With my POHS keeping my stress low is very important. Studies have shown that stress can elevate complications with POHS. I can't say I live an overly stressful life as it is. I only work part-time outside the home [28hrs], my son is 16 so I don't have little ones, and aside from the POHS itself I don't have many issues in my day to day life. That being said, I DO have a teenager, ahah, so sometimes that CAN be stressful. I also have typical money worries, especially with my medical bills, like everyone else. Then there's just those days where no matter what you do, everything goes wrong.
Spending time with my family at the end of the day, is a great stress reducer. I enjoy visiting with them && hearing about their day. Jess currently works 2 jobs [60+hrs] and is going to college. Christian is in high school and definitely isn't lacking in extra curricular activities.
When I was diagnosed with POHS, my life was at its most hectic. I was working 2 jobs and balancing family along with my home management duties. I know that many women do this & more daily... and to you I tip my hat! I am not super woman. I have mad respect for women that are. I believe that the stress in my life at that time is what caused my POHS to come out of dormancy. Since then I have studied && researched endlessly for the best ways to live the most stress free life possible.
Today I'm going to share with you ways to efficiently relax. I can't kick the stress from your life, but I'm sure going to help you cope with it.
- Sleep: I believe that everyone has a number of hours of sleep "sweet spot". For me it's about 5.5hrs. Too little sleep can make you tired, and too much sleep can make you tired. When you're tired, your mind can't handle conflict & stress properly. Proper sleep is vital to mental health.
- Yoga and/or Meditation: I don't care what level of shape you are in [heaven knows I'm in horrible shape...] you can do yoga. Yoga is AMAZING at calming the body, mind, & spirit. There are also guided meditations specifically for "total relaxation". I have several guided meditation podcasts saved onto my phone for when I'm in urgent need of pure relaxation.
- Fancy bath: That's right, I said fancy. Fill up your tub, add your favorite bath products, light candles, turn off the lights, and silent all of your electronics. I have a stash of LUSH products for exceptionally bad days. During the winter months when it's colder, I tend to take a bath every night. In the summer, I'll end the day with a fancy shower. For those of you that hate baths, you can definitely take a "fancy shower". Same rules apply. Pull out some wonderful smelling shower gel, apply a mask to your hair, light candles, and turn the lights off. Add your favorite "chill" music.
- Read: I'm a huge book worm so I end each night by either reading in the tub, or reading in bed after my bath. Reading helps to rid the mind of anything stressful, and distract you. Take you to another place where you can zone out.
- Warm Milk or Hot Tea: This goes along with my tub... see a bedtime routine pattern here? When I take a long hot bath I will usually bring in a cup of my favorite hot tea. Purchase relaxing teas or make your own tincture with dried chamomile, passion flowers, lavender, and lemon balm from an herb store.
- Journaling: Writing in a journal can help you pin point your main areas of stress. Sometimes just even "talking" it out on paper is therapeutic. Also, you can keep a gratitude journal. Taking note of your gratitude's can help you appreciate more, and not stress about the little stuff.
- Time Management: Learn how to manage your time. Have a plan of attack every single morning before you wake up. Write out a "realistic" list of what you need to accomplish the next day every night. When you're organized and on task, it significantly reduces day to day stress.
- Learn to say no: Don't overload your plate with more than you can handle. If you pile so much on yourself, that you can't realistically complete it you are asking for trouble. Don't do this to yourself. It doesn't make you a bad person to say no. Think about yourself & your limits. Be kind to yourself.
- Take a cat nap: If you can squeeze in a 20-30min cat nap into your day, it can do wonders! I typically take a little cat nap each day around 2pm before I pick up everyone from school. It's a little refresher in between my daily duties and my nightly duties.
- Surround yourself with pleasant scents & textiles: Create a "sanctuary" of sorts for yourself. Mine is in my home office. It's where I spend the majority of my day, so I make it my own personal utopia. If you work in an office or cubicle, incorporate your sanctuary into your work place. Pinterest has a TON of wonderful office && cubicle ideas for personalization.
- Play: Okay hear me out... In "Simple Abundance" Sarah Ban Breathnach teaches us the importance of having a toy box. [Not that kind, get your mind out of the gutter, lol] I keep a crate in the top of my closet with crayons, Hello Kitty coloring books, and other random items that aren't considered for "grown ups". I don't mean sit down and color with your kids. I mean sit down by yourself and play with your own toys. This simple and unconventional idea can work wonders.
- Music: I love music. I couldn't live life without it. It's my air. Whatever music you like to listen to, have a specific play list of music that makes you calm & relaxed. This doesn't mean you have to listen to classical. Some of my most relaxing music is Pink Floyd and A Perfect Circle aha! Whatever works for you. Music heals.
- Have a routine: Get up at the same time every day, and go to bed at the same time every day. Having routine is good for your mind. It helps keep things in motion and creates less hiccups throughout your day.
I hope you find these techniques helpful! I know they've done wonders for me. Just remember to breathe... deep breathes will get you through anything. Also, I highly recommend snuggling kitties. Works every time.
What are you favorite ways to relax and de-stress?