Stress effects on the body - I didn’t know it could sneak up on me like that!

Stress effects on the body - I didn’t know it could sneak up on me like that!

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?

What is stress?

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 effects on the body

Stress can be either acute or chronic. 

Acute stress is generally helpful. It’s a response to a threat,...

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4 simple steps to decluttering your home

4 simple steps to decluttering your home

Here’s the bad news. You can’t organize clutter. 

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”.  

Beating yourself up isn’t going to help. But neither is being in denial.

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. ...

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7 simple steps for a clean home, fast

7 simple steps for a clean home, fast.  

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. 

Issues with our physical space can lead to:

  • increased stress
  • decreased motivation 
  • wasted money
  • lost sleep
  • bills that are late
  • overdue library books
  • school papers not turned in on time 
  • always feeling behind 
  • and so much more! 

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...

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Two simple techniques for focusing on what matters most to you

 

Two simple techniques for focusing on what matters most to you

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....

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3 simple steps to changing your life

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.”

It really got me thinking about all of this. In many ways, I have thought of consistency as being the “magic” ingredient, but...

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7 Pro Tips for Taking Charge of Your Health

7 Pro Tips for Taking Charge of Your Health

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.

1. Go for annual wellness exams (bonus tip: come prepared)

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. 

2. Have recommended lab and imaging screens.

I also had my yearly mammogram that same...

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I wish I could, but I don’t have time

 

I wish I could, but I don’t have time.

What do you want and need to be focused on?

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.” 

But here's the thing. Things don't really “just settle down” without intentionality.

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,...

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No time or energy for self-care

How do you fit in self-care even when you feel like you don't have the time or energy?

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. 

Think about your mornings. 

  • First of all, what do they look like? 
  • What about when you wake up? 
  • Are you alone? 
  • Are there others that are already awake? 
  • Or maybe you have a couple of minutes before you have to start waking everybody else up

Getting up even 10 minutes earlier can allow you a few minutes of alone time to set the day off on the right foot. 

Maybe it's… 

  • sitting outside and drinking a cup of coffee or 
  • ...
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What do you really love doing?

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

Looking at the activities that make up your day-to-day life can lead to finding ways to increase the things you love and decrease the things you loathe.

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...

One of the ways that you can explore what...

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Making your dreams come true

The BECOMING Method™ series week 6 of 8. This week we’re going to move on to the I in the BECOMING Method -  Intention - fearless pursuit of your dreams.

Focusing on what we really want helps us avoid wasting time on the things that don’t matter very much. 

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

- know what matters most to you

 

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

And you can download the Life Balance Tool here.

 

Let's jump in!

We only get one life and we want to make it count. As we get older and make more time for the things that matter most to us, we also want to be clear on the things we don't enjoy and...

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