Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Finding quiet moments and balance for a stress free life.

Stress is apart of our every day lives. We wake up stressed out and go to bed stressed out. Many of us don't even recognize stress anymore because we are so use to it. Many of my friends right now are planning for new babies, moving, house hunting and weddings planning which are good stresses but still stress. Some are dealing with the lose of loved ones and others are dealing with personal illness. We all have stress! For me these past 8 months have been very stressful with my Hubby being deployed. So I wanted to share a few things that I personally believe in and try to do to in order to find those quiet moments and have balance and as much of a stress in my life as possible.
1) Breath in the fresh air… I’m not talking about just stepping outside and going, "ok I took some breaths!" and then running back inside to do your job or project. I’m talking about going out for a short or long walk, I take my dog every day, and really taking time to breath and look at nature. Really breath deeply. Maybe find a beautiful spot and stop there. Take in 5-10 really long deep breaths. Look at the beauty around you the green grass or the blue sky…Even here in New England when its cold and grey, I look at the bare trees all dancing together in the wind and I reflect on how strong they are for living through the hard winter months. To me no matter how ugly or crazy the world gets nature is always peaceful and grounding and oxygen is always my drug of choice.
2) Find a few hours, one day a week and dedicate it as time for yourself. I can not stress how important it is to have something of your very own!  Many people are lucky to have time to themselves once a day and if you can make time that often then great! But lets face it, many people have full time jobs and full time families and that eats up a lot of time. So, personally, I demand 2 hours a week minimum just for me. One thing I do during this time is Kripalu Yoga. For an hour each week I go to my yoga mat and let the world around me go by while I concentrate on me and positive energy.  Some people may feel this is selfish but I feel this is self preservation and loving yourself. Allowing yourself to enjoy time alone is not selfish its imperative to ones mental health! A few other great things to try for time alone are…. a hot bath with candles and oils, an hour locked away with a good book, a hot cup of tea with your favorite magazine on the porch (that's one of my personal favorite quiet moments), a massage, a pedicure, a round of golf or maybe just a long walk alone. This time alone helps you unwind and its a time to be quiet and indulge in your self worth in a positive manner. quote(Picture from Pinterest
3) Make time for healthy social behavior. I don't mean make time to go out to the bar lol.. I mean make time to go out to dinner with your two oldest friends or volunteer for an organization you respect and make new friends! Make a date night at least once a month with your spouse (whether you have kids or not!) and get out of the house! Even if its just a walk the beach together. Having healthy relationships is really important. We are social creatures by nature and Facebook and Instagram are not the “healthy” social behavior I’m talking about. Sometimes you can't avoid having to use technology to maintain a friendship but its possible to do it in a healthy manner. I unfortunately live very far from many of my closest friends but we make Skype dates and phone dates and make sure our schedule is cleared for a chunk of time, so we can really focus on what the other is saying. I also make sure when I move to a new area to make friends….this seems to get harder as we get older but the best way to make friends never changes…. be yourself and be outgoing. If you meet a lady a book club and she seems nice then next month get her number and see if she wants to go out for coffee or invite her and her husband over for dinner. I find when your older making friends is very similar to dating. You have to take a risk and see if your personalities really mesh. But friendships both with other couples (if your in a relationship) and with individuals is really important. Being around others that are going through what your going through or introduce you to new topics of conversations, stimulates your brain to think and converse which is far more important than we think. Often when I’m super busy and stressed I find that a few hours with some girlfriends, and usually a bottle of wine lol,  is the perfect de-stressor! Or when my husband and I are both feeling overwhelmed by work and just life in general, we often host a BBQ with friends. We ask everyone to bring a dish to cut down on the prep and stress of hosting and we start early in the day so we can play yard games like Quates or Corn hole. That little bit of social time with our peers goes a long, long way! IMG_0602(us *on the right* out to dinner while on vacation with two of our closest friends!)
4) Last but not least Eating well! I find when I’m really stressed out that I have a tendency to go for the quick and easy a.k.a - sugary and carb filled foods. I crave things like kit-kats and grilled cheese. Now there is always a time and a place for kit-kats and for those of you that know me, you know I have a very special place in my heart for a grilled cheese! But when I’m stressed I could eat these types of foods for breakfast lunch and dinner or even worse, skip a meal all together. Lets face it, none of those are not good choices! I find the more meals I skip and the more I eat, what I refer to as filler foods, the worse I feel and the more stressed I get. So when I am feeling like life is moving too fast... I go grocery shopping. Yup sounds weird but its true. I go to the store and buy some organic spinach, cauliflower, some nitrate free ham, Greek yogurt and maybe a few of my favorite or seasonal fruits. I make something like cauliflower soup. Its easy to make, lasts for a 5-7 days and I can eat it for lunch over the next few days. I eat the fruit or yogurt when I’m craving that sugary kit-kat and I make weird little rollups of cooked spinach with garlic salt on it, ham and cheese. These types of protein and nutrient rich foods keep my energy up and they improve my mood. Plus its not a lot of cooking or stress. I also am more aware of my water consumption. Being dehydrated is really bad for you and often people don't even realize they are dehydrated and how much its affecting them. (this may have to be a whole other post because I could talk about water for days.) Any way I am pro water and pro nutrient rich food in my daily life and when I’m not stressed out those are the natural choices I make and I don’t really have to think twice about it. BUT When I am stressed out, I have to make sure to be consciously aware of making good choices in what I’m fueling my body with.
When life gets moving too fast and stress starts to rise I really try to go back to these basic concepts, that I have just shared, and check in with  myself to see if I need to do one or all of them. I ask "Am I really breathing in life and positive energy? Am I making time for me? How are my relationships and social activity levels? And lastly how are my eating habits is my body being properly fueled?" Usually I find when I am feeling stressed that at least one or more of these areas of my life is off balance. Once I adjust and make the changes necessary, my stress level usually drops off and I find that I’m happier and to be honest, healthier!
IMG_0586  IMG_0589
Happy Healthy Me = Happy Healthy Hubby = Happy Healthy Marriage = Stress free life filled with beautiful quiet moments.

I hope this post has helped many of you check in with yourself and think about how you handle stress. Maybe I've given you some good ideas of how to handle stress, if you don't have your own methods already. Or maybe you want to try new methods. Either way I hope it encourages some of you to continue on with a positive attitude through these last few weeks of a long cold winter. Happy Hump Day everyone, stay positive!
Creatively Yours,
Christina Marie 


  1. Love it!!! Such good advice. Keep these posts coming. :)

    1. Thank you! I'll try to keep writing as much as possible :) thanks for stopping by come
      Back soon!


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