stress

100 Ways to Cope with Stress and A Story On Self-Care

     The more you practice self-care and the better you take care of yourself on a daily basis, the more natural it becomes.  I've had one of the worst weeks in a long time in my life.  My father-in-law had a very serious accident with a chainsaw that could've been the end of all for him.  By the grace of God, he is healing and rehabilitating very well for an 81 year old man.  Through all of this, I have learned that my support system is bigger than I could've ever imagined, and now a week out I see that I have taken care of myself during this journey better than I may have in the past.

"If you practice self-care daily when you aren't facing tremendous stress, you will turn to healthy habits when you do hit a stressful period."

In the past, I may have comforted myself with junk food and quit taking care of myself and only focused on the stressor.  And even though I still struggled to find time to sleep or eat, I did realize I wasn't stuffing my face with junk and I WAS praying frequently and taking lots of deep breaths.  This week, we are traveling for my son's ball team, and I am finding myself seeking quiet spots to de-stress from last week.  I've kept my Bible close.  I have made time to run (my most effective tool to cope with stress).  I am continuing to fill my body with healthy choices, and I've found time to read leisurely.  These are my favorite ways to provide my own self-care, and the view in the mountains helps tremendously!

I encourage my clients to practice daily self-care.  Practice makes perfect right?  Well......practice doesn't really make perfect, but it does make it more natural and creates habit.  If you practice self-care daily when you aren't facing tremendous stress, you will turn to healthy habits when you do hit a stressful period.

"The more you practice self-care and the better you take care of yourself on a daily basis, the more natural it becomes. "

Let's face it, life happens!  It happens to us all, even me.  Difficult struggles do not discriminate.  Be prepared.  Practice your daily self-care.

Click here to sign up for a FREE list of 100 Coping Skills and let me know in the comments which skills you find most helpful.

Dayna

I'm a Failure

So I've really had a come to Jesus moment right smack in the face Very Recently.  I don't usually share about myself, but I think the best way to help others sometimes is to show that even I struggle with life sometimes.

For some reason, when people hear I am a therapist, they get this notion that I have it all together and all figured out and that everything is easy for me and my family.  I don't know where people get that idea that therapists are perfect.  The only perfect being I know of was Jesus, and I surely am not Jesus.

I want you to know the ugly truth...

I fail at things.  Sometimes I fail HARD.  I fail at taking care of myself.  I fail at parenting.  I fail at marriage.  I fail at friendships.  I even fail at work.  And that's OK!  Because I'm allowed to fail.

#1- I am human. 

#2- I AM NOT JESUS.

#3- Failure leads to all the good stuff 

 

GROWTH---STRENGTH---COURAGE---PEACE---BLESSINGS---ACCEPTANCE

 

The last couple of years, I have had some weird health issues pop up.  And while some are not common, others are becoming more common in people my age.  Why?  Because we live in a world of constant activity and business.  It's all relevant to self-care.  I am an advocate to others in terms of self-care.  I would like to think my practice is around empowering women, teens, and children to care for themselves.  It's not just about listening for me.  It's about knowing when you leave my office, you have a way to be gentler on yourself and healthier.

 

 

 

 

However, I have been failing at taking care of my own self.  I got so wrapped up in things I wanted to do and began spiraling into a puddle of self-doubt as health issues arrived.  My body has been telling me to slow down, and it has been trying to signal to me that I'm forgetting the most important thing.  Me.  I quit running consistently, quit eating clean, gained weight, lost progress I had made and all the while ran myself down trying to do too many things and overthinking every step I took.  My parenting became lazy, my marriage became a little distant, and my house was missing attention.

 

But all it takes is a new day, a new sunrise and me saying I'm done with how things are going.  It's time to put myself first again.

Do you ever find yourself losing this battle?  I know you do, unless you are Jesus...  Life is a marathon, not a sprint.  There are hurdles and injuries and struggles to make it to your goal.  But it is so worth it.  If you find yourself in a losing battle right now, all I have to say is Learn from it, Forgive Yourself, and Move Forward because every day is a new day.

And remember:

 

 

#1- I am Human!

#2- I am not Jesus!

 

#3- Failure leads to all the good stuff! 

 

I am going to spend some time focusing on self-care and invite you to join me.  Let me know in the comments where you are in your marathon of life.  Are you struggling right now?  Maybe I can help coach you along.

Blessings,

Dayna

 

Mindfulness Activity: 5-4-3-2-1

What is mindfulness?

Sometimes we get overwhelmed with unpleasant feelings..  Mindfulness is a way to recenter our mind and body and quickly relax tension that we may be experiencing from these unpleasant feelings.  Mindfulness is a way to recognize and cope with overwhelming feelings  so you can focus on the present.    

 

Mindfulness is not….

Mindfulness is not a magic solution.  It will not remove your stress or cause you to feel completely and utterly relaxed for all time.  But if practiced often, it will help you manage your stress and unpleasant experiences so you are not overwhelmed by them.  

Try this activity

This mindfulness technique teaches you to hone in on your senses and forces you to really focus on each sense.  You may find yourself noticing things you’ve never paid attention to before.  Think about how often you drive home and don’t even realize your surroundings or that you passed a certain marker on your way until you are already home.  Mindfulness helps you soak in your surroundings and be present with them.  

For this exercise you will need to be in a comfortable position.  Spend several minutes 2-3 on each step, some may require more focus and more practice.  

