The Monday Motivator | Combating Stress

February 25, 2019

| Photo by Hilltop Photo Co. |
The Monday Motivator is a series meant to motivate, encourage, inspire and provide advice on real life stuff.*

Happy Monday to my readers!

It's one of those Mondays where I'm feeling a little groggy, but it's nothing a little coffee can't fix. My body is still catching up from last week; I felt drained and stressed and was carrying all my worry as tension in my muscles.

Don't you hate that? When you're not trying to be stressed but your body tells you otherwise? This year, I've been trying to make more of a conscious effort to not allow myself to get so stressed out, but unfortunately, stress is inevitable.

I am nowhere near mastering this, trust me, but I've learned that it's how we combat stress  that makes all the difference. How we combat stress probably won't eliminate it completely, but it will allow us to step back, take a look at the bigger picture and take action when we're ready.

If we let stress linger, which is something I was prone to doing, it continues to build until we can't take it anymore and it knocks us on our butt. I have, obviously, found a much better outcome in combating my stress so far.

Here's what I've found to help when my stress level is on the rise:

As I mentioned earlier, I carry my stress as tension in my muscles, particularly in my shoulders and neck. And it's not the kind of tension that popping an Ibuprofen can fix. It's tension that builds big knots that have to be treated by a doctor. Because of this, I have to make sure I'm resting my body physically. Sometimes this means laying in my car during my lunch break at work, or applying ice/heat and lying completely flat at home. If you're sitting at a desk all day and carry this same pain, it is so important to take time to rest your body. It can't heal without it. Muscle tension is literally your body's way of screaming, "please rest."

When you're stressed, what you will ultimately need is "a day."  Here's what "a day"  looks like: Don't make plans. Rest/sleep as much as you need. Do comforting things that you enjoy, such as watching a new show or reading your latest book of choice. Don't tend to any responsibilities, unless absolutely necessary. And go slow. If you give yourself one day like this, I can almost guarantee it will help you feel better. This "day"  will usually have to be on the weekend, especially if you work during the week like I do, but nonetheless, give that day to yourself. You need it more than you realize.

This is a very important step that we all struggle with. If you are stressed, forgive yourself. Being stressed out SUCKS, but as I mentioned previously, it's inevitable, unless you're like, a wizard or something. It's okay to come home one night and take a nap instead of tackling some chores. Or to take a Saturday all to yourself to recover instead of spending it with others. Don't feel guilty for putting your needs first. You can't let go of your stress if you are too busy beating yourself up.

Stress is ugly. It can put us through the ringer until we're almost unrecognizable to our own selves. Even though I can't prevent my own stress from occurring, these tips have helped me get through things before they get worse. And I hope they can help you, too.

With love,

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