Let’s Move Monday: Letting Go of Stress

571_original

We are all coming off of an awful weekend.  It’s hard to move forward some days when you literally feel like the world is against you.  The murder of Trayvon Martin and then the subsequent acquittal of his murderer sent shock waves across the nation and through our bodies.   I dealt with the news like many— first with tears, then rage, then a stiff drink. When I woke up the next day I felt like I had slept with a 1000 lb. blanket on me.  I woke up weary and stressed.

Stress is mix of emotional, physical and behavioral responses. Feeling “stressed out” is your body’s way of saying, “I cannot cope with this challenging situation.”

Stress causes us to lose sleep, feel achy and even at times conjure up flu-like symptoms.  If you’re like me, you may not always seek out a “healthy” way to deal with stress and other strong emotions.  The reality is that reacting with negative behavior to stress by over eating, drinking excessively, or pushing away loved ones only makes us feel worse, not better.

It’s important to give ourselves permission to feel.  Sound crazy?  How many times have you talked yourself out of feeling an emotion?  Does this sound familiar: “I’m not going to be upset.  I’m going to keep my head up and move through this”.  Sure, it may sound like a pep talk in our heads, but what we are really doing is trying to jump over our bad feeling and quickly move to a “good place” without actually allowing ourselves to feel.

Physical signs of stress are signals that our bodies send to our minds when we need take “a minute”.  In this fast paced, microwaveable world we live in, we find it difficult to slow down and take a deep breath.  From the world’s issues to our “kitchen table” ones, it’s more important than ever that we take time to schedule “mental breaks” so we don’t have a breakdown.

We are living in transformational times and our stress is at an all time high.  Each of us has to maintain our health and focus in order to do our part in making this world better.  Remember, you can’t help others without first helping yourself.   Dealing with your stress levels is the first step.

Today, take a moment to de-stress, disconnect and delve into something beautiful—a book, a fashion blog, a walk, a run, yoga class, etc.  Make time for yourself, so that you have strength to change the world!

Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.  —Oprah Winfrey