I spent Friday morning at a CEU event about caregivers…taking care of ourselves as professional caregivers. The speaker LeAnn Thieman made some humorous yet sad comparisons….she said, we’d never dream of telling our patients that they couldn’t eat all day except maybe some vending machine junk at 2 pm but we do it to ourselves all the time! And, we are suffering because of it.
She shared a lot of helpful advice about caring for ourselves and taking time for ourselves.
My take-aways to tackle stress. Her suggestions and some of my own:
1. Sleep…aim for 7-8 hours a night
2. Eat healthy for my body and listen to my gut
3. Exercise…again listen to my body. Sometimes, running aggravates my body more than it helps so I walk instead. Aim for 4 days a week…3 15-minute spurts of exercise a day count!
4. Don’t be so serious…Laugh…my son is my comic relief! Last night at a family get together, we laughed so hard over old family photos. It felt so good to laugh.
5. Forgive others. Forgive myself.
6. Be positive. Think positive. Visualize. (At bedtime, I fall asleep to the sound of ocean waves on my sound machine with the visualization of myself sitting on the condo balcony like I did on vacation. Total peace.).
7. Breathe. Deeply.
8. Take daily time for quiet time and prayer.
9. Plan….a little pre-planning goes a long ways.
10. Invest in positive relationships that build you up
Stress is a natural part of life, but how we chose to handle it can make or break us. When I allow stress to overtake my life, my sleep suffers, my GI issues go crazy, my acne breaks out, and I become ill. It is then that I know I need to step back, reevaluate my situation, and get my life back in balance.
What helps you with stress?