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©2016 by Shannon Johnson. Proudly created with Wix.com

The Rest Series {Part 3} Chronic Stress

June 7, 2017

Hello my friends, It has been a few weeks since I have written but I am BACK with part 3 of the rest series. Catch up on parts 1 and 2.

 

Today we are going to be talking about something I know way too well, chronic stress.

 

Do you ever find yourself stuck in a cycle of being so completely dependent on your cup of coffee in the morning and then absolutely have to have a glass of wine at night to slow down, completely unable to decipher which dependency came first?

 

Do you feel guilty for taking time for yourself and always overfill your calendar to later realize you simply do not have the bandwidth for it all?

 

If any of this is you, you are in good company.

 

I know it is no secret to you all that this past year I completely over-extended myself taking care of my father, my family, a fairly new job and a husband who travels a lot for work. After a while, stress became my normal and there wasn't one area of my life that wasn't effected: my friendships began to fade, my sleep was interrupted, I could not focus clearly on my wellness goals or much at all at work. 

 

I wanted and felt honored to be a part of this chapter for my dad, but I couldn't let go of some of the things that needed to be let go of through this time. I just kept pushing and trying and filling buckets that have giant holes in them, only to not notice and to continue to make a muddy mess. 

 

Until one day, I just couldn't. I dropped it all. All the buckets, all over the floor.

 

 

Have you ever found yourself in a place like that? Where all the weight of all the worlds is resting on your bony little shoulders and you have no end in sight?

 

God continues daily to work with me in the areas of mindfulness and this lesson for me is huge and I am just now beginning to peel off the layers and really see what is going on inside me.

 

If I am going to be honest, this year left me with my physical ailments I am still working through and a few new ones that are just now popping up.

 

I have been asked the question very frequently "When are you going to get back to working out?" 

 

And I have got to be honest with you all, I cannot workout hard until my body has reached a complete homeostasis. As good as exercise is, it is still physical trauma. Until the joint aches, tension headaches, chronic fatigue and subside and my body has released the tension it needs to, you will find me on my yoga mat, in the pool, walking and maybe some very light strength training.

 

I share all of this because I truly believe this is an important lesson in listening to your body. Your body is incredibly smart and if you quiet the noise that is screaming at you, you will begin to hear what it is trying to say. 

 

If you are going through an incredibly stressful time, please for the love, do not listen to the world that has you believing you have to go big 6 days a week to be taking care of yourself. 

 

Only YOU know what your body needs and I hope you feel empowered to sit and listen to it's calling.

 

In the meantime, here are some tips in dealing with chronic stress, trauma, grief:

 

1. Unplug from social media.

2. Find a friend who will sit with you in your grief and stress.

3. Find a mediation practice. 5 minutes a day makes all of the difference.

4. Journal about your feelings.

5. Trust your instincts. If you get the urge to go for a nature walk, swim, run, yoga, do it. 

6. Give yourself permission to let some areas of your life fall to the side. You are human.

 

 

With Love and Healing,

 

Shannon

 

 

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