It’s tough when you are being pulled in a million different directions and what seems like little time to get everything done. When one is working against the clock, this can only exacerbate the stress levels, which is why routine is such an important part of my life. Unfortunately, decisions have to be made and they don’t always align with my schedule, but I have come up with some tips to keep me on board until I weather the storm.
1. Ask for help
You do not have to go through life alone. It’s OK to ask family and friends to help you out. You do not score any brownie points by trying to do it all. In fact you may find yourself so overwhelmed that staying committed to your healthy lifestyle is much harder than when you have others to help you along the way.
2. Keep exercising
This can be tough when you feel as though you are being pulled in a thousand different directions, but I remember my former running coach telling me years ago, “no run, no matter how short is ever wasted.” As many of us are well aware, exercise is a big stress reliever. Even if you can’t keep up with your normal exercise routine, going for a quick walk or even doing some stair climbing can do wonders to clear your mind and more importantly reduce the stress.
3. Rest is important, too
If you have children you know that when they get overly tired they are much more difficult to manage. Sleep and rest help us recharge our batteries. Even if you find yourself sneaking in rest when your loved one is resting, it may be just what your body needs.
Deep breathing seems like such a simple act, but it can do wonders in helping relieve stress and tension we hold in our bodies. Just three short minutes of concentrated breathing can help lower stress levels and release tension and anxiety.
5. Be sure to eat
Remember food is fuel for your body. It is what gives us energy especially when our meal time schedule is off. Sugary foods and junk food from the vending machine can actually leave you drained, therefore bringing healthy snacks is a great option. I keep nuts, raisins and a granola bar with me in my purse so that I never am without a little something.
6. Talk with others
While what ever you are going through may seem overwhelming, sharing your concerns with others who are or have experienced similar problems can actually validate your feelings. As my therapist Ann told me months ago, validations of emotions can make us feel normal– that it’s OK to feel the way we do. And you may be surprised that sometimes others who have walked the journey can offer you help and insight to your own situation.
7. Accept that you cannot do it all
This is by far one of the most difficult areas for me to accept. As a type A perfectionist, I do not like when I am forced to shorten my workout sessions, maybe not eat as well as I should, get upset with the way things are done or not done, etc, but this is life. A few weeks of not so healthy choices will not knock me down UNLESS I allow the guilt to consume me. I can only do the best I can do knowing that it will only be a matter of time before I am back to my normal, or maybe even my new normal, routine.
8. Seek guidance from others
When I was dealing with my father’s illness, a social worker at my father-in-law’s rehab facility was instrumental in helping us locate an assisted living facility in a very short time. While my husband and I did have to visit the places she recommended, we did not have to waste time wading through the lists of facilities. It is amazing how many people are willing to help, you just need to step out of your comfort zone.
9. It’s OK to let things slide
I love an immaculate home, but life gets crazy, accepting that there is only so much time in a day to get everything done has become my new way of living. It’s OK that I do not get EVERYTHING done. It will still be here when things settle down, but giving myself permission to let the household duties slide is a huge stress reliever, too.
After 50 years on this planet, I am learning to accept that there are many things out of my control. I can either wallow in my sorrow or I can take on the challenges. Smiling can do wonders to lift our moods along with the release of the mood calming endorphins. It can make us more positive when things in life appear to be so challenging.
While there are many things in life we can’t control, there are many things we can. Life is not meant to be experienced without sorrow and stress. It is how we manage the curve balls or the obstacles in our life that allow us to grow, change and transform into the people we are meant to be. It doesn’t mean it will be easy, but having a few tips to help you through can do wonders in making a not-so-great situation in to the best situation we are to deal with.
Reblogged from www.sparkpeople.com
I was asked by a client of mine, “If you had one year to live what would you do?”
I thought about this for a bit. I could not think of anything that I would change. It is not that I don’t want to do things more than I have already but there is nothing that I have not done to some degree –enough to be content.
I even questioned myself about it, “Can that even be true?” But still I felt like I would wake up and keep living the way that I have been living.
But then it came to me: I would eat more ice cream!
No but seriously, there have been times when I asked myself this question and the answers I got were not so light-hearted.
I am an independent and individualistic person. And still, I have woken up some days to realize that I bought some way of doing things in my life that is not right for me but I chose because I either did not know enough to make my own choice or because I was concerned that the way that I wanted to do it was the wrong way.
Point is, this is going to happen so matter who you are and how focused you are on your fulfillment. We all get off track from time to time and it is part of the process of learning and growing to try different things and have some of them fit and some of them not.
However, to make sure that we create the lives we really want, we need to continuously check in with ourselves about a few things:
1. Know yourself. Take time for inward reflection so that you know what you are feeling and are clear on the actions. This is vital for creating self knowledge and a life that really works for you.
2. Evaluate your life on a regular basis. We need to take time to take stock of our lives. What areas of your life might you be neglecting?
3. Do a regular house cleaning. Pay attention to what is dragging you down or outdated and clear it out. I mean this both literally and internally.
4. Focus on what you want. To really have the life that you want you need to spend time actively attending to what you want to create.
Having the life that you know is yours to create takes a little bit of work but the rewards far outweigh the effort.