10 Tips to Destress
Let's face it, life is just stressful. From daily routines, to family, friends and on and on, and now your getting married! Or you have another big life event happening, baby shower, graduation, retirement... stress on top of stress is never good.
For starters, stress alone can cause lack of sleep, bad eating habits, headaches, not to mention that neck pain...you feel it right now don't you? All of this can steal the joy of your big day and just joy in general. Plus, stress is what creates bridezillas...we do not want that!
So, let's talk about 10 simple ways to destress. Now, you are going to have to follow the steps and not make excuses about how you can't do it. Seriously, just follow the steps.
These steps work for any stressful time in life, not just big events. Go back to them as often as you need, maybe not too often though, you do have to live life.
Step 1: Close it down. Turn off your phone, computer, email, whatever you have that conects you to the outside world, just shut it off. Yes, you can! I promise the world will not fall apart. You may have to pick a day off work, a weekend, but pick a full day to shut it all off. Stop panicking, it's fine. Let your friends and family know what you're doing, tell work you won't respond right away. Finish reading first...
Step 2: Take a hot bath. Why the hot bath? Hot water will relax all your muscles, you need that, it will relax your mind, lowers blood preasure, helps you sleep, and you can't bring electronics in the bath with you. Put some lavender bath salt in your bath water. Lavender is proven to relax your body, mind, and calm your heart rate. I like to get mine from lemongrass spa, but there are lots of good ones out there. Sit in that hot relaxing bath for at least 20 min to get the full benefits, clear your mind and just relax.
Step 3: Pray. I usually do this while I'm in the bath. All electronics are off, you're relaxed, now you need to focus on peace. Prayer and worship are the key to this. Matthew 11:28 " Then Jesus said, " Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." Prayer is coming to the one who can give you rest. When I choose to pray and worship in stressful times, I am reminded that He has it all. This step destresses me almost instantaneously.
Step 4: Get a small note pad. Okay, now your body and mind are relaxed right? That wasn't so hard was it? And I bet you are so glad you did it. Now that you have some relaxation going on, it's time to find a small note pad that you can easily carry around with you, along with a pen or pencil. Keep it with you all day, and put it next to your bed at night. When something comes to mind that you are stressing about or trying to remember, write it down immediately. There are so many lists of things to do, so many little details in life, and so many worries, writing them down as soon as they come to mind helps your mind to keep relaxed. Your mind immediately knows that it's now written down, and you don't have to work so hard to remember it. This process works for me every time.
Step 5: Organize. Now that you have carried your note pad with you all day and written everything down, it's time to organize. Look at you list, what is the most important thing? Start separating your list from most important to least important. This might take some time, but is very important to do. You don't want to focus your time on small things that are not as important, and miss the more important things. Think, what absolutely has to get done, what has to be done first, what is it that is super important to you.
This will be a continuous process.
Step 6: Plan out your days. You know what is most important and least important now. You cannot get it all done in one day... don't even try it...you will end up stressed again. Pick just a few things to do each day, or every couple of days. " Bite sized" tasks will help you see the list get smaller, and make you feel like things are running smoothly... because they are. If you don't get all your tasks done for that day, just move it to the next day.
Step 7: Eliminate. Eliminate anything on the list that doesn't actually have to happen. As you start working on your list, look at the things that keep getting put off, do they really need to get done? Is it a far stretched imagination? Go through your list and see what you can remove, I am positive that you have things on there that do not need to be there, just cross them off and forget it.
Step 8: Stretch/exercise. Stretching or exercise are huge ways to destress. It has been proven to help relieve stress, calm your mind, increase blood flow, and it's good for your heart. Your body needs it! You can do yoga, Pilates ( my fav), walking, or jogging, to more aggressive workouts such as Crossfit, weightlifting, Peloton...Pick something and do it. I will often use a video on streaming tv, just a 20-30 min video can be very helpful.
Step 9: Massage. Yes, get a massage. I mean the deep tissue kind of massage. All that tension in your neck and back has released some, but you need a good massage to really get those tight muscles fully relaxed. Most sports massages are very affordable. I use Hope Manus License Massage bodywork therapist. You can make an appt with her at Movement Muscle Therapy.
Step 10: Trust your Planner/Coordinator. Whatever your event is, Wedding, party, retirement... Your planner is skilled and knowledegable about what needs to happen and when it needs to get done. You hired your planner (me) to do the job of planning and coordinating. Talk to her about your concerns and your list. Know that she will get it done and has a plan. She is your go-to person for questions, and concerns. Trust her. You don't have a planner? You should get one. (Hint, you're reading her blog ;)
Now, don't you feel better? I know, I know, the first step was the hardest, but aren't you glad you did it. Oh, you can turn your phone and computer back on now.