Since I posted about challenging myself regarding stress management back on July 4th (Independence Day from stress!), I decided that I should give some updates here and there about what I have learned and what I'm doing to teach myself some stress management and relaxation techniques and how I'm fairing in actually putting them to use.
So far I've done the following:
- I've continued my chiropractor sessions for my back spasms. Whether it's the chiropractor or me consciously trying to be mindful of my stress and making myself take more time to relax, the spasms have lessened in intensity and frequency. Now if I could just take that hour it takes me to drive to the appointment and back 2-3 times a week and do something for myself even when I don't HAVE an appointment...now that would be progress my friends and I'm sure it would lead to less stress induced symptoms. But.....
- I've started reading both books that I purchased....I know...I keep adding books onto my reading list and sometimes I wonder if I'm actually causing myself MORE stress by doing that but....that's me. And reading is supposed to LESSEN stress so that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Thus far I've only read the introductions and breezed through to see what's there. I think I'll benefit from both. Anyone looking for ways to reduce stress or add relaxation to their lives needs to be willing to try various approaches. There really is not a single technique that's going to produce great results for every single person, so one must be willing to try several to see what's best.
- Promised myself to start exercising again....yeah, I know...I've said this before. But this time I'm trying to be realistic. I simply can not do 20-30 minute workouts. I'm aiming for ten minutes - and that INCLUDES time on the bike, jumping rope, or walking AND weight-bearing exercises with very small weights (nothing more until I'm sure the muscle spasm thing is gone). Exercise, they say, can really alleviate the damage of stress on the body.
- I've made more of an effort to start my days out right. I set my alarm earlier to make sure I get up and can follow my routine of prayer time and devotion (about a half hour of various things) as well as get in a minimum of 30 minutes on my writing before my littlest man wakes up - er, uh, well, at least before he's allowed to demand breakfast. It does make my day seem more productive and fruitful to me. Doing it first thing in the morning helps me feel more at peace and more control in the day. This means getting up by 5:30 in the morning when my body just begs to crawl back under the sheet but....it's worth it - it really is. Yes, TIME MANAGEMENT is a good way to handle stress!
What have you done recently to reduce or manage your stress load?