HAPPY STRESS-DAYS?? Sherry Johnston, NBC’s The Biggest Loser
I ran into Target yesterday and as in every store for weeks, Christmas music was playing, decorations are hung in strategic places with care all in hopes you will spend all your hard earned $$$$$$ there! But wait, what about Thanksgiving????
I love Thanksgiving – a time set aside to be with family and friends. Since it is just days away, I have lots on my plate (haha) to be ready…. Some of those like everyone else are: do I have my plan together, the shopping done, the turkey thawing (in the frig – one day for every 4#), all the ingredients needed for each special recipe, the house cleaned or the car ready to travel, the family getting together (I hope Uncle George won’t be out of sorts), the silver polished or the plastic wear purchased, napkins pressed or some cute paper ones ready, the stockings hung, the ….. oh wait… I have at least a few more hours before they are supposed to be hung… Right??????
I love all the frenzy that comes with what we call the “Holidays” – OK not all of it but they come around every year about this time! Along with all the fun, family, and fattening foods can come an over-sized serving of STRESS at times! I don’t always handle it very well. I seem to wear my shoulders as earrings and my jaws feel like they are wired shut but I’m still smiling!
Since I am committed to living a healthy lifestyle, I needed to remember what stress can do to my body and none of it is healthy. It causes headaches, SLEEP problems, upset stomach, weight gain, hair loss, aging and those are just the light side. Stress contributes to hypertension, asthmatic conditions, on and on….. So what to do???
Here are some of my reminders. I “knew” most of these but I took a big hit on the stress scale this week so I needed a review!
- Prayer & reading the Bible! – The Father says to come to Him and I did. If you don’t know where to go, the Psalms always is a good place to head. Then there were those words from a Beth Moore study, “tattle to God”… but don’t forget to stop to listen. J Then there is that word “F o R g I v E n E s S”
- Physical Activity – honestly, I like to box and carry my gloves in my car. Running, walking etc….
- Relaxation techniques – even deep breathing helps – 3 really deep breaths/hour, exhaling slowly. Stretching helps the muscles and of course a massage too, a warm bath and a favorite hot tea.
- Sleep – don’t let all the things rob you from getting good sleep – quality and quantity. Lack of sleep only complicates matters.
- Laughter – laughter is medicine for the soul and melts stress!
One thing I love is that big bundle of fun that I adopted a few months ago – my Doberman, Miles. He is such a good addition to my life and most of the time brings my stress level down. Last night we went to a group training class so I can learn as well as him. The class was outdoors, not in the city and the temperature was a little cold. Miles and I both enjoyed the class and on the way to the car, I couldn’t help but notice the clear sky and all the stars! Living in the city has its disadvantages because there is always too much light. I stopped and just took it in…then realized, when I’m stressed I fail to see the beauty in front of me so it was a good reminder, a gift!
Back to Thanksgiving, I’m adding a way to have everyone stop and tell what they GIVE THANKS for (but it’s a secret so don’t tell my family!). One year my Mother-In-Law passed a jar of unpopped popcorn and each took as much or as little as they wanted. Then she had us go around the table and give thanks for each kernel we had taken. It was sweet and memorable.
So with those reminders, the list at the beginning of this post still needs some attention but now I’m wearing PINK earrings rather than my shoulders and by taking notice of my stress and doing something about it, I feel as if the wires have been cut from my jaws and I can breathe normally and enjoy the process.
Most of all, I give thanks to God in everything and will enjoy the family and friends I have been so blessed to have in my life!
YOU CAN too!