Stress Freedom Friday: Focus on Someone Else

stress freedom with compassion

It’s easy to fall into having a pity party when you think that nobody’s problems are as bad as yours. As sad as it may be, that’s not the case. There’s always someone with a situation that’s more severe than yours. I sort of feel bad taking a little comfort in that.

However, you don’t have to feel bad about someone else’s challenges or struggles (I was going to say misfortune but it didn’t seem right). Instead of just taking comfort in the fact that your life circumstances aren’t as grave as another’s, why not lend a helping hand?

Nothing takes the focus off of your own problems and stresses like helping someone else with theirs. You may not be able to do much but you can offer a word of encouragement, a shoulder to lean on or even just lend an ear. Show compassion for another.

One special needs parent to another can relate with each other much better. You never know when you’re going to need someone else to talk to or just vent with. Someone will pay it forward to you some day.

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Stress Freedom Friday: Reduce Stress By Getting More Sunlight

Have you ever just felt like you were so busy tending to the needs of your special little one that you couldn’t even take a break to get some fresh air outdoors? Keep going that way and after a while you may begin feeling a bit displeased with life or dare I say stressed. Sure, you love your child, but you also need to take some time to be someone other than a caregiver.

reduce stress by getting more sunlight

According to Discovery Health:

Sunlight triggers our circadian rhythms, our sleep-wake cycles. When sunlight hits the optic nerve, the brain cuts down on the release of melatonin, a hormone that controls sleep, and increases production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter tied to wakefulness and feeling happy. When the sun sets, this cycle is reversed, with more melatonin produced and less serotonin. The more sunlight the body receives, the more serotonin the brain produces. In addition, the body also creates vitamin D from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. High levels of vitamin D help our bodies maintain high levels of serotonin.

Since stress is directly linked to depression, it seems that getting more sunlight is a good natural way to relieve stress.

Hmm, there really may be something to this. Other than the scientific research, I’ve noticed in my own life that I am just much happier in the summer time when the sun is shining bright.  I can’t stand the dark days of winter and usually rush to get home before dark so I can fill my home with plenty of light.

So, the net net of it is, sunlight is a free way to reduce stress so what have you got to lose? :-)

This post is a part of the Balancing Life series of posts

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Stress Freedom Friday: Give it to God

Often times we wind ourselves up in a ball inside over the circumstances in our lives. It’s human nature to do so. That is until youget another nature. God’s nature.

Being a born again Christian, I’m acquainted with the difference between trusting myself and trusting God. Before I was saved, I trusted myself or others – only to be disappointed.

Now, that I’ve given my life to Christ I no longer have to struggle on my own. I can give my problems to God and so can you. That’s not to say that it’s easy or will come naturally all of the time. Casting your problems on God takes practice and a mindset to do so.

Today’s stress freedom tip is one that’s probably the most difficult to implement yet the easiest. It’s difficult to break the habit of trusting ourselves. Therefore, we struggle and we stress. it’s also easy to give all of our troubles to God. All that you need to do is verbally give them to Him.

Tell God that you can’t deal with whatever it is you are dealing with and that you are holding Him to His Word to care for you after casting your cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7).

God keeps His promises too. Unlike people. Give it to God. Whatever IT is.

This post is a part of the Balancing Life series of posts

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Stress Freedom Friday: Cool Light Therapy

Happy Friday!  It’s that time again. Time to provide a tip to help you keep stress at bay in your life.

Sounds so simple right?  After all, stress comes with the territory. Or does it?

Some stress is avoidable.  Let’s focus on a cool way to lighten up your stress load  in a way that’s preventable.

If your stress is a result of a Vitamin D deficiency, light therapy is an effective way to remedy that.  Of course, your doctor will have to confirm if a deficiency is the true culprit.

Vitamin D can be absorbed from simply being outdoors in the sunlight. How cool is that? No fancy gadgets or costly products to buy.  Nature can take care of it.

But what about if the sun is not shining? Then, a SunLight Therapy Lamp can really help.

It’s smart to have a means of light therapy available if you find yourself feeling down in the dumps regularly.

This sunlight desktop lamp simulates sun light. It also triples as a reading lamp and task lamp. It makes a great gift too!

This sunlight therapy lamp increase a release of seratonin (the feel good hormone) so that you can experience an improved feeling of well being.

This post is a part of the Balancing Life series of posts

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Stress Freedom Friday: BINGO

Today’s Stress Freedom Friday (what a great day….end of the work week, start of the weekend) and today’s stress relief tip just requires you to free up a little time to sit and relax with……………….a board game!

Board games can be great stress relievers. They are fun and relaxing. If you’re playing with 2 or more people, it can be even more fun.  You’ll laugh and you may even fuss a bit but all in all it’s a relaxing way to unwind.

Two of my favorite board games include BINGO, Solitaire and Scrabble.

The next time you feel a little stressed, grab a friend or family member and whip out the board game of your liking. Nobody available?  Solitaire’s a good stress relief game too.

