Dear Family & Friends,
“How do I stop stressing over everything?” Rosemary asked me. Rosemary is working from home and studying for classes, so she needs to be on the computer a lot. Plus, she is mom to a two-year-old boy who wants to play all the time… you know the type, boundless energy!
She would love to spend more time with him, but she is also planning to move in a few weeks and trying to pack up boxes on top of her heavy schedule. Feeling overwhelmed and stressing about all her worries, Rosemary was on the brink of crying, “I don’t know what to do to take care of him and get my work done, too.”
When you are stressing too much
— OR —
When you are feeling low
in every day life
We got out some pots and pans on the kitchen floor and let her son pretend to cook with some wooden spoons. First of all, I told her, just breathe. Take a moment to catch your breath. Your cells in your body need oxygen and when you stop to take a few deep breaths, it really does wonders for your body and your brain.
Any time you need to take a minute or two, with your coffee or tea for example, take a few minutes to relax. Inhale deeply and hold it, exhale slowly, and repeat. Even close your eyes. You have to realize that you have to take care of yourself FIRST so you are able and can take care of everyone else… and everything else!
Remember all that you are grateful for and why you are working so hard! My three babies are all grown now, but I still find myself torn between taking care of family and working. We packed up two boxes of pots and pans she didn’t need for awhile, leaving her son Braxton with just a few pans to play with, and Rosemary a few left to cook with, until her move. Okay, that was pretty easy.
There was a day…
When I was living in a mountain community with lots of clean, fresh air and 200-foot pine trees. I was burning the candle at both ends working two jobs and raising two pre-teen daughters plus my newborn son. Being a single parent, I was exhausted and found myself devoid of motivation… unable to operate on the weekends when I didn’t have to make an appearance at the office.
Nature’s instant energy
Luckily, I did a lot of online research and looked for natural ways to fight depression and postpartum. One reason I was so determined because I knew there had to be answers without costing a fortune. I didn’t want to use my health insurance and pay for prescriptions and co-pays. Another reason was I didn’t want to alter my state of being with medicines or substances that may or may not work. I felt all too often, getting the right medicine or the right dosage is a matter of trial and error. Being responsible for tiny humans, I couldn’t take chances.
Not to discount true depression or anxiety that may or may not need medical intervention, but for my situation, I wanted to fight through this with natural remedies first. I already knew fruits & vegetables were the way to better health, but then I found the magical, energetic properties of the orange.
Eating an orange can start your transformation to feeling a little bit better. Nature’s instant energy, eating an orange gets some vitamin C coursing through your veins and starts hydrating your body. Make sure you are hydrated, too, because you’re probably not. My oldest daughter didn’t believe me, but she had nothing to lose. We feasted on some oranges, bundle up the baby inside the stroller, and off we went.
Get up and get outside
We also may have been suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (also called SAD) because we are not getting enough sunshine in the winter months… especially with the tall pine trees blocking our sunshine! With my girls on board, we set off to walk around the block and find some sunshine. There are no sidewalks along the twisted, curvy, mountain roads, and by the time we are able to go down the hill and around the street to circle back to our house, we had walked just over one mile. Less than 45 minutes. And we did find some sunshine on the other side of the “block.”
Between the oranges, fresh air, exercise & sunshine, we were all skipping and laughing and feeling good by the time we arrived at our driveway. Connecting with nature doesn’t have to be far away. You may find it in your own front yard or at the park down the street. It may not be the miracle cure for you, but on this day it worked wonders for all of us.
Regular exercise and nutritious food is the best way to stop stressing over everything. Even now, the best thing I do for myself is to walk 4 or 5 times a week.
As I walk, I focus on what I want my life to look like in the future – the happy children and grandchildren, the loving relationships, the career that provides me freedom to work when I want, and earn the income I need to take care of my family. I can feel the difference in the afternoons if I have had a morning walk… I am just happier!
A breath of fresh air
Today I am lucky enough to live by the ocean and take time to meditate and clear my thoughts when I walk on the beach. I have a couple routes that all take about an hour. I watch the waves rolling in and rolling out… Like life, the opportunities are rolling in and rolling out… forever in motion.
Wherever you are, even it it is only 20 or 30 minutes away from home, then it is 20 or 30 minutes back towards home, anyone can do it. Give your brain a chance to think and see and feel the happy visions you are creating in your mind. It is life-changing to think big.
And if you are like Rosemary, with your toddler in the stroller, you get to treat yourself and your baby by taking a walk. Your child gets to have time with you and time to interact with the world outside. You get to have time to clear your mind and get a fresh perspective away from the house and the to-do lists in your head.
Use your time wisely… visualize and also experience the difference between spending another hour on the couch or another surfing session on the computer right now/today vs. spending an hour outdoors.
And SMILE! You got this!
P.S. I welcome your comments, please post below.