Observe Stress Awareness Day with Some Self-Care Practices

November 4 is Stress Awareness Day. The day after election night? Good call.

It seems kind of crazy that we need such a day. After all, who here doesn’t deal with stress? As moms, we’ve got a lot on our plate, and the stressors can quickly add up.

Stress Awareness Day is an excellent reminder of the need to regularly practice some self-care to nurture our bodies and keep ourselves uplifted and healthy.

Why We Need a Stress Awareness Day

We all talk about stress often enough, so why do we need to be more aware of it? It’s because we’ve become so used to it that we view it as normal, so much so that we end up living in a state of chronic stress.

When our body experiences stress, it goes into fight, flight, or freeze mode. The adrenaline pumping through our system is great if someone is chasing us, but it’s not something our bodies should go through on a daily (hourly?) basis.

And yet, this is what happens for many people, especially women. Statistically, women experience stress at higher rates than men, which probably doesn’t shock many of us. Why are we so stressed out? It’s because, oftentimes, we:

  • Take on more chores around the house
  • Can have more parenting responsibilities
  • Work full-time jobs
  • Have higher emotional labor
  • Deal with gender discrimination in the workplace… just to name a few.

Shining a light on stress helps us remember that chronic stress isn’t something we want to consider as “normal.” It’s something that takes a toll on us physically, mentally, and emotionally, and we need to find ways to reduce it whenever possible.

Side Effects of Chronic Stress

National Stress Awareness Day also shines a light on the health-damaging side effects of stress . Here are just a few.

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Heart palpitations
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Digestive issues
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Difficulty losing weight

Push Back Against Stress with No-Fuss, Nurturing Self-Care

For better health, reduce stress. Easier said than done, right? As moms, we lead incredibly busy lives. Stress is definitely going to be a part of that. However, we can reduce some of the stress and prevent our bodies from living in a chronic state of stress by incorporating some self-care.

Thankfully, it doesn’t take much to nurture ourselves and relax.

Uncomplicated Self-Care Practices to Try on National Stress Awareness Day

Let’s all take some time on November 4 to nurture our body, mind, and soul. Perhaps we’ll find some self-care practices that resonate deeply with us and that we can incorporate on a more regular basis.

  • Deep breathing
  • Meditation
  • Visualization
  • Detox bath
  • Mani/Pedi
  • Take a nap
  • Go for a walk in nature
  • Meet your friends for coffee or tea (via Zoom during COVID)
  • Make time to play
  • Go to bed earlier than usual
  • Sleep in
  • Do yoga or Tai Chi
  • Read a book
  • Watch a movie
  • Journal
  • Buy yourself some flowers
  • Order takeout
  • Spend some time on your favorite hobby
  • Take time to watch the sunrise or sunset
  • Get a massage or other spa treatment

No Shame: Reduce Stress Now for a Better Future

Chronic stress can lead to chronic disease. My goal is to live a long life so I can see my kids and grandkids grow up and flourish. To do that, though, it’s so important that I remind myself to take time to care for me right now. And what a great example to be set for our children.

The great thing about stress-reducing self-care practices is that they don’t need to take forever. You don’t need to pamper yourself for a full weekend to benefit, although that does sound kind of nice! Even taking just a few minutes a day to enjoy some quiet meditation can go a long way to reducing our risk of chronic stress.

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