The lazy days of summer are over. The Labor Day holiday camping gear has just been stowed away, or not as the case may be. Now it’s time to shift the kids and you into high gear and into the hectic school routine.
You envision the first morning, rousing your sleepy teens for the umpteenth time, while the youngest has just taken apart her school backpack to have a tea party with her teddy bears. Where, oh where did you leave the car keys? Who left the front door open? The cat’s just got out. Oh bother!
WAIT! There has to be a better way.
In this post Julie Bautista LMP from LifeWorks Massage highlights how daily stress is compromising our health and suggests you adopt these 5 natural stress busters for gently easing back into the morning school routine.
The daily pressures of family life compounded with the drive of modern mothers to continuely be there for everyone, is a perfect storm for burn out. Dr Michele Borba says that “70% of U.S. moms find mothering to be “incredibly stressful” and 96% also feel that mothers today are far more stressed out then their own mothers were.” These higher levels of stress can lead to family tension and arguements, headaches, asthma and obesity just to name a few. Can busy moms (and dads for that matter) find the space to relieve the build up of stress?
Thankfully, there are simple and natural stress busters that will help you and your family begin the journey to a chilled out home. Do these five tips on a daily basis and you will see increased benefits through out the household. The countdown begins.
5: Wake Up Sooner
Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier then you usually do. Step out of bed and enjoy the simple pleasure of tranquility. This is your time to reflect on the day ahead. A gentle stretch or a yoga pose to awaken your body. Even one simple pose a morning will give you seven yoga stretches in a week. Then sit for ten minutes and relesh the peace and quiet before rousing your children. It will create a wonderful beginning of the day. The added benefit of keeping up with this routine is that over time your fifteen minutes of quiet time will build on itself and those moments of inner quiet will unfold some incredible truths.
4: Breathe Deeply
“Practicing a regular, mindful breathing exercise can be calming and energizing and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders.” Andrew Weil, M.D.
Breathing is under your control and it is always with you. So when things feel too stressful or overwhelming a simple deep breath brings you right into the present moment.
One easy approach is Dr Andrew Weil’s 4 – 7 – 8 breathing. Fill your lungs with fresh air by taking a full breath to the slow count of seven, hold for four and then releasing it to the count of eleven Repeat this gentle cycle of breathing for 2 – 3 times and sense the calm and focus returning. In through your nose – quietly and out through your mouth with a whoosh.
4 – 7 -8 breathing is a natural tranquilizer that will gain deeper benefits as you use it over time. Far better then reaching for a prescribed tranquilizer. Begin using this technique at least twice a day and reap the rewards.
3: Sip Oolong Tea
This fermented tea from the orient packs a host of healthy benefits. Oolong tea is known to help with stress relief and improves mental well being, it boosts metabolism, great for weight management, improves bone density, good for the health of your heart and is loaded with antioxidents – which are well known to fight disease to name just a few. Studies have proven that people who have consistantly consumed oolong tea have shown a higher level of bone density over a span of ten years or more. It has half the caffiene of coffee but enough to give you the boost you may need in the morning.
2: Wholesome Breakfasts
Take the time in the morning to eat a wholesome breakfast with your family. You and your family need the fuel of a good meal to boost your energy for the day ahead. After all it’s called breakfast. Break (to stop) fast (abstain from food) It will put an end to the need to snack on empty nutrition by the way of junk food later in the day. Which will give the added benfit of weight management. Not only does it replenish your body after sleeping for eight hours, breakfast improves concentration, increases creativity, improves problem solving skills, gives you the get up and go for physical activity and it’s a natural stess buster. A super benefit of sharing breakfast as a family is the sense of unity and togetherness it provides. This is a perfect time where you all can compare notes, co-ordiating schedules, plan house cleaning chores share a smile and a joke and have a laugh together. Oh and find the cat.
1: Grin and Bear It
Smiling, even a forced smile has been proven to reduce stress and lower heart rates. Tara Kraft and Sarah Pressman of the University of Kansas “looked at how different types of smiling, and people being aware of smiling, affected their ability to recover from stressful episodes”. Their research results suggest that smiling during periods of stress even when the person isn’t feeling happy may go a long way to cancel out stress and improve heart health.
So remember when in doubt Grin and bear it!
Ready, Steady, Go!
The secret sauce to all of these tips is to begin small and do them every single day because the benefits have a cummulative effect. By the end of the school year imagine how peaceful and calm you and your family will be. Secondly, get everyone in on the act; wake early and spend focused quiet time, use the breath to calm and center, sip oolong tea, eat a wholesome breakfast together as a family and start the day with a smile. The great news is that these five simple tips can be used by your kids and your partner so the entire family benefits from the goodness of these natural stress busters.