I often find that this is a crazy time of year for my family. The cooler weather brings more opportunities for outdoor activities as well as reinvigorated schedules full of school, work, and extra curricular clubs. Add in a healthy dose of the holidays, and suddenly the season we’ve been looking forward to all August long has become completely overwhelming and quite exhausting. It’s no wonder we suffer from seasonal allergies and colds when our immune systems are compromised by increased stress just when we need them most.
If you’re feeling stressed, try a few of these techniques – they don’t take long, but if you take care of yourself, you’ll be better able to take care of others!
Meditation – Just 5-10minutes a day can have a huge impact on your mental and physical well being.
- Exercise – Take an evening stroll around the block with the family, bust out a few of your favorite yoga moves, or go for a solo jog. You don’t have to have an entire hour, 20minutes will do!
- Get Outdoors! Enjoy the weather (finally!) and go for a hike, walk a trail, or just eat dinner on your back porch. Fresh air and an extra dose of Vitamin D goes a long way – and just getting moving can often make you feel more energetic.
- Get enough sleep – We often respond to stress by “zoning out” in front of the television late at night, but for most of us screens (television, tablets, and phones) are actually stimulating to the brain rather than restful. Turning off all screens at least 20 minutes before bed, and then getting a good night’s rest, can give you more of the energy to tackle what’s left on your to-do list the next day, mentally and physically.
- Re-prioritize: What really has to get done? We often get stuck in a cycle of “musts” that are really “coulds” or “woulds” – things that we prioritize in our minds because they pertain to others (usually our family), when they could fall farther down the list without your (or your family’s) world falling apart. What we often forget to make a priority is taking care of ourselves – which should always be a “must”! While making time for yourself may seem selfish, when you take care of yourself, you are actually ensuring you can take care of those who depend on you!