Many of us struggle with stress on a regular basis. This time of year, with the holidays fast approaching and the recent election just behind us, can be especially stressful.
I want to share some concrete suggestions for reducing your stress and increasing your relaxation.
A good place to start is by asking yourself a simple question each day: what am I doing today to support my body, mind and spirit? All the parts of our being need tending to, after all.
For example, our bodies need a diet of good, healthy food, including lots of plants, proteins and healthy fats like olive or coconut oil. We need plenty of sleep, and we need to move! We need to get sunshine and connect with the earth.
Our minds benefit from useful tasks to occupy them during the day, and deserve to relax with a book or a little TV afterwards. However, it’s also really useful when we can learn to let go of our minds through breathing and meditation, and step back from our thoughts entirely. If we get caught up in our thinking, our stress tends to rise!
Our spirits thrive when we make a point of acting with love and kindness towards other people. When we make a point to build a sense of community into our lives, with friends, family and neighbors, we connect with something greater than ourselves. We start to see that no matter how big our problems feel, they don’t have to overwhelm us.
We don’t have to become self-care masters all at once. But we can make a point of taking one action each day to benefit our bodies, minds and spirits.
These don’t have to be big, complicated actions. One of my favorite life lessons is that lots of little actions are often much more useful. If we just make a start, that’s enough.
Maybe you cook a fresh dinner instead of ordering out or making something from a can (check out Rebecca Katz for some great recipe ideas). Something good for your body? Check — and bonus points if you go for a walk afterwards :)
Maybe you spend fifteen minutes breathing or meditating in the morning or at night. Something good for your mind? Check.
Maybe you make a point to call or text the people you love every week. Or maybe you join a community group or start one of your own. Something good for your spirit? Check!
These are just examples, but you get the idea. The more you give your body, mind and spirit the support they need, the less stress you feel and the more your life comes alive!