June 22, 2021

5 Ways I’m Decreasing Stress In My Life

7 min read

Since January, I have been unconsciously making major shifts in my life to reduce stress and anxiety.

As someone who has struggled with depression and anxiety for many years, I have always been pr0-therapy and self- help. My moments of depression and anxiety come in seasons. There will be months on end where I feel completely “normal” and then out of the clear blue sky I will have weeks where my life feels like a high speed train about to derail. So, I feel it entirely necessary to be constantly working toward and practicing ways to make my life feel more balanced. For me, self-care is a daily practice and one that if I do not do, will catch up to me over time.

Over the past year, I have found it exceptionally difficult to do my job. I know that this next part is probably going to rub some people the wrong way. But, I’m speaking from my own personal experience and if I cannot share the truth then what is the point of this blog anyway?

As a social media influencer, some times it’s our job to experience major life events and world-wide issues in real time and deal with the personal affect it has on ourselves and our family at a later date. i.e. Post about it today and deal with the repercussions later.

Imagine how the last year has made you feel personally. From Covid-19, to the election, BLM, vaccinations, Isreal/Palestine, job loss (the list goes on) and living in a constant state of fight or flight. Our nation has witnessed children being separated from their parents, crazy Tweets from our former President, the resurgence of White nationalism, the Transgender community being dehumanized and so.much.more. 

Now, imagine that your family’s livelihood and income weighs entirely on you having to publish your opinions, feelings and views in the exact moment that you are experiencing them – leaving you little to no time to do much research, processing emotion or have any true reflection on some of the biggest political and human rights issues our generation has ever experienced.

Let’s continue to multiply this equation: on top of this, add the pressure of cancel culture and fear of saying something entirely stupid (for lack of a better term) or something that you may later regret. Imagine every single word that you say or type being directed and possibly published on national news forums, websites and even newspapers such as the New York Times. But if you don’t say something, you come across as seeming “tone deaf” or “your silence is deafening.”

If you don’t say something it could cost you your job.

If you do say something, it could cost you your job.

This is going to come across as sounding “privileged” or bratty and entitled, but influencers have been living in a state of “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” AKA fight or flight mode on top of a global pandemic, election, and incredibly challenging social and political issues for the past year of their lives.

The pressure on social media influencers to have an opinion on every single topic, every single day as it is happening in real time is completely unrealistic and has gotten out of control.

While all of the above has definitely taken somewhat of a toll on me personally, I’m speaking more to the broader audience of “social media influencers.” I, in addition to the above, have truly been focusing my self-care on a lot of other personal battles such as becoming a new mom, figuring out my new Adenomyosis diagnosis and juggling various personal and entrepreneurial endeavors.

You may have noticed I’ve been posting less and less on this blog. The reason for that is not because I’m giving up on my blog or my audience or my job, I’ve just felt burned out. I have felt like I really don’t know what to say or how to say it. But I do want to stay engaged with you all and I promise you that after 6 months of some pretty intensive therapy, self-help and deep breathing, I am slowly starting to return to the light again.

Here are a few alterations I’ve made to my life over the past 6 months that have truly made a difference in my day to day.

Yoga Practice

I have tried meditation. I have tried pilates. I have tried breath-work. I have tried running and hiking and …and…

There is no practice I receive more from than my yoga practice. After seeing Joe at Urban 728 in weekly privates {2-3 times per week} I have found that slowly my breathing and mindfulness have carried through to my every day life. It has been one of the greatest joys and surprises of my year. When I used to snap in a moment of feeling triggered, which resulted in me screaming and punching walls, I now stop to take a long inhale and exhale, in through the nose and out through the nose to offer myself a moment of mindfulness before reacting to every single feeling that passes my way.

Feelings are just feelings. We do not need to attach ourselves to every single one. We can, however, control the way we react or hold on to those feelings and thoughts that come and go throughout the day.

News Free

I don’t read or watch the news anymore. It started in December. Grant and I wanted to enjoy our holiday season and we noticed how much the news was affecting our every day sadness and overall mood so we vowed to not subscribe to the noise any more. I have to tell you, it’s been great. Don’t get me wrong, I will glance at headlines to make sure I’m caught up. I also love reading the Atlantic and listening to podcasts, but I won’t spend my time watching cable news and listening to a bunch of talking heads.

Social Media Free Time

This change came as a very natural progression. Throughout 2020 I honestly didn’t know what to post so I didn’t post anything. I know that many of you will resonate in my feelings of being kind of “over” social media. It’s not that I’m over it entirely, it is what I do for a living after all, I am just feeling a bit uninspired at the moment. And that is okay. It’s okay to not be plugged in 100% of the time. I have learned that you guys are not going anywhere and I cannot thank you enough for that trust and reassurance. It has honestly given me peace of mind and the control to take care of myself.

Doctors, Doctors and more Doctors

Don’t you just love going to see a Doctor? Ya, me neither. At the beginning of the year, I needed to find a new OBGYN and an Orthopedic specialist. I also was in desperate need of a new general wellness doctor. To boot, my dear friend Catt introduced me to Sage Wellness who has recently transformed my life in just one visit. I can’t wait to continue my sessions with her. It’s not that I was neglecting doctors visits, but I waited a year after giving birth to June to see anyone {to allow my body to somewhat reset} and then Covid hit so I hadn’t really been given an opportunity to tackle a lot of my health issues.

After testing my hormone panels, MRI testing for my neck pains, PT for my pelvic floor and so much more, I feel like I truly have answers to a lot of my initial ailments, aches and pains. The body truly does keep the score, so while I was scheduling lots of visits with experts in various medical fields I knew that there was a lot of internal work to be done.

Which leads me to …

Therapy, Books, Podcasts and More {oh my!}

When your body starts to break down on you, I have learned that 9 times out of 10 this is because we are holding on to something emotionally. As you know, I’ve been seeing my therapist for many years but over the past 6 months I’ve upped the ante by diving in to some books that I’ve really gotten a lot from.

Once I truly accepted the fact that my body was physically shutting down as a result of my stress and anxiety, I knew I needed to take drastic measures to take better care of myself.

Every.single.doctor I have seen over the past 6 months has given me one single theme of advice: Chill out. Calm down. Find moments to relax. In effort to teach my mind about how to do this {because I’m really bad at shutting it down} I took the advice from experts that have written books in this area.

Here are a few books that I’ve read or listened to recently that I found very impactful:

The Mind Body Stress Reset (my favorite) ++ Quit Like A Woman ++ Clarity Cleanse ++ When Things Fall Apart

The work shall continue, but I wanted to offer an update as I know so many of you are experiencing the same life transitions that I am.

How are you guys feeling lately? I would love to hear your thoughts on this more long-winded form post and how you are coping these days.

xoxo jacey

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