While in the last few weeks, as a new school year started, schedules organized and re-integrated into people’s daily life, I’ve seen stress levels going up.
There are many forms of stress, some begin with everyday little things that come packaged with stress on their own. We can change this by paying attention to the details better. When we don’t, stress builds and moves us into the next phase where we are not stressed BUT we are now stressed and worried OR stressed and wired. Our body, in a natural response to this upper level of stress, now starts to making cortisol to help us deal with our stressors. The extra hour we stay up working, choring, tuning-out on screens, scrambling on things of lesser matter (to get one more thing into our day) toll more than we realize.
Hopefully with the onset of worry and wired, we clue-in, stop and take time to come up with a better solution to the orchestration of our lives. Part of that could mean asking for help to sort it all through. It can look like this:
- Could you help me with this?
- What would a carpool plan look like?
- Can we make a food plan for our family meals?
- Let’s all agree on one spot in the house where things go for the next day?
Sorting out details where someone can own and share part of the problem will make room for what you need. It’s quite simple: breathe and rest: breathe and ask for help: breathe and choose not to do it. All good choices. We often miss the cues until it’s too late though. For some of us, it takes extremes to see where we need to do things differently.
If we don’t take care of the stress at the upper level, our adrenals may burn out from the cortisol levels. Remember the adrenals are a gland replenished with rest, great food and fun. As regulators of many things in your body, adrenals help us balance things out. Once you move past wired or worried and find yourself swimming in a burnout stage, you’re physically worn out and sometimes depleted. This stage will require even more time, nutritional support and lots more rest to recover the adrenal depletion.
So how do we recover? Throughout these stages your instinctual flight or fight breath response is triggered. You’ll be walking around unconsciously holding your breath so at this stage we need to be conscious of breathing correctly. Your brain will always breathe in, but if you practice breathing with long out breaths a few times each day you will retrain your own brain to not hold your breath. It is like someone behind you saying BOO! Most of us will hold our breath but it’s important to fully exhale. It makes room for the next breath!
To enhance the correct and full response, rest can help even if it’s sitting reading a book, having a tea, or playing quietly with the kids. Our pets seem to have that same relaxing effect too. Many are persistent with wanting more than just a pat on the head. Indulge them with the touch and the time; it will serve you well too! Please note that interestingly enough, screen time or tv time does not rest the body; instead, it merely numbs your responses.
I encourage you to take time to tune-in to yourself. Take time to focus on what is important to you; consider what you’ll need help with. Ask yourself “if I say yes to this, will I still have time for myself (to listen, rest and breathe) in between?” Sometimes our eagerness to please others is to our own detriment. Remember this is your life. If you don’t speak up for you who will? You’re the one taking the next breath.
Rest in peace is what we say about the dead. It would serve us better to remind ourselves while we are alive.
Much love and blessings,