Release your stress – Part 3

18 Jul

Written by Kirri White.  Follow me on twitter or facebook.

You can also contact me by email –  kirri@happymumsathome.com

Relaxing.  A word that evokes tangy cocktails with dainty umbrellas, lay-back lounge chairs and dusky-burnt sunsets as a backdrop.

Do you see that too? Right now?  Yeah, you do.

That’s because for so many of us, the idea of relaxing is something to be saved for dream-time and vacations. The one we were planning on taking the last two years and have been saving for the past three.

Life gets in the way.  We are so busy, busy, busy, and then you add children to the mix and that wonderous visualization becomes an even more distant reality..

Who has time to relax? Relaxation is equated with laziness in a lot of households.

We have mouths to feed, mortgages to pay, homes to beautify and some very important creative projects with looming deadlines don’t cha know?

I don’t have time.

The one sentence used by men and women of all ages and backgrounds but so often espoused by mummies.

Why is that?

Because no one can do our job better than we do. No one is needed as much as we are by our children and our partners and husbands.  Lives would fall apart without us at the steering wheel and therefore we must keep moving and keep being everything to everyone.

Until, the time comes when we find ourselves inhaling a pack of Tim Tams every second night, opening a bottle of wine at 3.30pm (and finishing by 6pm) or walking around with a mammoth ball of anxiety clutched to our chests.

Do we have a people-pleaser in da house?

That’s what women are socialised to be from a very young age.  We become adept at intuiting what people want and need. We aim to keep others as comfortable and content as possible, even if it is to our personal detriment, because we think it gives us more value as human beings.

It’s possible to keep going like this for years, if you want to.  But soon enough, body and mind have a way of collaborating to let you know that there is a price to pay.

The ball of stress that is now the size of an elephant following you around every room and obscuring your happiness.

When a farmer grows a crop for many years on the one field, the crop will decline in quality each year. The farmer must rest the field and replenish the soil periodically. Similarly, relaxation is a way of nurturing and replenishing our minds and bodies so that we can continue to grow and flourish. (Dr Cate Howell and Dr Michele Murphy)

The message is clear.

If you want to continue taking good care of others, you need to take care of yourself.

Every day brings some kind of stress to our lives.  Sometimes the stress moves us forward and other times it wears us down.

Left unchecked, stress can severely impede your abilities to lead a happy healthy life.  It’s therefore, imperative that you have a strategy to deal with stress.

In this three-part series I discussed the use of journalling, list-making and scheduling to avoid overwhelm, mindful thinking, and the importance of regular relaxation.  These three steps can be used as a powerful strategy to manage and prevent stress.

You will no doubt know other tactics that are effective for reducing negative stress.  That’s great!  Do what works for you.

But the most important thing is to make yourself a priority.  Make relaxation an everyday priority.

We all know how to relax really don’t we?

I could give you a list of top relaxation practices that are guaranteed to increase stress resistance and promote dreamy contentment and a gooey-body feeling, but you already have your own.

You just have to start practicing them.   Regularly.

Don’t cha?

~Kirri

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20 Responses to “Release your stress – Part 3”

  1. sarah July 18, 2011 at 10:00 am #

    Another great blog Kirri, well done! Keep em coming- where do I press the “like” button to show support?

    xo S.

    • Kirri White July 18, 2011 at 10:34 am #

      Hi Sares….So lovely to see you here and have your support! There is a star rating system above each post and you can also on your FB page or twitter if you are on it. Just hit the little blue facebook share icon under the post…you see it?!

  2. Kylielie Ofiu July 18, 2011 at 10:00 am #

    It’s so true. We need to realise a holiday is not the only form of relaxation and every now and then we need to put ourselves first. Especially as mothers, otherwise we are just teaching our children that we are not really important and it is ok to be last for everything because you are the mum.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Kirri White July 18, 2011 at 10:39 am #

      Yup…our self-value is so often reflected back to us by our actions and passed on to our children in a similar fashion. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment. Thanks!

  3. Caz Makepeace July 18, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

    I try to do yoga or meditate first thing in the morning as it puts me into that natural state of calm.
    yesterday Craig and I discovered a new local walk through the bush. It was amazing how relaxed we felt after it. It is one of our favourite things and we used to do it often . I didn’t realize what an important part of my life it was until I did it yesterday and noticed the benefits it gave me and what I had been missing by not making it a priority. We all need to relax more.

