We just entered summer officially on June 21st. For some, the kids school year has ended only to have them now be busy with summer camps. Maybe you have a summer vacation booked, maybe not.
According to an article in the Global Organization for Stress, here are some startling statistics about stress and the American life.
75% of adults reported experiencing moderate to high levels of stress in the past month and nearly half reported their stress has increased in the past year – American Psychological Association.
Stress is a top health concern for U.S. teens between 9th and 12th grade, psychologists say that if they don’t learn healthy ways to manage that stress now, it could have serious long-term implications. -American Psychological Association.
The other fact I know about stress is, it isn’t biased to someone’s age, gender, or financial bottom line. Stress is different for everyone.
So let’s take a pledge to reduce our own stress over the next 60 days. I invite you to be playful and have fun. Make a list of 10 things that bring you fun, joy or silliness. When was the last time you allowed yourself to be silly? When was the last time you had a good belly laugh with a friend? Splash around and had a water fight, or danced in the driveway barefoot to music blasting from your car just because you LOVE that song. Played hooky from work just to go sit at the beach by yourself and read a good book. Make a list of all the things that make you happy. Think back to when you were a kid….one of my all-time favorites was to play flashlight tag on a summer’s night.
In order to reduce your stress level you need to be present, be in the moment, and not think about your past or project into your future. Just be present…..NOW. Here are a few tips: Stop what you’re doing, close your eyes. Take three big belly breaths. Smile to yourself. Think of something today that made you happy. Open your eyes. Now go do something fun on that list!