Stress and Self-care

LettingGo

With the elections coming up, I have become more and more aware of the state of the world, or at least the state of these United States. Who would have ever though that Donald Trump with be a candidate in a presidential election with a possibility to win? Certainly not me. Just watching these debates and thinking about how much life could possible change if presidential hopeful Donald Trump is elected puts me in an area of fear and stress like no other. Which brings me to my point. In this fast paced rapid world that we live in stress has become a ritual. Being under stress has become as routine as taking a bath or brushing one’s teeth. I can’t tell you the amount of coffee consumed each day or the amount of cigarettes that are smoked each day in an effort to relieve stress. It is important that people understand that stress is just as deadly as any other disease. It is known as the silent killer. Stress will eat away at a person until there is nothing left. Too much of anything can lead to depression and stress is the number one culprit. Having to live with these levels of stress daily make it important to have the tools for self-care and stress management. Self-care includes any intentional action you take to care for your physical, mental and emotional health. We tend to only think about self-care when our body are telling us that it is tired, and even then we only focus on the physical. The truth is self-car should be a daily venture and has to very well-rounded in order to be effective. I found and article with some self-care tips that can be done daily in order to relieve stress. This list is below broken down into the three major areas of self-care; self-care for the mind, self-care for the body and self-care for the soul. The list can be viewed below.

Tiny Self-Care Ideas for the Mind

1. Start a compliments file. Document the great things people say about you to read later.
2. Scratch off a lurker on your to-do list, something that’s been there for ages and you’ll never do.
3. Change up the way you make decisions. Decide something with your heart if you usually use your head. Or if you tend to go with your heart, decide with your head.
4. Go cloud-watching. Lie on your back, relax, and watch the sky.
5. Take another route to work. Mixing up your routine in small ways creates new neural pathways in the brain to keep it healthy.
6. Pay complete attention to something you usually do on autopilot, perhaps brushing your teeth, driving, eating, or performing your morning routine.
7. Goof around for a bit. Schedule in five minutes of “play” (non-directed activity) several times throughout your day.
8. Create a deliberate habit, and routinize something small in your life by doing it in the same way each day—what you wear on Tuesdays, or picking up the dental floss before you brush.
9. Fix a small annoyance at home that’s been nagging you—a button lost, a drawer that’s stuck, a light bulb that’s gone.
10. Punctuate your day with a mini-meditation with one minute of awareness of your thoughts, feelings, and sensations; one minute of focused attention on breathing; and one minute of awareness of the body as a whole.
11. Be selfish. Do one thing today just because it makes you happy.
12. Do a mini-declutter. Recycle three things from your wardrobe that you don’t love or regularly wear.
13. Unplug for an hour. Switch everything to airplane mode and free yourself from the constant bings of social media and email.
14. Get out of your comfort zone, even if it’s just talking to a stranger at the bus stop.
15. Edit your social media feeds, and take out any negative people. You can just “mute” them; you don’t have to delete them.

Tiny Self-Care Ideas for the Body

1. Give your body ten minutes of mindful attention. Use the body scan technique to check in with each part of your body.
2. Oxygenate by taking three deep breaths. Breathe into your abdomen, and let the air puff out your stomach and chest.
3. Get down and boogie. Put on your favorite upbeat record and shake your booty.
4. Stretch out the kinks. If you’re at work, you can always head to the bathroom to avoid strange looks.
5. Run (or walk, depending on your current physical health) for a few minutes. Or go up and down the stairs three times.
6. Narrow your food choices. Pick two healthy breakfasts, lunches, and dinners and rotate for the week.
7. Activate your self-soothing system. Stroke your own arm, or if that feels too weird, moisturize.
8. Get to know yourself intimately. Look lovingly and without judgment at yourself naked. (Use a mirror to make sure you get to know all of you!)
9. Make one small change to your diet for the week. Drink an extra glass of water each day, or have an extra portion of veggies each meal.
10. Give your body a treat. Pick something from your wardrobe that feels great next to your skin.
11. Be still. Sit somewhere green, and be quiet for a few minutes.
12. Get fifteen minutes of sun, especially if you’re in a cold climate. (Use sunscreen if appropriate.)
13. Inhale an upbeat smell. Try peppermint to suppress food cravings and boost mood and motivation.
14. Have a good laugh. Read a couple of comic strips that you enjoy.
15. Take a quick nap. Ten to twenty minutes can reduce your sleep debt and leave you ready for action.