 

5 Things You See:

Get comfortable and begin observing your surroundings.  Try to focus on 5 things in the room around you.  Make a mental note of what you can see.  You may notice a mark on the floor you’ve never seen or vibrant colors you haven’t realized were there.  

 

4 Things You Hear:  

Focus on what you can hear.  Really listen to the noises around you.  Try to block every other thought out of your mind and just really focus on sounds.  Can you hear the hum of the heat/air unit?  Is there a distant sound of cars passing?  Maybe you can hear a clock ticking in a room closeby.  

3 Things You Feel:

For this step, I want you to notice sensations against your body.  What can you feel?  Work from your toes up if you need to.  Can you feel the pressure of your feet on the floor?  Do you feel the seat against your body?  Can you feel air against your skin?  Maybe you notice unpleasant sensations like a tag scratching your neck.  Just sit and feel for a couple minutes.  

2 Things You Smell:

This sense will take a little more focus as you differentiate smells in the room or area you are in.  What can you smell?  If you can only smell 1 thing, don’t give up.  Keep your focus and really channel your nose to pick up smells.  

1 Thing You Taste:

For the last step, you will be focusing on your taste buds.  Just focus on what you taste at the moment.  It may be pleasant or unpleasant.  Maybe you are tasting the remnants of your previous meal or drink.  You may taste stale breath.  Focus and taste the sensation.

 

Once you have moved through each step, think about the senses you noticed and what got your attention the most.  You may have noticed things you have never realized were present.  Maybe you began to smell or taste something you hadn’t noticed 15 minutes ago.  When we really take time to focus on things, we can be enlightened.  Now pay attention to how you feel.  Are you more relaxed?  Is your mind clearer?  Once you have completed this exercise, you can either decide to engage in another activity or go right back to what you were doing before.  If you become stressed and agitated, take another break and try this exercise again.  

 

Mindfulness takes practice, so use this activity often to build good coping habits.  Mindfulness can be done anywhere but I recommend practicing it while you shower  and when you are lying in bed.  These are times our minds often wander onto stressful thoughts and we can become tense and frustrated very quickly.  

Let go of the stress, and enjoy the present.

Dayna

P.S.  To receive my free list of Top 5 Coping Skills Your Teen Can Use Now, Click Here.

 

 

3 SIMPLE STEPS FOR A STRESS FREE MORNING

Back to School Morning Routines

So here it is!!!  Resources to take the stress out of this Back To School season!  For some of us, the season has begun and for those few lucky ones, you are right on the brink of start days.  Here are 3 Simple Steps to get your mornings flowing without the stress!

1. Do as much as you can the night before!

  •  Look at folders and sign forms as soon as you get home!!!!
  • Kids need to empty Lunchboxes and refill water bottles for tomorrow.
  • Have a set time for homework!!!! I cannot stress this one enough. (Do this ASAP to avoid the fight…look for future info on trouble shooting homework) book-15584_1280
  • Pack that backpack up and hang it or sit it by your exit. Older kids can do this without help!
  • Showers before bed—we like to do this while mom is cooking supper.
  • Send kids to lay out clothes and shoes—hair bows—earrings—socks— (trust me on the socks!)
  • Check the lunch calendar for the next day-mine hangs on the refrigerator for easy access.

1. Did you send lunch money this week? If not, then do this now. 2. Have your kids pack their lunch boxes- all you have to do in the morning is add a cold drink and a sandwich if you don’t like soggy.

child-666137_6402. Get in Bed On Time! Sleep is important!! Children need 10-12 hours of sleep for healthy brain development and growth.

  • Take a few minutes to connect with your child.
  • Help!  My child won’t sleep! (post about this coming soon)
  • Go to bed!

Bedtime is a great time for connecting with kids. This is often the time they are ready to share thoughts/worries/concerns/exciting moments of their day…Keep the lights off and snuggle up or sit on their bed for a few minutes. *Warning* This is not a time for disciplining or lectures…just listening!

Sleep is important for you too! Go to bed early enough to get 7-8 hours of sleep.

*Unless you have a baby this is doable*

3. Rise Early!alarm-clock-2132276_640

  • Please do not let your children be the ones to wake you for school! They need guidance! Get up early enough to be prepared for whatever the morning may throw at you—a child who can’t seem to wake up—a belly ache that sends them running to the bathroom—a child refusing to get ready—I could go on and on here. Get up and get ready before you have to wake them.
  • Wake them up at a set time each day! Do it in a way that sets the tone for the day. No yelling or screaming. Please do not pour water on their heads… Wake them in plenty of time to do their own morning routine. Yes they will need a routine too.
  • Eat Breakfast! Make sure to feed your child or get them to school early enough for Breakfast. A child cannot concentrate on school work with a growling tummy and they are more likely to get in trouble due to distraction of hunger.
  • Grab backpacks (These should already be packed waiting by the door.) and head out the door!
  • If your child is a car rider…Make sure there is time to walk your child in without hurrying them (if needed). You will be glad you got up early and got yourself ready before you left.
  • Send them off with a hug, kiss, and “I love YOU!”

Remember Rome was not built in a day, and your routine will take some time to get used to.

Make this routine YOURS each day and your stress will be gone! If you need support, comment below so I can help you trouble shoot your routine. Remember Rome was not built in a day, and your routine will take some time to get used to. Don’t make these simple steps Hard! If you are struggling overall with parenting, call me today to talk about Parent Coaching at 615-683-1111.