This is a question I ask myself on a daily basis. Do I really try to avoid stress or do I subconsciously crave it? If I were being honest with myself, the latter would be the correct answer. Honestly in this world of constant presence, it is hard to avoid stress. I wake up to the alarm on my phone, I immediately check my emails….25 overnight, then the texts start. First it is my bank account (if that’s not enough to stress you out), followed by weather alerts, school alerts, etc. By the time I finish my morning commute of dropping both my kids off at different schools, I have spent an hour on my phone (not while I was driving!). I genuinely feel like life, both in work and socially, expect you to hit the ground running, EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
It feels like I can’t breathe some days, like the walls are caving around me and I can’t get out; but, the rush drives me. Isn’t that addiction? Are we addicted to stress and instant information? When is the last time you went to the library and researched a question, old school? No way! You grab your phone and google the question and in less than .2 seconds you have a response. What if we took an hour out of the day, everyday, and turned the internet off …GASP!
Okay don’t panic, the internet is not going anywhere anytime soon and maybe you start with 15 minutes at a time. Maybe during that time you could do something different? For example, go for a walk, play with your kids, throw the ball with your dog, READ A BOOK, knit (a personal favorite of mine), play a board game with friends, take a yoga class or sign up for a “learn to” class at the community college, now for the biggest one of all… talk…to… your… spouse! Whew, is that what we used to do before the internet? The “unplugging” is absolutely important.
I could go on and on and on about stress and blood pressure, heart disease, weight gain, or heart attack. By now, I think most of us know the risks and consequences of chronic stress. Do we know how to mitigate it? My advice is to take time out of the day to calm your breathing and live in the moment.
My 2023 challenge to myself is to enjoy my time here on earth and live in the moment as much as I can. I will continue to post my journey in the blog. Want to join my challenge? Great! Send us a message on social media, email or heck hand write a letter and snail mail it, letting us know you want in on the challenge. We will have sporadic check ins via our Instagram/Facebook page asking about progress.
What is the first step you ask? Turn your devices off or mute them for 15 minutes and listen to the world. That’s right, listen to the birds or cars or whatever is around you for 15 minutes.
Catch up with you all soon,
Jayme Limbaugh RD