Continuing in our series about your well-being is a great post today about how to reduce stress in your life. Are you up to the challenge that Gina from Slappy In The Face is doing?
A few months ago I went to the doctor for headaches. They couldn’t find anything wrong, but suggested that it might be TMJ from grinding my teeth. Wait! I don’t grind my teeth. Only I do. I grind them a lot. I grind them when I am reading. I grind them when I am concentrating. I grind them when I am sleeping. Even my teeth are stressed. The dentist told me that I needed to reduce the amount of stress in my life.
I laughed in his face. I have five teenagers, work a full time Accounting job, have a husband who works shift work and write on the side. I barely have time to go to the bathroom on most days, how was I going to have time to reduce stress?
The headaches got worse and my gums started to bleed. Something had to change. So I worried about what to change … which caused my blood pressure to go up, which didn’t help the headaches or the teeth grinding. Since giving up on life was not an option, I started my own “Quest to Destress”.
I started cleaning out my life, literally and figuratively and post about my journey on my site, Slappy in the Face.
The process has to start with a Godzilla sized clean out of your space. That includes your car, your purse, your house and your office. Devote some serious time to it. Plus staying at home in the evening and on the weekends saves money … which can be used to pay off debt or buy boxed wine, both of which will decrease your stress level.
Deal With the Piles
Cleaning out your space results in piles. Piles of clothes you no longer wear … donate them. Piles of books you never have time to read …. keep the ones that you are seriously going to read in a place where you will see them often, don’t buy any new books until all of those are read, and donate the ones you know you will never open.
Piles of magazines with articles that you want to read or pictures of the kinds of dog that you want to get (someday) or pictures of fantubulous furniture that you will never be able to afford …. unsubscribe to the magazines you don’t really like (this was a tough one for me … I subscribe to nearly twenty), tear out the pages that you really want to keep, start a folder for the pages of those puppy pictures and funky furniture, then donate the magazines to your local women’s shelter or recycle them.
Piles of unused beauty products … if they are expired, throw them out … if it’s something you will actually use put the bottles out in the open (I lined mine up on the side of my bathtub) so that you will see them on a regular basis. This idea works with all of the food in your kitchen cabinets too. Sure it might look like you are a hoarder for a few days (or weeks), but too damn bad … you are de-stressing.
Use Before You Buy
The important thing is to NOT buy anything new until you have seriously used up what you have. You do NOT need another bottle of strawberry scented shampoo when the orange scented stuff will work just as well! You do NOT need to stop on the way home from work for dinner when there are four pizzas in your freezer! You do NOT need to buy another book or magazine when you have a pile of them just begging to be read!
Stay at Home
The clean out process can be combined with a declaration to stay home for a certain period of time. I have declared January to be “Go Nowhere Month”, which means that unless it is absolutely necessary, I am going to try to stay home in the evenings and on the weekends … cleaning out cabinets, closets, and under beds while saving money. By staying home, you also have more time to watch old movies, read those books and magazines, go for walks and suck up some fresh air.
Cleaning out your life really does make a difference on your level of stress. Less clutter equals less worry in so many ways.
One of the most important things in my Quest is taking the time to breathe. I stay in bed for a few minutes after the alarm clock goes off …. just breathing. I close my eyes for a few minutes while I am in the bathtub …. and just breathe. When I get home from work, I sit in the car for just a few minutes …. just breathing. Take the time to breathe.
De-stressing takes a serious commitment of time and energy at the beginning, but it pays for itself in the long run.
More From Our How To Series
Check out some of the posts our SITStahs have published previously!
- How To Use a 5 Day Plan to Stay On Top of Housework
- How To Organize Your Busy Week in 4 Easy Steps
- How to Help Children in Foster Care
- How To Survive Your Toddler’s Temper Tantrums
- How to Live Your Best Life
- How to Live In The Moment
- How to Plan Your Meals in Only 15 Minutes Per Week
- How to Shop Online
- How To Create a Fabulous Food Blog
- How to Write a Blog Post in 15 Minutes or Less
- How to Make Your About.Me Page Amazing
- How to Start a Blog Meme
- How to Get the Most from Your Google Reader
- How to Get Blog Readers
- How to Blog About Your Faith
- How to Eat Healthy…Sans the Family Whining
About the Author
Howdy! (that’s how we greet in Oklahoma) I am Gina, but you can call me Slappy. I picked that blog/nickname before I really knew what it meant. Oh well … I have been called worse. I am a child of a hoarder, been married to a firefighter for twenty years, overcame prescription drug addiction and a mental illness diagnosis and have five teenagers. I blog about my crazy daily life and my intense like of boxed wine. I am currently on a Quest to Destress my life and post about it at http://www.slappyintheface.com
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