Pressure, strain, anxiety, tension, trauma, hassle, worry: Synonyms for stress. These words alone can trigger horrible, uncomfortable , unwanted feelings. Stress can manifest itself into emotional/mental health issues such as anxiety or panic attacks and depression. Stroke, heart attack, weight gain or loss, and a plethora of other illnesses are all physical manifestations of stress.
For 43 years I worked in the legal field as a litigation/trial paralegal. The legal field has an even higher rate of drug or alcohol abuse than the medical field. One in three lawyers is dealing with substance abuse. Life in a law firm like dropping 1000 marbles on the floor and trying to keep them all within a small circle. There is always a crisis.
You have calendars and dockets, judges and magistrates, secretaries and law clerks, and the person in the middle, who collects and distributes the data, manages the egos of the attorneys and the office staff, is the paralegal.
As a result of all the chaos, I had suffered two strokes. These events forced me to reassess and reorganize my life. It made me look at what was important in my life. Before the strokes, I always took on more than I could handle comfortably, and always was running at full speed. I never stopped. I would wake up at 3:00 a.m. worrying about what was next on my ever-growing list.
Between massive amounts of physical, occupational, and speech therapy and all the medical information I could find, I began to build my new life – a life with no (or definitely less) stress!
In order to know what you are doing and how you are going to do it, you need to organize. Organize everything. Keep a calendar that shows you exactly what you need to get completed and what time you have to relax. Put everything on your calendar. It is so much less stressful to know what I have to do and what free time I have every day.
2. Don’t take on more than you can handle
Don’t be a people pleaser. Don’t take on more than you can handle, and definitely learn to say “no.” You can’t do everything.
3. Make time to relax
Whatever else you do or don’t do today, make time for yourself to relax and reboot. It doesn’t have to be a huge amount of time, just enough to block out the demands of the world for just a little while. Try to meditate. It is very calming, relaxing, and it truly helps.
If you can’t or won’t go to a gym, it only takes a few minutes to walk 1,000 feet. Do anything, do something, for a few minutes a day that will get your heart pumping and get you out of your seat. YouTube has videos of exercises and yoga that you can do while sitting in a chair. It could not be any easier. Exercise is a great stress reducer and reaps both physical and mental benefits!
5. Change your diet
I was raised and I raised my children on a southern comfort food. Chicken and dumplings, gravy and biscuits, you name it, we had it all with a big glass of sweet tea and a piece of cake! Kate & Zest has many, many wonderful recipes that I’ve tried, and really like and enjoy them. I have incorporated many of these recipes into my daily meals. Best of all? I don’t feel like I’m missing any of my old comfort foods!
Try to gain control of your environment and your life now, before your life and circumstances control you.
I wish y’all a stress-free life filled with peace, love, and tranquility.
By Patti Moyer