So many people say that to take care of stress you need to learn to relax, do activities just for yourself. I am saying that is not even half of the puzzle. You see you can do all the meditating, all the Yoga, all the aroma bubble baths, but if you do not know how to face your stress and actually minimize it, then those above suggestions are like putting a bandaid on a gapping wound.
The most important tool that each and every one of us has is our calendar. Whether it be on our phone, computers or whether we are old school and use a day timer, this can be our life saver when we use it correctly. This is a strategy that I teach ALL of my clients when I first start working with them for stress and overwhelm. How many of you have to do lists? How many of you have lists about your lists? What if I told you that was all wrong? You see society has told you that we need to do lists in order to stay on track. I am telling you that this is adding to your stress. How often do we not complete our to do lists because we get side tracked, kids interrupt us, new priorities show up in the day, or we just get too tired to complete them all because we were over zealous and put too much on that list. Then we feel bad, we feel incompetent. We feel like we are a failure and we go to bed feeling like we just wasted another day and wonder why we can’t seem to get it all done. The trick is to use our calendar and block book our time. First you are going to create a huge list. I call it the throw up list where you put everything you need to accomplish from the week onto that list. Everything from daily devotions, house cleaning, groceries, work, extra curriculuars, family fun time and don’t forget your individual time and individual relationships. Then you are going to open your calendar and start with all your non negotiables. Work, school. Whatever you absolutely have to do and you are going to put as many of these tasks at the beginning of your week/throughout your week. Then your going to take your variable non negotiable such as grocery shopping, cleaning, maybe devotions and your are going to pick a time and a day that you are ALWAYS going to do that. When your scheduling you are going to always include your drive time, the length of time it takes you to complete it. So for example, I know that it takes me 10 minutes to drive to the grocery store, about 40 minutes to shop 10 minutes to drive back home and about 20 minutes to put it away. That is ALL the time that I am going to block that off and devout to that task. Once this is done then we can look into our optionals. When are we scheduling in time with our spouse, our kids individually, our family fun time, time with friends, etc. All of this needs to be put into our calendar. At first it may seem like you have no down time, that everything is go, go, go. But as you get into the routine of honouring your calendar you will find that you actually have more time to sit back and relax and that you are more productive in your day. You haven’t over scheduled, you have stayed on time and you are no longer feeling guilty, or inadequate. You are feeling capable, powerful successful and balanced. When we use block booking correctly, when life goes sideways or when something unexpected comes up, we can quickly and easily see where we are in our day, our week and decide what we can drop in order to accomimdate and what we can not. For example. The soccer coach calls you and asks if you can pick up the soccer balls for the game tomorrow. Do you have time for this? Will it be stress free for you, or will it mean that supper is now pushed back. Homework is rushed, bath time and bed time is hurried and frazzled…. Is this worth the trade off? You see when you say yes to something you are saying no to something. When you say no to something, you are saying yes to something else. Imagine being able to quickly and easily be able to make decisions without feeling torn, or decision fatigue at the end of the day.
Society says to be busy, don’t miss a thing. Keep your snap streak, be on Facebook to get your news, your likes and hearts determine your importance If you subscribe to this or that, it will make your life easier. Or how about this one, the more gagets, things, appliances you have the more fulfilled your life will be…. What I am saying is that, that is all noise. Its clutter and it needs to go! You see the brain really dislikes to work. In fact that is where many habits come from and why its so hard to break, because they have become the norm and its like the brain just gets to press the easy button and go on auto pilot….. But in fact with having all of that noise whether it is electronic or physically in your home, the brain registers it. You may not recognize it consciously, but your brain does. So Who among you listening, watching have copious amounts of emails, subscriptions and you just go in occasionally and click, delete, delete, delete, delete without “really thinking about it?” Who has a junk drawer at home, or minimal counter space in your bedroom, bathroom or kitchen? How many of us just either walk right past it and refuse to acknowledge that, or how many of us have tried and then just decide its just too overwhelming and quit? This is actually what causes a lot of stress, a lot of decision fatigue because your brain is registering it and trying to organize the chaos, the disorganization. The brain is like a computer, it likes to have order and a place for everything. When our work lives and our homes do not have this, our brain can not prioritize. Just like the memory on your computer gets full and will ask you either to buy more memory or to start deleting items, so does your brain, and without actively acknowledging this and actively taking steps in the right order to help achieve that your brain will not process stress that is coming at you at a daily basis and it will feel like you never get ahead, that your always behind and the slightest change, or mishap can send you into a spiral of how nothing is good enough, that your the only one that can accomplish anything, that your not good enough that your a failure…. And whatever other story you might tell yourself when things are not going correctly. By getting rid of the clutter. Whether it be electronically, or physically your mind will become your greatest asset and your Aly in helping you solve problems quickly, by helping you to reprioritize when life throws a curve ball and you will feel freer, more confident, more at peace and more flexible in your life. You will feel fluid like you could bend and move anywhere at any time. I teach this in all of my programs and my clients become masters of this.
