Living and Thriving Gluten Free

Healthy & Whole Food Eating

Categories: Mindset & Attitude    

When we don't feel well, and look for advice from a variety of people, there are bound to be some people who tell you that all your problems are related to stress.

Tea pot and tea cup
Image by: Jill Wellington

Reducing Stress is Only Part of the Solution:

It's unfortunate that often those we seek help from only have advice within their own specialty. We've heard the saying that Surgeons only see surgery as the solution, and Allergists only see allergy medication as the solution, and Psychiatrists only see psychiatric medication as the solution.

Each person is unique and it's likely they'll need to combine several different solutions to fully overcome whatever ails them.

They'll also need to use the different solutions in differing amounts. For one person they'll need to remove more from their diet, and do just a bit of stress reduction. For another person it may be just a couple food removals, and a lot of food additions, and some major stress reduction. There will be several other solutions they'll need to add in in different amounts, based on what their individual situation is.

Stress reduction can be situational, such as being too busy, and trying to do too much, and doing too many things that you really don't like to do. These are things that you can do a review on, and work towards reducing them.

There's also situational stress that is much harder to change, such as the death or illness of a loved one, or a divorce. For these things there's not much we can do to change the situation. These things require a change in attitude. Some people can do some guided self help to help with this, and others will need various types of help from trained professionals on how to change their perspective on their situation.

It can also be physical, such as if you have adrenal fatique, or major hormone imbalances. This is the kind of stress that you'll need some lab testing to determine, and then learn how to fix the physical issues, which may be via medication and / or major diet and lifestyle changes.

Review Your Stress Levels:

Here's a few things you can do for a light review of situational stress, where you have the power to change them. This isn't a replacement for professional help, but a quick review and things you can do on your own to reduce some the stress you may be feeling.

Reduce Your Work Load at Home:

Over time we take on a lot of responsibility and for some people they just keep adding more, and never removing any. Some people think they have to do all kinds of things for their families and don't realize that it's simply too much. Take a review of everything you do and see what you can either stop doing completely, or give the task to someone else.

  • This can be things like having everyone pick up after themselves so you can reduce the time you spend doing that.
  • It could be getting someone else to help with meal prep and after dinner clean up.
  • It could be starting a grocery shopping list and filling it out proactively so you can reduce the trips to the store. With planning you can cut this down a lot.
  • It could be joining a car pool for kids after school activities. With 3 or 4 families cooperating, this can be a big time saver. Even if the trip is a bit stressful with a lot of yelling kids, it can happen 1/4 of the amount of time.

Add Some Enjoyable Activities Back Into Your Life:

When we're young, and going out on our own for the first time, and getting friends we start doing a lot of fun things. Those could include shopping trips with friends, lunch out, going to movies, going to the spa or the gym.

As we get older, and married, and have kids, many of these activities get dropped. If you find you've dropped all of them, it's time to put some of them back in. If you can gain some time back from the previous suggestions, you'll be able to add some back in.

Make a list of those things you'd like to add back in.

  • It may be one thing you miss the most, that you want to make regular time for.
  • It may be that you want some variety and want to add a different thing each week.
  • It may be that you simply want some quiet time with a book, or to lay in the backyard, or some other relaxing activity you haven't done in a long time.
  • It could be taking up a hobby you've wanted to do for a long time, but simply haven't had the time before.
  • Find some things that you enjoy, that give you some pleasure and that makes you smile.

In Conclusion:

This kind of stress reduction is not going to transform our lives, but it can allow us to take a "breather," to get a small amount of joy back into our lives. When we're sick, and having a tough time not getting better, and then couple that with life being dull, boring, and overly busy, it's really nice to just get a bit of a break. It can be depressing when nothing in our life seems to go well.

For some people, just getting a little bit of break, a time to laugh or take a big sigh, can be enough to keep going.

The time spent organizing and planning will be well worth the effort.

If planning a nice game night or family movie night is on your radar, then check out our Recipes section, where you can find some nice treats you can make, with the help of your kids, for a fun filled night.

Relax, eat and enjoy!

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