My whole mission is to help those who are trying to succeed in life, who are trying to better themselves, to learn, to grow, who are trying to move forward and move the needle with creating change within themselves, their families, community and the world. If this is you, then it is imperative to learn how to manage stress because…stress happens.
Most want to avoid stress. To push it away or try to create a life where stress doesn’t happen.
To this, I laugh. Stress is necessary for all of us to stand upright, to breathe and to live. For you to be in the building that you’re in with the walls upright around you stress is required. Stress is a normal part of life. But how we respond to it is where a lot of us really struggle. And so, in the month of November it is time to join together and talk about how to manage stress.
What does stress like look like to you?
Get out pen and paper. Let the pen flow as you explore this question.
Let me share how stress shows up for me personally. If you know me well, you know that cookie dough is a favorite of mine. York peppermint patties are a second.
How else does stress look to me? To me it might be not getting enough sleep. I have no trouble falling asleep, but I’ll wake up early and then I don’t have enough sleep for the day. Stress for me looks like starting to lash out or getting emotional. Stress to me, looks like having a worried mind and then becoming unproductive during the day.
Stress for me looks like my shoulders getting tense and rising towards my ears.
I share this with you, so you have some examples of how stress can show up: mentally and physically. Do not be fooled- it shows up in both ways.
So, the next question.
How do you deal or manage your stress?
Let the pen flow as you explore this question.
I’m interested to know because we can all benefit by learning from one another.
I’ll share what stress management looks like for me: Going to sleep early, drinking more water, drinking warm tea or using my heating pad. That’s what stress management looks like to me. Stress management to me is movement. So not necessarily going to the gym but it’s getting out for a walk, dancing to music or doing some yoga poses. Stress management to me is also being with my family and laughing, eating together and sharing. One of the most important is calling and phoning a friend, laughing and having a meaningful conversation.
I’m going to be very, very honest with you that over the last, well probably six years since my children have been born, it’s been a struggle to stay in touch with girlfriends.
I realize how much I was missing connection.
Interestingly, connection is the cornerstone to stress management. Okay. We can talk about diet, exercise, sleep, meditation, hormone management and following your dreams all day long as far as managing stress. We can talk about these things but most of us still struggle, myself included, to move the needle with improving those specific things in life IF we don’t FIRST have connection.
Recently I had a client who shared this story: “I didn’t feel very motivated, so I called a friend and went over to her house. We had such a great conversation and ended up meal planning together for the week…and that is when it hit me just how important connection is as the cornerstone to stress management. If I want to thrive, connection is the cornerstone.”
Culturally, we have known that women do best when they gather together and support one another. Now, research proves when women come together (online, over the phone or in person), there is a chemical/ hormonal shift to help a woman reduce the level of stress they are experiencing so they can get into a place where they have clarity, options and where they’re able to move forward with empowered action. We all need to reconnect to this truth.
Connection is the cornerstone of stress management.
So, what does meaningful connection look like to you? What constitutes a meaningful friendship? Write it in your journal or on a scrap sheet of paper that will float away in the breeze, either is OK!
I’ve had lots of times where people will say, in passing, “I’m here to help you. Let me help you. If you need help with the kids, let me know. If you need help with your business, let me know.”
Usually my first response is, “Oh gosh, thank you so much!” And then I quickly disconnect. Not knowing how to accept the help, not knowing what it might look like and generally freaking out and avoiding.
So, I would like to challenge you to find an area of your life and find a connection point instead of freezing. If you need help getting on board with a movement and exercise program, find someone you can connect with. Go out on a limb and ask them and if they don’t get back with you, ask again. Don’t worry what anybody else is going to say. Don’t worry if they say no! Just keep asking.
I challenge you to do this because
meaningful connection is the change maker for being able to not just relieve stress, but to pivoting into thriving.