The challenge of 2014 – to be less challenging!

For all of us, this next year will be a challenge in one way or another. For me, the challenge is to finally make a recurring failed goal in my life to happen – reduce my stress levels.

stick figure and stress

Now some of you are going to say – not going to happen. And other will say – what stress?

We all have different levels of stress and manage that stress differently. In fact stress also manifests in the physical body differently for each of us. It’s a matter of finding out what works for you. Or in this case, for me! :)

See I get stressed if I work too much – then I can’t shut my mind off. But I also get stressed if I don’t work enough – because then I can’t shut my mind off. Lol.

Stress figure

The happy medium appears to be when I achieve my goals for that day. So the answer? Don’t make my daily goals so high! That makes it easier to attain my goals and reduces my stress levels.

There are many things in my life I can’t control – kids’ decisions, parents’ decisions, friends actions. But I can change my attitude to them. And that is a work in progress, AND I am making progress. I just have to remember, I will always be a work in progress myself. Lol.

Yoga position

As for the things I can control, what I eat, drink, say etc, it’s important to set goals I can reach that will make me feel good. And it’s important that I do a few things everyday to help me de-stress.

Here are a few of them.

Music – I write to a heavy rock beat and I rest to meditation music – HERE is a wonderful album to download for free.

Exercise – I prefer to walk out in nature rather than go to a gym, stretch and do yoga poses than go to a center, but have started pulling a few tricks on the kids that meant I got a few extra steps in and a few extra minutes of fresh air:

  • I don’t push a buggy; I carry a basket so I have to work a little harder when shopping.
  • I park at the far end of the parking lot so I have to walk further to get into the stores.
  • I bag my purchases in such a way that I have to make more trips to carry everything in  from the van.
  • I often shop alone so I’m not tempted to have my kids do the bulk of the work.
  • I walk after dinner to lower my blood sugar and help my metabolism

Supplements – I’m not big on drugs and would prefer to get my nutrients from the food I eat but that isn’t always possible. So I take vitamin B, D and my essential oils. If I find myself getting stressed, I take a couple of sprays of Rescue Remedy. It always helps me calm back down and eases the knot in my stomach. And it works on all animals as well.

Tea – I’m a big tea drinker (and coffee) and use tea as both an energizer (black tea) and as a calming agent (chamomile). I love loose leaf teas and use that form whenever I can. We have many little tea shops here and it’s always a fun trip to go and get a batch of something just for me. There is Oolong, Darjeeling, Maicha, Chai, Earl Gray, and many variations of Green on hand at all times.

Doing something special – This can be something as simple as stealing a half hour from work to read in my room. Or go for a walk just because the snow is falling and it’s so beautiful, or treating myself to a Bodum of coffee when I’m alone and I get to have it ALL! lol. I received this one as a gift for Christmas! :)

And the other thing I’m looking to do this year is to make my goal rewards to be about stress relief. The one like in particular is to treat myself with a massage (or something similar) every time I publish a new book! I’m really looking forward to that! :)

woman-on-head-massage-treatment-100114052

And as an aside – considering getting and giving something for free is great for stress relief, I’ll tell you about a new anthology I’m in called Darlings of Paranormal Romance.

Darlings of Paranormal Romance

If you like freebies, then this one is for you!

Where do you need to reduce your stress? And what are you doing about it?

About Dale Mayer

Dale Mayer writes romantic suspense, with or without paranormal elements like TUESDAY'S CHILD (2011) and now young adult books in various genres like DANGEROUS DESIGNS (2011). Writing stabilizes her in a life gone wild! The other stabilizers? Cheesecake and her four cats! Of course, she's dreaming to think she'll get a piece cheesecake once her four kids find out she's been baking!
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10 Responses to The challenge of 2014 – to be less challenging!

  1. Edie Ramer says:

    Great blog! Love all the pictures. You drive yourself more than I do. I do as much as I can – and sometimes more – but some point, I listen to my body that’s tell me to STOP!

    This usually happens at night. Reading is the best. But sometimes I’m so wiped out I can’t even read, and I just watch TV with my husband. I love to walk, but I’ve always walked with my dogs, and our dogs had physical problems the last couple years. I might take my dog for a short walk today, because that’s all she’s up to. This spring and summer, I’ll walk more by myself. It will seem strange and sad. Oh, and I do a short yoga exercise in the morning. I should do more.

    • Dale Mayer says:

      Hi Edie,

      When I was fostering the beagle, I walked constantly. It was great but it was painful letting him go. And I am not ready for that again. lol. I love walking at the beginning and the end of the day. I have to remember to pull back more often.

      And to remember it’s okay to just sit and do nothing!

  2. Cynthia Eden says:

    Love those ways for reducing stress!!!

    • Dale Mayer says:

      Hey Cynthia – we need so many ways to deal with our lives these days! Talk about stressful! So happy to hear you are moved and moving forward again! :)

  3. Cool post. I could do with less stress too. LOL. Love the idea of treating yourself after you finish a book.
    Jennifer Estep`s last blog was …Scarlett Dawn on fantasy and more …

    • Dale Mayer says:

      Hi Jennifer,

      I need to do something to honor the finishing of a new book – I’ve released 18 and have done nothing yet. It’s so time to change that! lol.

  4. marilynbrant says:

    Dale, great stress-relief ideas!!
    I particularly love tea…so that’s something I could definitely relate to ;).
    marilynbrant`s last blog was …Happy 2014!

  5. Amy R. says:

    Hi Dale – I told myself this year is going to be about balance. I find that if I am more balanced in my activities, I tend to have less stress. Sometimes I obsess over one area in my life, which then interferes with other things. My goal to balance is more scheduling. Many times I leave things wide open on the calendar and then get sucked into saying yes to something, but if I schedule in downtime or family time, that will help me keep the balance. Or, at least, I hope. :)

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