I recently read a post online that said “Relax your shoulders, unclench your jaw, and unstick your tongue from the roof of your mouth.” – ZA.
CAUGHT red handed because I most definitely was doing all 3 things without realizing. I immediately thought – wait, what? How on earth is this even possible? The author of the caption wrote” Sometimes, we are storing stress in our bodies without even noticing it and the body is just trying to cope. Relax a little.” Sometimes we are carrying loads subconscioulsy and our bodies manifests the weight in otherwise unnoticeable ways. When I registered that my body was storing stress in these little ways, I thought about how many others are probably doing the same.
My granny always used to tell me that grinding my teeth is a bad habit, I didn’t practice it a lot but I noticed that those around me who did, were often stressed out. They’d grind away their enamel as a coping mechanism to handle whatever life was tossing them at that moment. It makes me think, what am I holding onto that is affecting my body’s natural response to relaxation. Is it anxiety and insecurity? Being unsure about the future? The fact that it’s now the 2nd month in 2020 and I’m still brining up the rear on my checklist? What?
I don’t know what life is like for you right now, but I want to leave you this little nugget – if you keep storing stress, your body will take it on and begin manifesting the stress in various ways. I’m no medical practicioner, but from personal experience, stress manifestation may look like – joint pain, sickness, increase inflammation in the body, irrational mood swings, eating habits, the works. Of course other factors could also contirbute to these effects as well.
If you don’t let go of what you can’t control you’ll lose your mind. Let👏🏾 It 👏🏾 Go 👏🏾
Can you control what is before you? Yes? Then set a plan in place to do what you can, wihtin a feasible timeframe. Don’t over bite and choke, take off what you can manage and adjust as your gain ground. Honestly, it’s okay if you haven’t checked off every last one of your January 2020 goals in January. There are 11 months left in the year. We place so much emphasis and unnecessary stress on ourselves to complete all the tasks in the hype of “creating resolutions” but often forget that the list must be authentic and realistic. Your steps toward accomplishing the goal can be adjusted at anytime. Take your time and commit to creating work that can outlive you. When the hype dies down, you want to be standing with peace of mind and strength for another day.
If you can’t control what is before you, ask for help! Ask someone if they can assist and if they can’t try another someone else. If that doesn’t work and you’ve exhausted all possible workarounds, push pause for a moment and come back to it. Remember, the pressue to perform is in the mind of the performer. Wanting to give of your best is commendable, but not at the expense of your sanity. There’s only one you darling and stress is no respecter of persons. It’ll take out whosoever is in its path.
Stress can be triggered by a number of things, whether internal and external occurences. What helps the process is creating avenues to cope as we work on ridding stressors. I’ve listed some of my coping mechanisms (outside of asking for help, because this is a HUGE thing for me) below that have helped me get through rough patches, perhaps you can find solace here or use this list as a starting point to find what works for you.
1 – Adult colouring book. If you’re an art and craft enthusaist then this could be a good avenue for you to release some pressure. I whip out my book and my Crayola Pencils & Sharpie stash and get going. My book is called “Restore My Soul” by Ann-Margret Hovsepian. Linked it right here for you but search around for one that best suits you. This colouring book doubles as a devotional with short stories and scriptures.
2 – Take deep breaths. In through the nose, hold and out through the mouth. And when I say deep I mean DEEP. You can do this at your desk, at home, running errads without too much hassle.
3 – Write it out. Or vent it out if you’re a talker. Whichever method works best for you go for it. I journal A LOT and doodle even more so sometimes I may just sketch words of reassurance in my journal to combat the pressure that I feel.
4 – Go for a walk. If you’re at the office remove yourself from the desk for about 2-5 minutes and step outside. If it’s practical to take a short walk around the building to get some fresh air.
5 – Bathroom break. The bathroom is somtimes the only place you can actually get some privacy. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a bathroom break. You can cry without question in there, allow youself to feel what you’re going through but always get back up.
6 – Finally, relax your shoulders, unclench your teeth and move your tongue from the roof of your mouth. When you become conscious about it you can practice relaxing a bit more. I didn’t realize how tense I was until I read that quote and then the light bulb went off and I’ve been actively counteracting the tension ever since.
This too shall pass! Let go what you can’t control.
Can’t wait to see the greatness come out of you!