HOW to MANEUVER the BUMPS and STRESS on the ROAD OF LIFE
Sometimes life becomes too demanding. It may be hard to know how to maneuver the bumps and stress on the road of life. Life may include: busy schedules, finding or making time to implement the desired improvements or goals, family obligations, health concerns of others and/or yourself, keeping true to an exercise routine, making time for prayer or meditation, and other variables. It may seem overwhelming. If we do not step back and relax for a moment (or moments), illness may appear. Our bodies know we need to slow down. Sickness may force us to do so. Emotions may fluctuate. The inner balance one has may be strongly challenged daily.
How long does it take you to notice the signs of overload and/or stress? As a survivor of abuse and trauma, do you suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)? Do PTSD symptoms reactivate if you do not sleep enough or are too stressed? How do you take care of yourself while handling the demands of life filled with busy-ness and stress? Maybe you have been able to make a life for yourself that is balanced and usually calm. The Universe may hand us challenges especially at unexpected times. For others, life seems to be filled with stress for too long. Maybe you are in a job where the difficulties and pressure will not quit. As you strategize and look for other employment, how do you keep steady?
Below are 15 ways to maneuver the bumps and stress of life. These methods are not in any order.
- Nature – walk, hike or sit in nature.
- Get a massage. Let your body feel the tension leave. Even if a massage does not normally fall into your budget, a splurge on your own self may do wonders.
- Take time to do nothing.
- Pray (if that is part of your being). No matter what your spiritual leaning or non-leaning, I want to share this song with you. “Breathe” by Jonny Diaz resonates with me. “Breathe” reminds us that the world can be busy and chaotic. Time to breathe is definitely needed. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnjeMwxFuBA
- Read a good book. Distraction may just be the medicine needed. Enter the author’s world.
- Journal. Put your thoughts on paper. Let the emotions you feel escape on the pages of the written words. Then release the thoughts and emotions.
- Make a gratitude list. It may make you smile!
- Call a friend. Be a friend. Share your troubles with a friend and listen to his or hers.
- People watch! There is a location in my city that I like to sit and watch the visitors and residents walk, talk, and be. During Megan’s recent visit, we sat on a bench people watching. Seeing children’s joy is contagious.
- Pet an animal! If you do not share your life at home with an animal, stroke your neighbor’s dog or cat. Some places of the country have cows to pet. See if it lowers your blood pressure as it calms your psyche.
- Get extra sleep. Take a nap. Go to bed an hour earlier.
- Eat healthy foods. Summer fruits are here. Buy a delicious food item. Eat it with purpose. Savor the flavors.
- Exercise, dance to music you enjoy, or sing. Close your eyes and move your body. It releases the child in you. Fun – have fun!
- Return to #4. Do nothing. Seriously, block some time to spend with no chores or tasks. Do not sit in front of the TV or anything electronic. Let boredom arrive. Creativity may bloom!
There are more options available to deal with the bumps and stress of life. The above list is the short one.
Please take gentle care of yourself. Notice your body’s signals of health and disease. Notice your emotional state. Self care is imperative. Do not put yourself last on your list of priorities. You need to be healthy to support others – to help your family members, friends, clients, coworkers, and other members of your community.
Make you own list of healthy coping mechanisms. How does your body feel after you enjoy a physical activity or give it a needed rest? Is your mind calmer after a walk in the woods or 20 minutes of prayer and/or meditation? Does writing in a journal free your mind to think creatively? Why don’t you do these pleasurable and rewarding activities more often? You are worth the effort and the time.
If your life is too overscheduled, evaluate it. If your job is not likely to improve, how can you change careers? Life coaches, like me, can help you with these issues. I will add an accountability piece to your life’s puzzle. Change, positive change, is possible. Remember though – breathe, step back and allow yourself to see the bigger picture. Give yourself some space. Make space and time. You are important. Your life is important. Give it the attention it needs and deserves.
I suggest you pick one of the items on my above list or one on your own list. Accomplish one item this week for yourself.
Take gentle care of yourself today, as always!