Summer, Stress and Garden Visitors

Stress? During summertime? Now how is that fair? You would think that with such beautiful summer weather, no Mom could ever be stressed. I mean, what’s to stress about? I spend my day at the beach, poolside, or lounging on the couch in the A/C right? What do I have to stress about!? {those who know me understand that this is the furthest thing from the truth}

Mom has stress. Dad has stress. Kids have stress. We stress. It is, sadly, one of the most common things we as Americans do. We stress. And oh how we stress! In fact, we stress so much that often the first thing any healthcare professional will say in order to avoid being ill is this, “Avoid stress.” 9 times out of 10, we think, “Yeah right.. not in my life!”

I love to talk to people about their idea of stress relief. You’d be surprised at some of the things I’ve been told help people relax! Even more surprising is how many people do not take stress relief seriously. They simply do not know how, have no interest or worse still, “I have no time!”

So the question begs to be asked… how do I de-stress? Everyone handles stress in a different way. Stress makes me super productive but gives me insomnia. I am prone to work myself silly until I can’t see straight. For me, handling stress is much easier in the summer. I walk in the garden. Being so close to nature, my animals, my herbs and plants with the sunshine on my back is about the closest thing to divinity. Even if I am outside for 15 minutes in my gardens, it’s amazing how such a little break can be so healing.  I never know what I’ll experience in those 15 minutes. Yesterday, I was treated to a visitor in my flower bed along my pony’s paddock. I was delighted to have the such a beautiful visitor and thrilled even more to grab a few photographs! This short hiatus from the rest of the day gave me the perspective I needed to go back and finish what I was dealing with. Not only that, I was better able to cope and overall, everyone was more pleasant because of it.

In winter, I try and use yoga to combine mental and physical techniques to de-stress. For me, winter is always more challenging because I don’t have the ability to be submerged in green plants and sunlight.

As an Herbalist I often have the pleasure of working with fantastic providers that can help people deal with stress. Please look to the right of your screen under “Blogroll” for some fabulous practitioners. Some great suggestions to help deal with stress are:

  • Massage
  • Chiropractic Care
  • Herbal Tea (even the ritual of preparing herbal tea is so relaxing!)
  • Walking
  • Yoga
  • Swimming
  • Meditation
  • Blogging (yes, it works!)
  • Reading (and read for fun, not just for education!)

Jai Kai’s blog invites you to try some “unconventional” ways to deal with stress. I love this for a few reasons:

  • Always be honest! Even if being honest makes you feel uncomfortable it’s the best way to DEAL with the situation
  • EVERYONE should dance in the summer rain! It is so unbelievably recharging. Try it, I swear you’ll love it
  • Give yourself the opportunity to slack off. Really. Having the chance makes you more productive in the long run

I leave you with this thought:

Making the time to give yourself a short 15 minute “perspective” break every day will make you more productive overall. Try it for a week and see. It’s a place to start! And with that, I’m off to walk in my garden for my break! 🙂 <3

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