Stress is everywhere. It's everywhere and it's happening all the time. Stress never takes a break. It's in the atmosphere. It's part of life and there is nothing any of us can do about it. So what? None of this means we need to feel every bit of it. None of this means we have to "deal" with it and however it decides to manifest itself in our lives. None of this means we have to even acknowledge stress. Just because something exists in the world, just because we have access to it, does not mean we have to invite it into our spirits. Each of us has the power to decide what and who we let that close to us, so let's make the right decisions, shall we?
Your Morning Routine:
How you decide to begin your day has a lot to do with how the rest of your day will go. Turning on the news or headed straight for social media is a mistake, off the bat. Don't do it. In fact, do not turn on any noisy electronics first thing in the morning. Wake up with the sun, hours before you have to head to work, and complete these centering rituals:
- Make a nutritious smoothie of vegetable and fruit juice.
- Get 30 - 45 minutes of exercise.
- Take a shower and get ready while listening to meditation music or positive affirmations.
Throughout Your Day:
You control everything that happens inside your home. Once you are out in the world, there is very little you can control, with the exception of you –– your accessibility and reaction to the world around you. We all have responsibilities. We have family and friends, spouses and children, we have jobs to do and we have ourselves to take care of. Put plainly, we all have a lot of shit going on and, on top of our stuff, there always seems to be someone dumping more shit onto our pile. But this doesn't mean you're supposed to take on everything everyone throws at you, nor does this mean you have to view your everyday responsibilities as boulders of stress strapped to your shoulders. Here are a few tools to help you avoid the stressors of the day:
- Stay off of social media or only look at things that make you feel good (i.e., kittens, puppies, babies, decor, makeup, etc.)
- Turn off all social media alerts; they make you feel like everything is important and it's not
- Keep your personal phone's ringer off or on Do Not Disturb, putting special people on your Favorites list (i.e., kids, parents, husband, etc.)
- Avoid bad news and gossip (i.e., politics, killings, celebrity feuds and breakups, etc.)
- Avoid people with bad energy (i.e., always mad, sad, complaining, never changing, evolving, or seeking understanding)
- Practice 5-minute meditations when stressful events rise (find these on iTunes, Soundcloud, and YouTube)
- Take time to process things said or done that do not sit well with you before responding (count to 100, take an hour, a day or two, even a month)
Your Nightly Routine:
Home is the most important place in your life. It is where you end and begin your days and it has everything to do with how you handle being out in the world. The world outside is chaotic and if your home is chaotic, you will never have a break from the craziness. So, it is in your best interest to be diligent in making your home a sanctuary for you and your family. Be sure to spend quality time with your spouse and your children. A great way to do that is in the kitchen as you prepare dinner and at the table as you eat. And when all the work is done and you have taken car of everyone else, here is how you take care of yourself:
- Give yourself a cut-off time when everything in your day stops except for your self care.
- Give yourself a couple hours of self care time before bed.
- Light candles or burn incense, and dim the lighting.
- Breathe deeply and pay attention to the feeling of filling your lungs as you go about your tasks.
- Enjoy another meditative shower but, this time, in a dark bathroom with meditation music or positive affirmations playing
- Make a hot, herbal, non-caffeinated beverage (i.e., sleep inducing tea, maca root latte, hot almond milk, etc.)
- Grab a slice of cake, a cookie, or your favorite fruit or veggie treat as your reward for making it through the day.
- Settle in with a good book or your favorite feel-good show.
- Spend time connecting with your spouse if you have one.
- Ease into sleep, ready for and looking forward to the next day.
You have absolute power over what you let into your spirit, and most of the chaos swirling around you can be avoided. For those things that cannot be avoided, you must remember that you are not responsible for the things people say or do around you. What you are responsible for, however, is your reaction to it. Furthermore, the best reaction is no reaction but, rather, a response. There is, in most instances, a noticeable difference between an immediate reaction and a well-thought out response.
Remember, silence is also a response. Avoidance is a response and complete removal is a response, as well. You don't have to "deal" with everything that comes your way, most of which really has nothing to do with you. In order for you to be stressed, you have to first accept and internalize that stress, making it yours.
Do yourself a favor and...don't.
New York Times bestselling author and founder of The Gorgeous Girl's Guide, Steffans Publishing Enterprises, and Karrine & Co.