How I Manage Stress & Keep It Together

Stress!!!  A word that is used way too often by way too many people! “These bills are stressing me out”; “My job is stressing me out”; “My significant other, kids, dog…”etc., etc.   I am guilty of this as well and sometimes, even turn to social media to vent.  For example, PPA keeps giving me parking tickets for parking in front of MY HOUSE! I know, right!?  I end up deleting them after I gain my sanity, my crazy-for-a-second posts probably cause more distress to those who can relate.  (If that is you, please accept my sincerest apologies! I, in no way, want to add to your list of stressors!)

Raising three teenagers alone causes enough stress, but factor in financial issues like bills, paying off debt, car repairs, travel expenses, food shopping ….. Go ahead, I am sure you can continue adding to that list as if I am talking about your life!  

Stress is inevitable, especially in today’s world.  Unfortunately, stress is way more harmful than we give it credit for, especially if left untreated or unmanaged.  Stress causes wear and tear on our physical bodies. In fact, let me get a little science-y for a sec, 110 million people die every year as a direct result of stress.  That is 7 people every 2 seconds!!!  (CDC, 2014) Statistics are frightening, but numbers do not lie.  Feel that? Is your heart rate increasing as your thoughts wander?  That is your body’s “fight or flight” response to those frightening statistics.  

I do not want to bore you with a biological explanation of the General Stress Syndrome.  You have google for that! But I do want to share with you what I do to manage my stress.  Let’s call it “How I Keep My Sh** Together to continue living a happy, healthy, fit & fulfilling life”.  This is really a page from my journal!!

I am a huge “list” person.   I make lists for everything so here’s my……

Ways to Help Manage MY Stress (List):

  • Talk to a friend… and I always choose that friend that has good listening skills!  I want them to listen and let me vent about me for awhile.  
  • Journal: After letting out all my thoughts on paper or digitally, I usually end up figuring out a solution OR realization that I totally took that way out of proportion.  ( I have like 15 physical journals and one digital. I journal ALOT!)
  • Crafting: I like to create things and keep my hands busy so my mouth doesn’t get itself into any trouble.  Then, I like to gift my crafts 😉 There is such thing as Karma! I am a giver! Which make me feel even better…win/win!
  • Go out with friends:  making time for ME and for my nearest & dearest.  Recently, that’s been during softball season & with my Gym Family.  (We have an awesome community of supportive people!)
  • Cleaning: I know, I know.  This one sounds crazy, but cleaning is therapeutic to me!  Nothing like sleeping on clean set of sheets or the smell of Lysol in a sparkly kitchen.
  • Shut Down!!!!  Put the phone away!  Like right now, I am writing this in the woods listening to crickets, birds and whatever other creapy critters are out tonight.  Feels like time has stopped.  Ohmmmmmm……meditate and just breathe!

This is an incomplete list!  I saved the best for last…..

  • I found “My Happy Place”.  I hope you have one too (if not, I am willing to share mine).

Almost three years ago, I found CrossFit Renaissance.   A close friend of mine talked me into it. She and I have similar backgrounds, being a single parent and struggling to get by.  We were both surrounded by so much negativity and all we did was complain and complain. But she was morphing into this beacon of light (She’d crack up if she heard herself referred to as such), but she was/is.  I wanted whatever she was having! So, I showed up. I had what she had and I too had my own morphing experience! Mentally, physically, emotionally….. I am healthier, happier and stronger!

 

Now, I won’t lie to you and say I no longer experience stress.  I am no professional when it comes to stress management, but I can say that I now have a plan of action and stressful situations no longer traumatize me.  On the contrary, I let it all out on the mat in the box, my box….which can be your box too!

 

How do you manage stress?  Feel free to try out some of my options, remember, I am a giver!  So much so that I want to give you a stress free life….at least for one hour/day, three days/week.

 

Take Care,

Jennifer

Coach at CrossFit Renaissance