Remember how the teachers told you to stop, drop, and roll during a fire drill practice in grade school? Well, what if I told you that drill could be applied to relieving stress? I know this sounds silly, but stress is an emergency. When you’re stressed, your nervous system sends an alarm signal to your brain. If that alarm is sent too frequently, your mind and body will begin to suffer from the constant high stress levels. Right now, it’s necessary to STOP everything thing you’re doing, learn to DROP the weight on your shoulders, and ROLL into some helpful advice on stress relief.
The first step is to STOP and take a minute to breathe. Whenever you feel like the day is running you, running to the outdoors is a great alternative. Find a bench, and just sit still enjoying the fresh air. In our work-obsessed culture where we power through our lunch breaks, it’s important to make time to STOP. You are not a computer, but both you and your computer need to reboot so you can run properly. Do not run yourself into the ground.
The second step is to DROP what you’re doing. Do not be a “yes woman!” Putting too much pressure on yourself can be overwhelming. You need to be able to recognize when your task list is becoming a hefty load. Drop the overwhelmed feeling, and pick up that book that’s been on your nightstand since last fall. Listen to soothing, uplifting music. Light some candles and take a bubble bath. Learn what actions or activities help your body and mind unwind, and give yourself permission to engage in them when you need to.
The third step is to ROLL into healthy habits. High stress levels can make you reach for junk food and alcohol to make yourself feel better. Ditch the wine! You are not Olivia Pope (although at this point some of us would like to be), but you can confidently “handle” your life like Olivia. You can learn how to take control of your stress in healthy ways, and not let it take over you. Eat snacks that actually relieves stress, like dark chocolate, and make sure you’re eating balanced meals (a bowl of popcorn doesn’t count!) and getting enough sleep. Remember that gym membership you signed up for? Put it to use before it expires! Healthy steps to relieving stress can create a stronger body that knows how to combat stress levels.
There are many methods and ways to deal with stress. Please do not let it get the best of you. Stop, drop, and roll into a stress free life today!
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