Parents are juggling so much--work, kids’ schedules, planning for the future--often we’re not the priority any more and most of us don’t carve out the time for self-care, especially around the holidays.
Making that change, taking the initiative to introduce new practices or approaches, can be really hard to begin. So we turned to Dr. Navya Mysore to get some tips on taking that first step. Here’s what we had to share with us…
Start Small: Take 5 minutes.
Carving out even 5 minutes can help immensely to reduce stress and therefore help alleviate physical impacts of stress on the body--from physical ailments to emotional impacts.
Wondering where and how to start?
What else can you do in 5 minutes?
-Brief exercise to get your heart rate up
-Walk in the fresh air
Whatever you can carve out, taking a little time to yourself can help significantly reduce stress that builds up.
Keep scrolling for a Q&A with Dr. Navya!
What are the impacts of stress on our bodies, anyway?
Chronic stress is not great for our body or our mind. Stress hormones are not necessarily a bad thing as they can help us regulate our body when we need to react and have that "fight or flight" reaction, but when we are constantly stressed and the hormones are unregulated, the constant hormones can have a negative impact on our body. It can increase our risk for depression, general anxiety and reduce our immune system. Over time the constant stress can increase our risk of heart disease and worsen pre-existing conditions we may have.
Can stress impact your menstrual cycle?
Yes! Stress can impact your cycle, as can many other things including:
- Time zone changes
- Increased or decreased exercise
- Change in medication or supplements
- Sleep deprivation--including that from stress or lack of sleep from your job/working hours
How exactly does it affect your cycle? All of these lifestyle or mood changes can length of your period: making it either longer or shorter; change the density of your period: how heavy or light your period is; and effect the timing of your menstrual cycle, causing your cycle to be delayed or irregular.
Finally, do you have any apps or other resources you'd recommend for stress reduction?
I like Headspace, Calm and Insight Timer for meditation apps. Different personalities gravitate towards one or the other as they have different meditation styles.
I also am a big fan of the Peloton meditation and yoga content on their app. They have a "Yoga Anywhere" series that allows for quick stretches with no equipment allowing you to have some mindfulness with movement on the go or from your desk.
For kids and families - Peloton also has a "Fit Family Fun" series that is a simple fun yoga series you can do with kids. The other one we have enjoyed doing at home too is yoga on the "Cosmic Kids" app.
Breaking the cycle of stress or habits that may reinforce stress can be difficult. Taking just five to ten minutes and replacing even one daily habit is a great place to start. Have other helpful tips for reducing stress in a short period of time? Please drop them in the comments below!
Photo courtesy of Adam Stefanca via Unsplash and Rachel Appelo