March is Women’s History Month and I am all about it. Through International Women's Day and all the months' festivities, we honor and celebrate all the incredible women in our lives.
Women's History Month feels particularly meaningful to me as the focus of my work centers around women and their health. However, I refuse to narrow my celebration of women to just one month. My goal is to empower women and keep the conversation surrounding their well-being going as long as I can. In celebration and support of the amazing women I've met and will continue meet, I want to talk about why we get stressed.
The Importance of Self-Care and Stress Relief
The collection of stressors in women's lives is as lengthy and detailed as our to-do lists. Between developing our careers, nurturing our relationships and navigating gender-based discrimination each day, it's wonder we have any time left to de-stress.
In addition to our external stressors, many women experience changes in mood due to their menstrual cycle. Menstruation deeply impacts the body's hormones, causing some women's brain chemistry to change. It is perfectly natural to experience shifts in mood and behavior throughout your cycle.
Instead of letting stress overwhelm us, I invite the women in my life to see these challenges as an opportunity to help us better understand ourselves and each other. Through empathy and understanding we can develop a sense of balance and practice methods of natural stress relief.
Through my work with women's health and wellness, I've noticed a detrimental trend. Women are working full-time with very long hours and continuing to take on the majority of their home life tasks. Because women have historically taken on more emotional labor than men, it is important that we remember to make time for ourselves. We have a long way to go before we completely normalize evenly distributing our responsibilities among all genders. Prioritizing our self-care and stress relief is healthy first step.
Break Through Stress By Understanding Your Cycle
Women are living out of harmony. By trying to conform to the rigidity of the world's social constructs, we build habits that do not serve us in our daily lives. We try to fit ourselves into the same routine each day without acknowledging that our bodies naturally shift every single month. If we begin to attentively listen to our bodies, our lives will change for the better.
I want to touch on menstrual cycles because I have researched many different types of healing methodologies surrounding this topic. They all come back to the same idea: you will live out of harmony if you try to reject what is natural to you. Think about it. Have you ever pushed yourself too much during your menstrual cycle? As a result, you may have experienced a number of unpleasant symptoms such as cramping, migraines, breast tenderness, clotting, and water retention. By ignoring your body's natural signals to slow down, you increase the stress in your life. Natural stress relief comes when you listen your body.
Stress Relief Remedy
My invitation to you: listen to your body. Your body knows what it needs in order to thrive. It gives you signals of its needs and desires every day. You can de-stress by playing close attention.
To gain a better understanding of your natural cycle, use an app or your preferred method to track your cycle. When you know where you are in your cycle, you can better understand your behavior and address your needs appropriately.
Break Through Stress By Engaging in Self-Care
As dynamic, ambitious and empowered women, it can be easy to forget to make time for ourselves. If you are experiencing excess stress in your life, take a moment to reflect on the last time you engaged in self-care. If it's been a long time or you can't remember, take a moment to add self-care to your schedule.
Listen, I don't care if you have ten kids or you're the CEO of a large company - you need to make time for your needs. If you do not care for yourself, how do you expect to care for others?
Stress Relief Remedy
In order to de-stress, start with setting aside ten to fifteen minutes to do something small for yourself. There are many ways to stress less. All you have to do is figure out what works best for you. This could be anything from eating a delicious meal, journaling, taking a moment to stand outside in the sun, or simply taking some deep breaths. Whatever brings you joy, I invite you to start implementing a self-care practice into your life.
Break Through Stress By Setting Boundaries
This is a big one and possibly the most challenging form of self-care. But I am here to tell you that it is okay to say no. If your plate is full, respect that. It is okay to decline invitations to events that do not serve you and to say no to those who do not inspire you. Of course, we need navigate knowing how and when to say no. But in most situations, you can can find a compromise that honors your needs. Living without personal boundaries depletes our energy, personal resources, money, and our capacity to love.
Stress Relief Remedy
Examine the areas of your life that make you feel depleted and try to find a way to make room for your needs. This could look like scaling back time you spent on an activity and instead filling that gap in your schedule with activities for self-care. If you are in a busy season of your life and do not know where to begin, start small. Try enjoying your lunch in silence instead of with co-workers. These small personal boundaries invite more joy into our lives and help us de-stress.
Take Action: Break Through Stress
We, as women, need to take control of our lives so we can thrive and kick ass. Putting ourselves last on the list will not allow us to get where we want to be and where we deserve to be. Check in with your body every day. Love yourself every day. Set appropriate boundaries every day. My final invitation to you is to live in harmony and break through stress.
Is stress impacting your entire being? Are you suffering from low energy, low libido, stress, overwhelm or exhaustion? Have you thought about coaching to enhance your life? Click the image below to schedule your complimentary breakthrough call with Lauren Baptiste. What better time than RIGHT NOW to break through the muck that's inhibiting your healthiest, happiest and most energetic and productive self.