PEACE and Happy Friday!

This post is a part of the Balancing Life series of posts

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Stress Freedom Friday: Smell the Flowers

flowers-It’s officially summer and there are so many things to do. Fun things for sure but sometimes all the planning and doing of the season can cause you to become just a little overwhelmed. Think about it.

Where do we go on vacation?

Whose going to watch the dog? Or can we bring him with us?

Need to make sure our mode of travel is wheelchair friendly.

Have to remember to make a checklist so we don’t forget anything.

Oh and let’s not forget to renew the prescriptions for all medications. (I’m sooo familiar with this one)

Yes, you should enjoy summer. Have fun with your family. I plan to. But if you start to feel a little stressed how about you take a little time to smell flowers? No really. Do it.

Studies show that smelling the fragrance from flowers causes a reduction in stress levels. Somethings goes on in the brain when the sense of smell is activated with the sooth scents of certain fragrances.

This is really the basis of aromatherapy. For years people have been using “smell therapy” to reduce stress. Before there were aroma diffusers, people would just smell the fragrances directly from nature. If it was good enough for them…

Here are some recommended calming scents (some flowers, some fruit):

  • Lavender
  • Mango
  • Lemon
  • Rose
  • Vanilla

Sometimes it’s not possible to grab your aromatherapy diffuser and essential oils. If you’re outdoors you can walk by a park or stop at a flower shop and just take time to smell the calming scents from the flowers.

Take it a step further and buy/pick yourself a bunch. Nothing tackles stress like a little self indulgence :-)

This post is a part of the Balancing Life series of posts

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Stress Freedom Friday: Minimalism

minimalism to prevent stressYou’ve heard the statement, “Less is more.” Usually it refers to doing less with your physical appearance. You know. Like, less makeup. Less bling.

You can also do less with your time. Committing to do so much can make you feel stress that’s unimaginable. It’s easy to put yourself in a position where you are feeling pulled in more than one direction. That’s why it’s important to get a handle on how much you are doing. At least, if you want some freedom from stress.

BECOMING A MINIMALIST

Some people view a minimalist as someone who has very little personal possessions. You know. 10 outfits in total. 3 sets of dishes. 2 pots and a coffee table. OK maybe that’s “over-minimalizing” the definition of being a minimalist but I think you can see where I’m going with this.

While becoming a minimalist in the traditional sense of the word is about owning less, it can also refer to being a person who just does less. People who do less have less to complain about and more importantly, less to stress about.

Some things just have to be done though. Right? Things like feeding your family, going to work, taking your child to the doctor. But, then there are things like attending every function you are invited to and signing your child up to every free event in town.

While it’s true that you want your child to have every opportunity available (especially if they can’t do things that children without special needs can do), it can cause more stress than it’s worth. So be selective with the things you become a part of.

Just do less.

This post is a part of the Balancing Life series of posts

Less doing = Less stress.

Anything that helps promote stress freedom I’m game for. How about you?

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Stress Freedom Friday: Let It Go

letting go

Many times our stress is caused by our inability to let go of the things in our lives that are not benefiting us.

We hold on to things and even toxic people who do little more than steal energy from us. Why do you suppose this is? I think it’s in part to our inherent nature as moms to always try to keep hope alive.

Having the ability to hang on to hope is blessing but can be a curse. Hoping when hope is unrealistic (ex: holding on to relationships with people who are no good for us) causes stress.

So, today examine your life. Who and/or what in your life is causing you undue stress? Maybe you need to let go of a relationship. Sometimes you have to let go of something not human. Whatever it is, be courageous enough to let it go – for your good and the good of your family.

Letting go of toxic people and negative things in your life will relieve a lot of your stress. I don’t know about you but I’m willing and always ready. How about you?

This post is a part of the Balancing Life series of posts.

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Stress Freedom Friday: How Complaining Causes Stress

Stress is a part of life. It hits you before you know it. Sometimes you don’t even realize you are stressed until you start experiencing some physical signs of stress like headaches or neck aches.

Many people also complain without realizing it. How many times have you been stuck in traffic or on a long line at the grocery store and find yourself mumbling and grumbling under your breathe? Guilty here.

The problem with complaining is, it’s not helpful. It does nothing to improve the situation or state you find yourself in.

Stop complaining. Of course, it’s easier said than done. Complaining is like breathing to most people. Uncomfortable circumstances will automatically trigger one to start speaking right in line with what’s going on.

Here’s a startling fact…….

Giving negative voice (complaining) to your negative circumstances causes you to feel more stress. Your words are therefore agreeing with what you are experiencing.

The Bible says life and death are in the power of the tongue. Basically, you can have what you say. So, the next time you catch yourself complaining, think about the fact that you are making matters worst.

Again, easier said than done but with practice it can be done. Besides, life is a journey – not a sprint. You may as well work on the things that need improving while you can right?

This post is a part of the Balancing Life series of posts

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