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Photos by Mary Kate Steele
I stumbled on a post recently that really got me thinking about natural ways to fix problems with our bodies. I’m a believer in medicine, don’t get me wrong, (Eric is a nurse practitioner after all!) but a lot of times doctors prescribe a pill for things that could be solved with a change in diet, more exercise, or natural remedies. This includes our stress levels! One thing 2020 caused for a lot of us was STRESS, maybe even more than we are used to… which for Americans in a fast-paced environment… is saying a lot.
I have always been a big believer in moving your body, listening to your body, and finding out how to take care of it to the best of your ability. I’ve learned feeding my spiritual and physical needs truly helps me feel, look and just BE better. As women, we tend to struggle with carrying so much tension and stress in our shoulders, neck, hips and all throughout our body without even realizing it. I thought it would be fun to highlight some of the things I have learned in the past year on how to release stress.
One of the biggest things I’ve learned recently through following some health coaches and homeopathic Instagram accounts is to really pause and listen to my body MORE. I have been AMAZED at seeing what movement, Vitamin D (you gotta get out in the sun!), and learning about natural remedies can do for my health.
The first thing I HAVE to say has been a game-changer for me: I try to mentally check in with my body.
- How am I feeling?
- Is my heart rate getting high?
- Are my shoulders scrunching up to my neck?
Once I am aware of the physical cues that my body is stressed, I can start to take action to help my body release said stress. Mamas, as a quick note… our job is STRESSFUL! Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or a working mom, life is stressful. I want you to know that you are seen, heard, loved, and appreciated. Y’all have heard me talk about my journey with postpartum depression and I know that depression stats across the board are higher after the craziness of last year. I always want to make sure I am a helpful resource for women because I believe that’s why God gave me this platform.
Now, I want to walk you through some things that help me de-stress when I am going through a lot. Many of you know, I am a type 3 on the enneagram so I have a hard time sitting still and truly resting! I am a busy body at heart and I find it really difficult to turn things off. However, I am learning how to force myself to de-stress sometimes and I have 12 tips on how to release stress and I can’t wait to share them with you today.
My Top 12 Tips To Release Stress
#1 Scripture // It’s important to really marinate on Bible verses and let the Lord speak to you. There is power in scripture. If you’re busy like me, sometimes it’s easier to just listen to a Bible study app. And, pray that the Lord will help you focus on His promises. Cling to what He has promised us in His Word. You can find more resources and my favorite devotionals here. Many times when I can’t focus, I’ll turn on worship music to help me be reminded of who I am ultimately hoping to serve in that day’s work! Click here for a free printable of my favorite encouraging verses!
#2 Legs Up the Wall // One tip I’ve recently been reminded of on Instagram is to lay on the ground with my legs on the wall to relieve stress in my lower back. This pose, combined with controlled breathing, helps relax your body. It also releases pressure on the spine, especially if you do this on your bed or on a cushion. In fact, our friends who are PTs had me do this exercise in Colorado to help me with back pain a while back and I had forgotten about it. It can also help you re-center and de-clutter your mind. Read about more benefits here!
#3 Dandelion Root // One way I balance stress is with the help of PureFormulas! They offer a variety of non-GMO foods, sports nutrition products, bath and beauty essentials, and more—all at great, competitive prices. They offer free shipping, too. The PureFormulas team works closely with consultants and nutritionists to get the best supplements and health products for everyone. I first learned about them when I was looking for dandelion root to aid with digestion. Sometimes, I find that when dealing with stress, I need extra help in that area, and I’m always looking for anti-inflammatory support. Dandelion root has tons of benefits! It supports urinary health and digestive health, it’s a great source of antioxidants, and it acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. Visit PureFormulas.com to shop more of the known and trusted health and wellness brands that they carry.
#4 Writing and or a Prayer Journal // This Motherhood journal is great because it forces me to sit down, write and pray. BUT, it’s only two lines so it doesn’t feel overwhelming. I can simply write down something cute Leyton said that day or tell a short story about Finn. It’s a 5-year motherhood journal so I’ll be able to look back on these precious but long and hard days for years to come! I spend this time thinking about my children and praying over them.
#5 Exercise // Exercise is always a great way to de-stress my physical body but I’m realizing it does not take the place of de-stressing my mental, spiritual, and emotional self. However, it DOES help me work off the physical stress of my stressed-out-type-3-busy-body self! I usually take Burn 5+ days a week but notice when I’m feeling tense at my desk, that I should stand up and go walk outside. I try to walk while I answer emails or what have you because that change of pace and sun and Vitamin D can be life-giving!
#6 Supplements // CBD is another way to relieve stress. Many of you know I love my beam powder combined with milk at night before bed. Use my code HEATHER15 for 15% off Beam. Equilibria is another great place to get CBD products with more options. They are created by women, with an understanding that our bodies go through A LOT of changes! From childbirth to menopause, the female body faces so many challenges, which can affect our stress levels. Equilibria is cool because you can talk to a specialist online to get the exact dosage that’s right for you. Use my code mylifewellloved for 15% off! And as always, if you need more support from your doctor with an anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medication, please don’t hesitate to reach out to ask for help!
#7 Get Outside // God’s creation is perfectly designed. It is freeing, calming, and equally invigorating. SO many doctors and health advocates I follow share hundreds of reasons why it’s important to step outside, walk and or sit and just soak in Vitamin D. We have a natural attraction to daylight; it calms and soothes us. Exposure to natural daylight has been shown to increase productivity and improve health and well-being.
#8 Brain Dump // Writing can be so therapeutic. You can even write out, “I don’t know what to say but man, I’m stressed! Help me, Lord!” Or you can brain dump all the things you need to do or think through or make a list. This always helps me organize my thoughts and release things I didn’t even know were weighing on me at times.
#9 Stop And Breathe // When I feel my shoulders creeping up I try to stop and sometimes even place my hand on my chest and take in 3-5 slow, deep intentional breaths. This helps clear my mind and root me back into being present vs the worry of “what ifs” in the future.
#10 Laugh Or Dance It Out // Both can elevate your mood and help you increase endorphin levels. Crank up some fun music and have a dance party!
#11 Play Or Have Adventures // Jump rope, play with your kids, go on unique adventurous date nights with your hubby, and yes, friends, have sex with your hubby. God designed sex to help us in so many ways that are beneficial to our relationship and stress levels. Your hubbies can thank me later. 😉
#12 Get enough sleep // Sleep is critical to your overall health. Determine what you need to feel well-rested enough and if you don’t get enough sleep, don’t be afraid to take a 10-20 minute power nap during your lunch break or kid’s nap if you can! Like I mentioned earlier, I sometimes take a natural sleep supplement (use code 2256749 to get $10 off for new customers) or my Beam in hot milk frothed to help me calm down before bed.
Health is SO much more than “being skinny” or “just doing it” or whatever other mantra you may have been told. I highly encourage you to check in with your doctor, a friend, and or your spouse about attainable health goals you want to work towards in taking care of your stress levels, your mental health, your food to fuel your body and truly caring for yourself inside and out. You are WORTHY and WORTH the effort, friend! I hope you feel encouraged to find ways to cope with your stress. I know I have to ACTIVELY work on this myself so I’m hopeful it may help someone else struggling with this part of your health journey as well. Love you, girls!