On stress: when good enough is enough! 

I see so many people in practice who are feeling tired and overwhelmed, they are stressed and exhausted and wondering why they are unable to manage their lives and make better choices. They feel shame and embarrassment because they perceive themselves as not coping and wonder why they don’t feel better. 

This is where I insert myself, with a kind heart and compassionate words. To those of you who are managing stress in your life, you are having a hard time because it is hard.  Whether you are a new mom, starting a new job or caring for an elderly parent, your exhaustion is an expected result of these uncontrollable external stresses and you are doing your best to manage.

We are told by our friends or physicians to relax or take more time for ourselves as if this was not something we would love to do if only we had access to it.  There are so many times in my life when, I have wanted to say to some well-intended person who has just suggested a day of self-care, “Thank you, what wonderful advice I had not thought about that before” (insert sarcastic voice here).

Dear ones, sometimes you are not supposed to feel great or vital or relaxed.  You may love the thought yet don’t have the resources to go for a massage or time to practice yoga. There are situations when drinking more coffee and eating a bag of chips is truly the only way you are going to get through the day.  There are seasons in our lives when feeling shitting is exactly what one would expect given everything that is going on. Instead of expecting ourselves to feel healthy and in control, an impossible request, why not be realistic with our expectations? Become honest about your situation and recognize you are winning, if you are simply doing your best to manage the deficit that is inevitably going on in our body.

I am talking about really leaning into the basics when it comes to self-care with the sole purpose of trying to minimize the cost to the body. A little can go a long way to decrease the negative impact that stress has on our body. Drinking more water, eating a few more vegetables or taking a short walk on a daily basis will have a profound result (even with the chips and coffee) in supporting your body during times of stress. 

So often if we can’t do it all then we do nothing. Challenge this tendency with all your might and provide yourself with a new belief that small acts will have a profound result in helping you during this time. Stay motivated with your intentions by knowing that when the stress has lowered and you have more resources to put towards your health your ability to restore will be less of a mountain to climb.

How about this? Ask very little of yourself and then stay fiercely committed to that intention.