You know what causes weight gain, memory loss, acne, and the deterioration of relationships.
That was a statement, not a question. You know that I know that you know the answer.
[Actually, stress can make your body odor particularly unpleasant. According to this article on foxnews.com, "Stress-related odor will be normal odor on steroids". Yikes!]
But in all seriousness, stress will do a serious number on your brain, your skin, your productivity, your relationships, and can overall ruin your quality of life.
Yeah, I know. You're already not listening. Most of us are too busy running on our hamster wheels, convincing ourselves that if we work hard we get to party even harder. [When, exactly?!] We've got to keep up with the Jones' and save up for our ticky-tacky houses... And you can go on like this pretty successfully until you crash. And you'll have to crash hard enough to be forced to stop and listen to your body. Your inner spirit, which was buried so deep for so long, will peak out and whisper, "let me come out and dance in the sunlight!"
I know I cannot make you slow down, live a simpler life, wear comfortable shoes, or sing Kumbaya. I want to suggest small practices that you can do every day to help you center and get in touch with yourself. This safe space can be empowering and enlightening, and most importantly- you can fall back on it when the going gets tough during your wild work day.
Hear me out?
1. MEDITATE: Take 10 minutes of your day to slow down and feel your body. You'll experience clarity and focus that you didn't know you needed. I know most people think this practice is exclusive to yogis, but I dare you to try it for 30 days. 10 minutes for thirty days.
Try these apps: Headspace & Calm. I love both, and I sometimes do repeat meditations to help me fall asleep.
2. SELF MASSAGE: This is an old Ayurvedic practice that ensures health and longevity, but I would recommend this purely as an expression of self love and nurture. Start with this fabulous Lavender Oil by Tammy Fender, and take a few minutes before showering or before bedtime to really give your skin and muscles the time of day. Think of it as a private anointing session, where you get to knead love in parts of yourself that don't normally get much recognition- like your feet, your ears, and your elbows. This space is yours alone. Use it to appreciate your body's health, or simply as a way to relax after a stressful day.
3. SMELL THE ROSES: I mean it. Spend time with your plants: touch them, take care of them, study them. Observe how you don't have many expectations from them. You don't judge them for acting wrongly, or for growing too much or too little. Recognize how you just want them to "be". How nice is that? Just be. Me, you, and the plants are just going to "be" for a few seconds, and then we'll rush out and live up to everyone else's (and our own) expectations.
If you don't have any plants- go plant em! These adorable seed bombs are a good way to start. Plus, you'll be able to eat what you sew. ;)
4. EAT HOT FOODS: Make sure to eat at least one hot meal a day. Hot meals, such as soup, stews, and chicken and rice, will force you to sit down and eat slowly. Kill two stones with one bird and get a break from your crazy day while enjoying your meal.
Try 2 out of 4 of these suggestions, and get back to me with your results.
And remember, always be like the Honey Badger, and don't give a crap about the Jones'.