Stress: Slow Down or Die

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Slow down or die from stress. It’s kind of that simple.

Time and time again we as women like to think that as super women, we are invincible and we are not. I’m right there with you in the delusions of thinking I am invincible as the modern-day super woman.

I think I can do everything because I am a strong woman.

I can have my own business, date, work a 9-5 job, take care of my family, be a friend to all and even try to volunteer to help others. And because I think I’m the extreme version of super woman, I can also make time to travel the world and hang out on beaches all while doing everything else. If I had kids I can only imagine how much more stressful life would be, as I know I’d still think I could do it all.

However, I cannot do it all. You cannot do it all. We cannot do it all.

I know this is a news flash for some and can double as an intervention for many. But maybe this friendly intervention is what is needed for us to regroup and work smarter and not try to multitask our way through stress. Or worse die trying to do it.

 photo Tim-Gunn-MAKE-IT-WORK.gifUntil recently, I’ve been an advocate of the Tim Gunn philosophy of “Make it work!” I’ve lived in stressful environments most of my life and I’ve found ways to make things work. I’ve actually been proud of my abilities as a strong black woman to always find ways to make things work.

But there comes a time when the stress of life is not a matter we just make work as it is a deadly game.

Did you know that surveys by the American Psychological Association (APA) repeatedly found that women report higher levels of stress than men? Women also tend to show signs of stress physically like hypertension, obesity, and depression to name a few. Does any of this sound familiar to you or sound like someone you know?

It’s time to get real serious about finding a healthy solution to our stress and pain because alcohol, though I love a good cocktail, is not a solution. Hours of watching our favorite reality TV show or getting lost in some ice cream aren’t options either.

As I remove all the little tabs from several EKGs and cut off my hospital bracelet, I am reminded that I cannot do it all.

You cannot do it all. We cannot do it all.

We still can be super women with our cute outfits and still be deemed strong women. Let’s just be the healthier version and start putting ourselves first. What do you think?

Healthy options:

  1. Digital Timeout – delete social media apps for a couple of days or longer. Trust me, you can always come back and it will be the same memes and videos. The break from the sensory overload is a good way to start relaxing your mind.
  1. Unplug From the World – Take a solo trip, even if only a day trip, gives you time to be alone with your own thoughts. Going to the beach or hiking are great places for solitude.
  1. Meditation – Go within to get clarity and regroup. Check out YouTube for guided meditation to get you started. I’ve found it easier to have someone to walk me through it, then sitting in a room trying to be all Zen-like.
  1. Start Moving! – Exercise is a great stress reliever. If you don’t think you have time, park your car a little further or take the stairs. Another great option is joining a group exercise class or something like Black Girls Run.
  1. Coloring – Sounds like a child’s activity but getting lost in staying in between the lines with some music may be just what you need. There are plenty of adult coloring books if you don’t want to color some princess.

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An eclectic, world traveling sista from San Francisco expressing 'Rogue-Thoughts' on food, travel, music, fashion and living an authentic life unapologetically.

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