Massage is a powerful tool in to combat stress. I’d love to claim that a massage a month will keep all your stressors at bay, but that wouldn’t be completely truthful!
The reality is that each person needs an arsenal of tools to negate the dangerous impact chronic stress puts on the mind and body. The only one who can prevent and manage stress is YOU (not your massage therapist! :))
Let’s face it – living a balanced and healthy life is an “inside job” if you know what I mean. You and I are accountable for making ourselves and our health a priority. This applies to all aspects of life, such as: saying “no” to adding on a new task, making the time to get in 30 minutes of exercise, or choosing what’s for dinner.
Because of my proclamation as a self-care junkie I want to pass on some helpful strategies. Implementing small, but signficant changes can aid in stress management.
Don’t pressure yourself to do everything at once. Baby steps will help you accomplish a reduction in stress. Take it from me – it’s a daily practice to strive for, but one I heartily recommend.
Take a look at these tips from the American Heart Association to combat stress:
- Talk with family and friends.
A daily dose of friendship is great medicine.
- Engage in daily physical activity.
Regular physical activity relieves mental and physical tension. Physically active adults have lower risk of depression, besides getting fit. Try walking, swimming, biking or dancing everyday.
- Accept the things you cannot change with grace.
Make changes that inspire you. You can still learn new things, work toward a goal, love and help others.
- Remember to laugh!
Laughter makes you feel good. Don’t hesitate to laugh out loud at a joke, a funny movie or a comic strip, even when you’re alone.
- Give up the bad habits.
Too much alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine, or sugar can increase stress. If you smoke, decide to quit now.
- Slow down.
Try to “pace” instead of “race.” Plan ahead and allow enough time to get the most important things done. Rest when you need to.
- Get enough sleep.
Most adults need six to eight hours of sleep each night to restore our bodies. Physical activity also may improve the quality of sleep, but not late in the evening.
- Get organized.
Use “to do” lists to help you focus and prioritize your most important tasks. Organizing just one part of your life — your car, desk, kitchen, closet, or drawer can feel like a sense of accomplishment and provide clarity.
- Practice giving back or paying it forward
Volunteer your time or return a favor to a friend. Helping others helps you feel valuable.
- Try not to worry.
The world won’t end if your grass isn’t mowed or your kitchen isn’t cleaned. You may need to do these things, but today might not be the right time.