  4. Terry Murphy July 18, 2011 at 6:39 pm #

    Great post, except it nearly made me think I am stressed…which of course I am not…hehe

    You said you ‘could’ give us a list of relaxing techniques…I have been looking but can’t find them…ohh, now I am stressed…:)

    Seriously, I find that relaxing for me is best done ‘instantaneously’. Whereas I don’t often make time for a specific activity, such as meditation or walking etc.. I now practice ‘a moment’ of relaxation. When I get up to make a cuppa and wait for the water to boil, I stand and gaze out of the window at the rain, sun or clouds for a moment, and let my mind go blank (not difficult, being a man).

    Even at my desk, a quick stretch and blurrr of the mind, and a deep breath. Wow, the world back in proportion, perfect, with the perfect amount of stress.

    Thnx, Kirri…

  5. countingducks July 19, 2011 at 2:44 am #

    Nice and thought provocking as always. Mind you that cocktail idea with a nice view of the sunset sounds pretty appealing. One thing I have noticed is. If you are lucky enough to be able to look in the distance or the horizen, without your vision being interupted by buildings, that is pretty de-stressing on it’s own,

    • Kirri White July 19, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

      Thanks Peter. You are my second male reader who seems to have the ability to de-stress and relax with nothing more than a pleasant view and a few seconds at hand. There’s a lesson in that for me…..appreciate your comments always!

  6. mamagrace71 July 19, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

    Oh, so true, Kirri !!! I am useless as a mum if I feel total crap…
    The thing is to just jump at the chance when you know you have a spare moment. I think that can be my problem – not making the most of relaxing time when it’s given to me.
    Thanks for the reminder to just wind down !
    Love your work x

  7. Lina@MothersLoveLetters July 19, 2011 at 1:50 pm #

    You must have Suzi Loves Sydney red nail polish on the How To Relax strategy list! LOL!

    So, what’s your cocktail, Kirri? If I could have cocktails RIGHT now, I’d ask for 1) Pina Colada and not be the slightest bit guilty about
    all that cream… 2) Strawberry daquiri, and 3) A sweet Mojito with lots of fresh mint… Hmmmm… I wonder if MojitoMother would join me in that one?

    Thank you for your warmth, energy and mothers love, Kirri. I appreciate you.

    • Kirri White July 19, 2011 at 7:44 pm #

      Suzi loves Sydney…yes!
      As for cocktails….as long as its got champagne in it, I’m very happy 🙂

      I appreciate you too Lina. Your writing is pure flowing love and just so you know, that’s just the kind of stuff that truly nspires me.

  8. PlanningQueen July 19, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

    Super post Kirri. I get to the gym 5 mornings a week which is a great physical outlet for me. I do however need to spend more time relaxing. Having a week offline was brilliant for relaxing, but I do need to find ways to build it into my everyday. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Kirri White July 19, 2011 at 7:49 pm #

      Thank you so much Nic for promoting my post on Facebook – you wouldn’t believe the amount of readers that have come my way today because of you!!

      Like you, I’m so down with the physical release given by exercise, but not quite as good at taking regular time out to just chill and ‘unplug’. A whole week unplugged…..Thats something I would like to aim for.

  9. Julie July 20, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

    Thanks for the reminder, Kirri!

    • Kirri White July 21, 2011 at 10:27 am #

      It’s a reminder for me too Julie….Like the Nike ad, lets do it!

  10. Mary Lou Trappitt July 21, 2011 at 10:58 pm #

    walk your dog…a great stress reliever…he/she listens to everything, good, bad and indifferent and never talks back…and loves you more because you are talking to them!!!! seriously…it does work.

    • Kirri White July 24, 2011 at 9:57 am #

      So very true Mary Lou. Although, I have a feeling that it is your dog that drags you around everywhere so perhaps you get the additional benefits of a run!

  11. Romina Garcia July 22, 2011 at 11:21 am #

    Loved this post. Love loved.

    Thanks for sharing!!

    Couldn’t have come at a better time!!

    • Kirri White July 24, 2011 at 9:57 am #

      Always a treat to have you here Romina. Thanks for the love!

  12. bronnie July 24, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

    Relaxation is always a huge must for me. I’m going through a stressful time but thankfully I’ve learned to deal with it healthily. Mindfulness practice and meditation helps, but often it’s as simple as taking five minutes to breathe, have a cup of tea, stop to appreciate the view, cuddle with pets or kids. I’m a huge believer!

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