tension to drain you, or will you take the lead to move yourself to a more balanced, centered experience? The choice is yours!