April is Stress Awareness Month and has been annually for the last 22 years. People with Lupus, like myself need to manage their stress levels in order to prevent from having a Lupus flare. Here are five things that I do for myself on a daily basis to control my stress:
- Breath- I just take take 10 deep breaths every morning. I do it after I wake up or I incorporate it in my stretching routine.
- Get Moving- I make sure that I move every day and I have my Apple iWatch keep track of my steps. My steps are usually between 6,000 to 10,000 steps daily.
- Laughter- I always make sure I have at least one good laugh a day. I enjoy watching Seinfeld in the evening. It relaxes me and I get a good laugh from the show. Remember, humor can help melt away your stress and bring a positive vibe to your day. Also, it can calm down your stress response.
- Get Connected- I try to connect with at least one friend a day to just talk and relax. It reduces my stress levels and it benefits my state-of-mind.
- Assert Yourself- It has taken me many years to learn how to say "no," and to ask for what I want in my life. Learning to become more assertive is a good thing because if you "don't ask you don't get."
In honor of Stress Awareness Month, take some time out to get more informed and become better at recognizing your stress levels. It is key to learn the importance to reduce the stress in your life. You will become a better person and in return you will have peace and harmony, which equals happiness.
Smile, smile more and cherish yourself!