Most of us are aware of the big stressors which rob us of health and happiness and so have learned to cope using our personal strategies. But did you know that sneaky little stressors can do greater damage, exacting a huge toll on mind and body because we are unaware of them?
Out of the blue you experience symptoms like feeling irritable, sad and fatigued with an inexplicable craving for junk food. Major research in stress management points to the cumulative effect of little stressors. They unleash an inflammatory response, weakening your immune system, making you more susceptible to allergies and viruses.
6 Sneaky end-of summer stressors and what to do about them:
- The days are shorter and the sunís rays are getting weaker. You might be going through tanning withdrawal. Since you get Vitamin D and a boost in serotonin from the sun, you experience the blues with less sun exposure. Food and mood correlate highly. Follow the recommendations of the American Medical Associationís sunny Mediterranean diet to achieve emotional balance.
- Less fun time for the self. Summer rhythm is lazier and more relaxing. Traditionally, autumn means serious work. Remember those back to school days which linger in your psyche? There is less time for joy and spontaneity and more time to feel pressured and frazzled. Schedule adult play dates. Anticipate them like a Monday morning power breakfast with friends or Thursday night after-work socializing.
- Less time for exercise. Exercise is the most efficient way to rid the body of stress and generate health and happiness, but now there doesnít seem to be enough time. Remember that freshman weight gain? Find the time! The benefits of exercise are cumulative. Five minutes here and there add up and according to the Harvard Health Letter can efficiently lower blood pressure and control insulin levels throughout the day. Just mind your muscle and move with alacrity.
- Feeling under-accomplished and down on the self because you didnít finish those projects you planned to do over the summer. Donít give yourself a deadline. Replace that negative thought with a positive one: You percolated the idea over the summer to implement in the fall.
- End of summer friendships. Be aware that there is a cycle to friendships. Some friendships are outgrown; some are merely pragmatic; some friendships can be maintained throughout the year. Take an inventory and keep the good memories in your heart.
- Many plants and trees look fried. Tap into the rhythm of nature and decorate your home and garden with fall flowers like mums. Soon you will enjoy tree architecture if you live in an area with deciduous trees.
For more information on managing your stress and reclaiming your life read my book, Addicted to Stress: A Woman's 7 Step Program to Reclaim Joy and Spontaneity in Life. To listen to archived radio shows with guest experts visit Turn On Your Inner Light Radio Show