Emotional Stress- the hallmark of today’s society- is linked with a myriad of ailments, including vertebral subluxation, heart disease, stroke, cancer, infertility, headaches, depression and insomnia.
This week, start stamping out stress by re-evaluating your daily schedule. Get creative. Free up some time by organizing a school carpool with similarly harried parents. Consider swapping babysitting time with a neighbor or hiring a local teenager to take over some household chores.
Next, make a list of three obligations you can cancel or delegate to others this week. For many, learning to turn down requests is difficult. Here are a few tips to help you say "NO".
-Wait 24 hours before responding to a substantial request for your time
-Repeat to yourself over and over again, "It’s ok to say ‘no’ to stress-inducing commitments that will interfere with my well-being".
-Refuse to give in when pushy persuaders become crusaders for your time
-Create a "saying no script" you are comfortable with. Explain that you are focusing on boosting your level of health, and that means carving out additional time for yourself to prevent stress.
-Use the "broken record" technique with those who pester you repeatedly. This means responding to each attempt to change your mind with an identical script.
After you’ve carved out more time in your routine, investigate stress-reduction techniques, and choose one to practice for at least 15 minutes, three time per week. Techniques to consider include yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, t’ai chi, biofeedback, writing in a journal/blog or engaging in a hobby or craft you enjoy.
If you need help choosing a stress-reduction technique, ask your chiropractor for advice. Doctors of chiropractic can help you choose the right technique for your lifestyle and provide referrals for related courses in the community. The Moms Network (www.momsnetwork.com) and the At Home Dad Network (www.athomedad.com) provide winning time-management suggestions for stay-at-home parents. For more information on the saying "no" effectively, check out Conversationally Speaking by Alan Garner (Lowell House) or How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty by Patti Breitman (Doubleday).
Challenge for this week- reconsider your schedule and adopt a stress-reduction regime.