Welcome to #4 of a series of six tips for decom-stressing your Christmas season. This one you definitely should take personally, girlfriend!
Stress-Buster #4: Take time for YOU
Prevent BOOP (Boiling Oatmeal Overflow Phenomenon). I postulate that women are like little pots of oatmeal. At the beginning of the day, we simmer … little manageable bubbles of stress rise to the surface and harmlessly dissipate. But as the day progresses, the heat escalates, and the oatmeal boils high and wilder and meaner until it overflows and spoils everything around it with an ugly, nasty mess. The trick is knowing when to remove the pot from the burner. The following suggestions should help you avoid an eruption.
Deep breathing. When you feel tension building, inhale to the slow count of three; exhale at the same pace. Close you eyes and repeat 3 times. Seriously, nothing floods those weary body tissues with rejuvenating oxygen like a few deep cleansing breaths.
Take a grown-up time out. Remove yourself from the source of stress, even if it means finding solitude in the bathroom or a closet for five minutes. Ten is even better. Step outside if you can swing it. Clear your head. Take a few deep breaths. Sip hot tea. Pray. Hum “Joy to the World.” Whatever unzips your too-tight attitude.
Schedule quiet time. Remember, ain’t nobody happy when you miss your nappy. Schedule a 30-minute (minimum) nap/rest time in the afternoon to revive and refresh. Don’t usurp your regrouping time with something “more important.” YOU are most important. And don’t ever forget it.
Decom-stress with a 6-Pack. Nope, not talking Bud Light here. Take a few minutes to perform the 6-pack of tension-melting stretches found on page 157 of my book, Too Blessed to be Stressed. I honed this 6-pack (that can be performed anywhere, any time) during my 36 years in physical therapy clinics; my patients loved them for providing immediate stress relief. You can also find these simple but effective stretches in an 8-minute video on my website, DeboraCoty.com; click on the Stress-Busters drop box, then Stress Buster #10, “Protecting Our Earth Suits.” (Come back and enjoy all the brief videos when you have a free moment.)
Make your car a rolling cathedral. Play uplifting praise or Christmas music during the many hours you’re in your car to knock road stress down a notch. Take along a small pad to jot down prayer requests; when you’re cut off by a crazy driver or stuck in a traffic jam, pull out your prayer pad and spend productive time praying for the people on your list. And be sure to notate Papa God’s answers; you’ll have documented proof that He’s there, He’s aware, and He cares. A wonderful way to morph road rage into prayer and praise.
So, BBFF, that’s it for today. Hang tight for Tip #5 coming your way in a few days. Please – feel free to share these posts with your stress-out besties.
Oh, and be sure to register for the awesome prize package in my Too Blessed to be Stressed Cookbook Christmas Drawing – it’s overflowing with my personal favorite kitchen stress-reducing goodies, as well as a $25 Visa card to decom-stress your pocketbook too! Details at my website DeboraCoty.com; click on the Contest dropbox and then the Cookbook Christmas Drawing. Super simple to win, win, win!