I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that self-care isn’t about luxury but about self-preservation, and this is what I mean. The best way – the key to keeping stress to a minimum – is to find ways to cope with the difficulties. Let’s be real: there are so many life stressors that we just cannot control; when that is the case, we have to find ways to cope so that we can ultimately persevere. As far as I can tell, self-care is just a repackaged term for positive coping mechanisms.
Coping mechanisms, as a whole, are unique to each person, but they can also be expensive and time consuming. It can also be really easy to put our needs on the back-burner, especially when things are particularly hectic, but the irony is that these are the times we need positive coping mechanisms the most. For that reason, I wanted to provide something accessible – and not just for those with greater access to time and resources; something that can be done quickly in the morning or during the day to destress and energize, or at night to relax and reflect; something that will be helpful if you’ve been on your feet or need to get the feet moving; and most importantly, it has immense benefits beyond just stress relief.
The simple act of taking 10 minutes for ourselves, regardless of what it is we are doing, can be enough to provide us a sense of self-worth and accomplishment that we didn’t even realize we were missing. When I first started the movement portion of my “health” journey, yoga was the thing that changed my life. It wasn’t the poses or classes themselves; it was the fact that it was the first time I’d slowed down to just be in my body, connected with my mind… maybe ever. I started doing very modified versions of poses and found so much joy in feeling the changes in my body as I gained flexibility and mobility. I also had an extremely stressful job at the time, and there were a number of days where the thing that got me through was knowing I was going home to yoga; knowing I’d have that time to myself, to either allow my thoughts to race or to clear my mind – all while connecting movement to breath. It’s a beautiful dance that anyone can do – no coordination needed…. Trust me on that!
The timing of this program is not coincidental and lines up with a particularly stressful month I am anticipating in June. I know that I’m not always good at setting aside time to just be with myself and not my to-do list (a bad habit I call one-more-thing-ing myself). I’m looking forward to seeing if committing to Stretch More, Stress Less will help alleviate some of the stress and tension I’m anticipating, but even more so, I’m hoping it helps at least one of you.
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Oh! And you can check out previous posts for more detailed information about the impacts of stress, as well as the multitude of benefits this trio provides beyond just stress relief.