Tiny Self-Care Ideas for the Soul

1. Imagine you’re your best friend. If you were, what would you tell yourself right now? Look in the mirror and say it.
2. Use your commute for a “Beauty Scavenger Hunt.” Find five unexpected beautiful things on your way to work
3. Help someone. Carry a bag, open a door, or pick up an extra carton of milk for a neighbor.
4. Check in with your emotions. Sit quietly and just name without judgment what you’re feeling.
5. Write out your thoughts. Go for fifteen minutes on anything bothering you. Then let it go as you burn or bin the paper.
6. Choose who you spend your time with today. Hang out with “Radiators” who emit enthusiasm and positivity, and not “Drains” whose pessimism and negativity robs energy.
7. Stroke a pet. If you don’t have one, go to the park and find one.
8. Get positive feedback. Ask three good friends to tell you what they love about you.
9. Make a small connection. Have a few sentences of conversation with someone in customer service such as a sales assistant or barista.
10. Splurge a little. Buy a small luxury as a way of valuing yourself.
11. Have a self-date. Spend an hour alone doing something that nourishes you (reading, your hobby, visiting a museum or gallery, etc.)
12. Exercise a signature strength. Think about what you’re good at, and find an opportunity for it today.
13. Take a home spa. Have a long bath or shower, sit around in your bathrobe, and read magazines.
14. Ask for help—big or small, but reach out.
15. Plan a two-day holiday for next weekend. Turn off your phone, tell people you’ll be away, and then do something new in your own town.

Bard, E. (2015). 45 Simple Self-Care Practices for a Healthy Mind, Body, and Soul. Retrieved 2016, from http://tinybuddha.com/blog/45-simple-self-care-practices-for-a-healthy-mind-body-and-soul/

Spirit of Fear

Spirit of Fear

Do you have anger but cannot explain why you are angry. This is just one way the spirit of fear can control your life. Some of the other symptoms of fear are phobias, lack of trust, doubt, intimidation, nightmares, anxiety and stress, rejection, torment, heart attacks, and the fear of the unknown. Psalm 56:3-4 says, “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me? 2Timothy states that, “God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind”. “I sought the Lord and He heard me, and delivered me from all of my fears” (Psalm 34:4). God states in Isaiah 41:10, “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand”.

If you are struggling with the spirit of fear I urge you to speak the word of God over your circumstance. There is noting that is impossibly for God! Rebuke the spirit of fear that has been distressing you. Commend the spirit to go in Jesus Name! Luke 10:19 states, “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing by any means will harm you.” You do not have to struggle. We are here to help you. We are only a phone call away. If you are unsure about counseling, give us a call and schedule a free consultation and see if we are a good fit. God Bless You!

Vernesa Perry

Taking Control of Anxiety Before It Takes Control of You

taking control of your anxiety before it takes control of you

Everyone experiences anxiety. It happens before job interviews, meeting the parents, public speaking, deadlines, all the time. Sometimes those anxieties can get out of hand; they prevent us from taking care of the things we need to get done. They overpower our thoughts by building on top of one another, weighing down on our subconscious. Despite our best efforts to organize our lives or to make time for everything, anxieties can take all control away from us in a matter of moments.

Here are a few ways to take control of your anxiety:

Breathe, it’s the most natural thing that we know how to do. Take a minute, count to four while you breath in, than count to four while you breath out. Keep counting and breathing. Your heart rate will slow and your body will biologically calm itself.

Write it out. Sit down for 15 minutes with a piece of paper and a pen. Write out every thought that comes to your mind during that time; don’t put the pen down. Seeing your thoughts and feelings on a piece of paper in front of you acts as an anchor. Once you read through what you’ve written, your anxieties become more tangible and easier to work with.

Exercise, exercise, exercise. The hormones released during exercise, such as serotonin and endorphins, act as antidepressants. It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you do, just as long as your body is moving. Endorphins are “happy hormones” and will elevate your mood instantly.

Laugh. Laughter is the best medicine. Watch a funny movie, read some really bad jokes, or think of a funny memory. Laughing can relieve psychological pain almost instantly.

Eat some good mood food. Who doesn’t enjoy comfort food when they’re upset? While it may be tempting to reach for the cookies or the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream during a freak out session, it’s actually more beneficial to eat healthy food. Studies suggest that you try a few of these super foods: nuts, soy, milk and yogurt, dark green leafies, dark orange vegetables, broth soups, legumes, citrus, wheat germ, tart cherries, and berries.

Now you don’t have to try all of these things, but they’re all helpful tricks and all of them have one thing in common: It’s all good and it’s all ok, all you have to do is take your moment.

Melissa Butler