• Kaitlyn Guay

Lets Talk....Stress

Updated: Aug 15, 2020

There’s honestly no easy way to talk about it, so let's just jump in the deep end and talk about stress! Most of us experience stress on a day to day basis, and it's usually, if not always, hard to deal with. No matter what walk of life you are from and what path you are taking now, I think we all are struggling with some level of stress. Stressing out about something, whether it's as simple as staying on top of laundry to more complex problems like a power outage and your food going bad, can really dampen our mood. It can make a great day turn quickly to a "why me" day. I personally used to struggle with stress management a lot, but over the years I have found ways to help reduce those stress levels. I am so thrilled to share a few ways that have worked for me, and who knows, maybe these tips can help you too!

If you look up the word “stress", the definition reads "Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical attention. It can come from any event or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous. Stress is your body's reaction to a challenge or demand. In short bursts, stress can be positive, such as when it helps you avoid danger or meet a deadline." That is exactly what Google shows for the definition of stress. What if I told you that you can actually see that annoying feeling of stress in a positive way? This one is NOT EASY! I've recently been able to turn my stressful feelings into positive encouragement. I've corrected the words in my brain and literally told myself “I am excited.” Why do I do this?  Because usually when you feel stressed, you feel nervous, and if you think about it, nervousness and excitement are two feelings that really don’t differ that much.  It’s how your mind perceives each word that causes you to see one as negative and one as positive.  That’s how just by doing this simple act, I was able to lower my stress levels significantly, because my brain started literally telling my body to be “excited” for scary and new things versus nervous and stressed. Mindset is so important and it's a BIG one to learn. Everything you say to yourself can go a long way, and if I’m being honest, this has been the most effective way for me to handle my stress.

You are probably saying, "okay, great mindset, now I'm stressed about telling myself the wrong thing and now my stress has turned to anxiety". Well, I hate to burst your bubble but this is about stress and not anxiety, with that being said not everyone can put something as big as making a mindset change feel so effective overnight, so let's talk about other stress relieving activities.

For one, yoga. Yep, I said it, yoga! I have started to practice yoga first thing in the morning. Now, what has yoga done for me? Starting yoga and following through with it every morning has allowed me to start my day with a clear mind, and focus more on the day ahead versus the days past. Trust me, if you are looking for a relaxing way to start your morning, this is the best thing I’ve found to do so far! I’d suggest at least trying it out for a few days because I truly believe even just after that short amount of time, you will see a difference. If you’re not sure where to start, don't worry! I have found and used a lovely app called “YOGA” and all of the routines are free.

My second tip, and on a smaller note, I also started making my bed every morning. More of a chore?? Believe me, it's annoying! However, this personally gives me a sense of accomplishment, which also is a healthy stress relieving activity that gives back that feeling to a nice clean bed at night. If you haven’t tried this, I would truly suggest it, as little accomplishments can help lessen overall stress levels throughout the day.

Third tip: make a daily plan. Writing out what I would like to accomplish helps me have a purpose in my day, because not only can a busy day be stressful, but not knowing what you are going to do at all can be just as taunting. Even on lazy days, I write out simple schedules! I make sure to always check off what I have done, either after I do it, or at the end of the day. In addition to that, if I do something extra that I’m proud of, I write it out on the schedule and check it off! I think that not only does writing a schedule help me feel like I have a purpose, but checking off what I've accomplished helps me feel good about my day.  I think this strategy could really benefit others.

Fourth and final tip I want to share with you is exercise. I’ve made a point to get in some type of movement or form of working out. Whether it's a quick 20-minute walk around the block, or rock climbing for 4 hours (my main passion), working out always helps me take a break from reality and it allows me to just

focus on me and what I’m doing. The best pat about this is… guess what, so many free apps and YouTube channels are just waiting for you to stumble across and enjoy. Working out is another thing you can do that has endless resources to help you achieve any goal.

Thanks for sticking with me through all that! My hope is that at least one of these tips stands out to each and every one of you, and that you are open to trying them! Obviously not all of these are options for everyone, but don't be afraid to start finding a way that works for you or even to start asking for more tips. We all deserve to take the time to make sure we as individual people are doing okay. I’ll admit, it’s easy to forget to take care of yourself, and it’s easy to let stress creep in more and more, and eventually not know how to push it away! But please trust me when I say that doing more small things to help your mentality will be more effective than big leaps. Start small, and gradually increase what you do, and as you begin this journey, I promise you will see drastic improvements to your mental health and your stress levels.

As always feel free to reach out to me on social media or our email and let me know if any of these strategies for dealing with stress work for you, and which ones work the best! I would love to hear your stories and journeys!

I hope you all have a great day!

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