Sleep. We all know that sleep is important but how many of us actually know how to sleep well. As children we are told when to go to bed and when to rise. We can’t wait to get older so that we can be our own boss and not listen to anyone regarding bed times…. As adults whether its shift work, new baby, sick kids, or being young and staying out till all hours of the night for some reason we are like little kids protesting bed times. We stay up late watching Netflix or scrolling. Some of us stay up and play our games because we think that is relaxing to us…. To some degree they are, buuuuut its actually not when it comes to communicating to our body that it is time to sleep. You see, just like I said earlier that organization is crucial when it comes to decreasing feelings of stress and overwhelm so is a sleep and awake schedule. How many of you have a tv in the bedroom? I used to. I always protested it and then one day when I was recovering from a hernia surgery my husband snuck one in the bedroom so that I could stay in bed and still be with him [I was whining that I didn’t want him to leave me cause I would be lonely. lol]. However by having a tv in the bedroom it really did stop the natural sleep cycle. Before, I would have my hot bath, read in the tub and then get ready for bed, tuck myself in and go to sleep. With the tv I would have my hot bath, read my book and then climb into bed and the tv would be on…. Sleep was delayed. One more episode, oh that movie looks good etc. Simply by removing the tv you can actually create a sleep cycle that starts signalling your body that it needs to start shutting down. Its important to do this at the same time every night. Its equally important to have a wake schedule. When we have a regular morning routine and wake up at the same time every day, this is how our body starts waking us before our alarm goes off because “it knows” that’s what we it to do. You’ve heard of power mornings, by setting yourself up for success, its equally important to have power nights so that you can put the day behind you and start fresh the next morning. When I work with clients this is something that is vital, and we consider everything that their life is like to create a routine that works for them and their family. Remember, the brain likes to push the easy button, so that’s what I help clients do. We learn what their easy button is and. Then we implement it correctly.
With every day that goes by, with not knowing how your bio identity thrives you are putting your mind and body in jeapardy. The reason why is because when life implodes or explodes, you will not know how to best serve your mind or your body on how to rise up and get your life back on track. We focus on preparing to discover what foods cause inflammation in our body. Inflammation causes additional pain, stress, brain fog, fatigue, bloating, irritability, anger and so much more. This is why it is important to set ourselves up for success by looking at our calendar, figuring out how we can support ourselves, where we need support and what we can reprioritize so that we can be successful. Then For one week only we consume only certain anti-inflammatory foods that will enable our body to relax, to heal and clear out the fog. I say it ALL the time. When the body is on fire inside, how do you think it will help you with the fires on the outside….. It won’t…. It can’t. When we decrease our inflammation we allow our body to reset, to heal and we re-establish a mind body communication. We create awareness of what is going in our body and what we need. I had a client who watched everything she ate. She would wake at 5 am, do her morning work out and then make herself a omelette and smoothie for breakfast. Her largest complaint was that she was so tired all the time even though she had a routine sleep and awake schedule, when she had a routine and predictable days in her calendar she just couldn’t pul herself out of the brain fog and lethargic feelings she had. She felt like she was dragging all day every day. When we implemented the transform pain program and we started to figure out how her body liked to be nourished her energy levels went up. Her brain fog started to clear, and the stress that she was feeling started to feel smaller. Then we started to experiment, but she didn’t follow the rules and mixed a few foods that should not have been mixed at this time. She messaged me that morning and said that she didn’t know what it was but she felt so tired and so foggy. I laughed and said “well that’s what you get for breaking my rules. lol, have a day where you eat right on track and then try again the following day.” Two days later she messaged me and said “Jodi…. It was the freakin peppers!” You see even though she was eating “healthy foods” that are deemed healthy, even some as super foods, if your bio identity does not agree with them, then they could be the reason why you are feeling more stressed, lethargic, brain fog and have decision fatigue and even prevent you from loosing those last 5-10lbs. Learning to nourish your body to match your bio identity is crucial to lowering your stress and overwhelm and increasing your confidence.
I want to tell you a story before I end. Before my accident, I was happy, I was successful in my massage career, I had a 6 month waiting list of clients that were booking ahead so that they could get the best appointment for themselves. I was a Reiki master as well. I had learned how to block book myself. I had learned how to forgive and move forward in my life. I had learned how to help the body heal…. I even had experience with insurance companies because in 2005 my home completely flooded and needed to be rebuilt and then 4.5 months later, we had just moved back and had unpacked the last box…. It all burnt down……. Had I not started with the self development back then, I would have had no idea where to start in my recovery, emotionally and mentally or even physically. Its amazing and sometimes really crappy how life prepares you for what is coming in the future. I was prepared. I was that person who I am now before the accident. Now I want to help all of those that have not realized their strength inside. The reason why is because I don’t want anyone to experience a life changing diagnosis, or accident or even life event and not know how to pick up the pieces…. Would you know where to start? Would you know in what order of tasks you needed to focus on when life throws you for a loop? Thats my job. To teach you, to help guide you so that when life goes and turns upside down…. You know what to do. So that you don’t freeze, so you go into fight mode. So you go into action. So you can reclaim your life. So you can control life and not have life control you, Because life does happen to you. You can’t stop that from happening, but what you can do is take hold of life and transform it.
To learn more visit www.elementsofwellness.org