Stressed out? I thought I had it all under control. I help people manage their stress, so my own couldn’t be an issue!
But it was. More about all of that in a bit, as well as a surprising way to protect yourself.
Stress is a common topic. Most of us are either stressed out, trying to destress, or know someone who is struggling with their stress. But what is stress really, what are some of the common stress effects on the body, and what can we do about it?
According to Merriam-Webster, stress is “a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation”. Stressful situations are a normal part of life, but our reactions to them can be modified.
Stress can be either acute or chronic.
Acute stress is generally helpful. It’s a response to a threat,...
Clutter. Whether you have a lot or a little, it can be tough to get rid of it. Or maybe for you, it’s not hard to get started, but then you find yourself surrounded by piles in various stages of cleanout that seem even more overwhelming than when they were shoved away somewhere.
So what is the natural inclination? Shove it all back where it came from, or even worse, leave it out in piles and feel the guilt and shame of not being able to “get it together”.
The example below may be extreme compared to your situation. I hope it is. Either way, the principles are the same.
My mom was a hoarder. She was a genuinely amazingly giving, loving, caring person. She would give anything to and do anything for anyone. Except for herself. ...
This week, we're going to talk about something that you may not really think of as related to self-care. The degree to which it affects you may vary, but we’re all impacted by it to some extent. It’s our physical space.
How our environment looks and feels to us can help or hinder our mood and our goals. The visual and physical messes and the feelings that can bring up can be dramatic. When we have piles on our desks or on our countertops or just general clutter, it can definitely increase our stress and decrease our motivation because it can feel very overwhelming, and it can make us feel like we’re failing, especially if we're already stressed. Of...
Since we are well into the spring season (and it’s finally starting to feel like spring) this is a perfect time to revisit the Life Balance Tool, also known as the Wheel of Life. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s simple yet very useful when you know that you're wanting to make some positive changes in your life but you’re not sure exactly where to start. This allows you to look at each area individually instead of lumping everything together. Of course, you can still choose to work on the area that feels most right to you, but sometimes just being able to see things in black and white can make the decision easier. You can get your copy of the tool at www.jennylytle.com/balance
Once you use the tool and decide which area you want to focus on first, it can still feel overwhelming if you try to make massive changes all at once, although if I’m honest, that is my natural inclination....
As you likely know, you can't get what you want without some effort.
Lately, I've been thinking about the importance of action. I feel like so much attention is given to goal setting, dreaming bigger, consistency, and planning but the reality is without action none of it ends up giving us the results that we're looking for. I can have an amazing plan and even review it often but without action, I'm not going to get what I really want. This applies to consistency as well. I was on a Faith Activated call the other day and a question that was asked was, “Do you have trouble with consistency?” of course a lot of people said yes. The coach challenged that, saying basically, “You don't have a problem with consistency, you have a problem with consistently taking the action that's going to get you what you want.”
Maybe today’s topic isn’t commonly thought of as being self-care, but I believe that it is one of the most important ways that we can care for ourselves and in doing so, potentially care for those we love. I'm talking about wellness exams and routine appointments, sometimes called preventative health. As a registered nurse sometimes I assume everyone knows this, but not everyone does - and it's too important not to pass along.
This week I went to my primary care physician for a wellness exam. I arrived prepared with a current list of my medications and supplements as well as questions and issues that I had so that I was able to maximize my time with him. I came away with a lab requisition, a medication order, a referral to a specialist, and a plan for some further testing.
I also had my yearly mammogram that same...
It can be hard to recognize our own needs. Sometimes we can be so in the habit of just going through the motions and doing all of the things that we need to do on a day-to-day basis that we don't have the time or energy to think about what it is that we really want or need.
And that can end up leading to a vague feeling of boredom, or “is this all there is”? And, oftentimes, we rationalize that by thinking,
“Well, I'm just so busy right now. And as soon as (fill in the blank) is over, then things will settle down.”
Life is busy and isn't going to get less busy on its own. In fact, the opposite is likely to happen.
So if we're not very, very careful, it sneaks up on us even when we have started making progress. There's always something else to watch,...
This week we were going to go deeper into self-care and how to build that rhythm into our days and weeks, but it’s taking a bit of a different turn. I’m going to focus on grief and loss and hope and the importance of knowing what matters most to you - and living it out.
And while that makes sense to me (the ups and downs, the “hold on tight” and all), from my first deep grieving experience when I lost my mom in 2018,
I had been fortunate enough that at 42 I hadn’t lost anyone super close to me before. Mom’s death was sudden and unexpected. Despite working up close with death as a hospice nurse for 12 years at the time, I hadn’t been on the other side of death and grieving.
I could be driving down the road or doing something...
So many of us are burning the candle at both ends and have so much going on that there just doesn't feel like enough hours in the day. There is a lot of work that can be done to dig into what matters the most and free up some time. But for this week we are just going to concentrate on how to fit in little bits of self-care into the tiny pockets of time that you likely do have available even if you don't realize it right now.
Getting up even 10 minutes earlier can allow you a few minutes of alone time to set the day off on the right foot.
The BECOMING Method™ series week 7 of 8. This week we’re going to move on to the N in the BECOMING Method Needs - what is missing from your life - body, mind, and spirit
By this time, you:
- know where you’re starting from
- have determined your areas of improvement/opportunity
- know what energizes and drains you
- what makes you feel amazing
- know what makes you unique
- what matters most to you
- what you still want to see, do, and experience
If you’re just joining me, you can check out the previous weeks here:
Podcast version - the BECOMING Method series starts with episode 8
Blog version - click the link for the BECOMING Method series
Let’s get started with this week’s topic - Needs - what is missing from your life - body, mind, and spirit...