Relieving Stress: Be Nice to Yourself


By Tina O’Conner,

The final segment in our series for National Stress Awareness Month is first a review of topics shared and second to focus on why it is so important to value ourselves to keep our stress levels managed.

We discussed laughter as a “fun” stress reliever, the physical symptoms that stress embodies, and how keeping our workspace organized reduces the impact of stress.  How important is it for you to take care of yourself?  Some of us think that caring for ourselves is “selfish.”

As much as there is a negative connotation to the word “selfish,” it is healthy to take the time to set boundaries, say no, sleep in, sit out in the sunshine, take a walk, get a mani/pedi, go window shopping, join a gym, exercise, etc.

Why is it so difficult for us to do something nice for ourselves?  Why do we feel the tendency to overschedule personal time, stay late at work several times a week, or have the best house on the block?

I think one of the reasons we stress ourselves is to silence the voice in our head that says we are not good enough.  “If I could only,” then they would like me, then I would get the promotion, people would drive by and admire my home, my kids are the most popular are some of the thoughts that race in our minds.

The perspective is the more I feel inadequate, the more outside validation I seek.  The flip side, the more I value myself, the less I look for external assurance.  The standards we set for ourselves that define self, personal and professional, may be unrealistic.

We are setting ourselves up to fail, which reinforces the message we are not good enough.  Which in turn, creates stress.

Every single one of us deserves to be treated with respect and valued.  All of us have time to do one nice thing that shows respect for who we are.

Please take a moment today to acknowledge who you are, your contribution to your employer and coworkers, how you nurture and encourage your family, and how you contribute to your  peace of mind.  You earned it.  Enjoy it!!!

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