Sumptous Sunday: The 5 Step Stress Plan

Photo courtesy of Dixie Belle Cupcake Cafe

This week’s mind feast is an invention of my own after a recent meltdown, I can’t say I actually put this plan into action, I was too busy unravelling at the seams.

However this is what I am going to be doing next time.

This action plan is a must instigate immediately kind of deal, I have realised from my research and talking to my therapist that nipping a crisis in the bud only way to curb it, once it becomes a full scale catastrophe whether in your mind or otherwise – pulling yourself back from a place of insanity is extremely hard.

So the next time you have a hell week at work, a huge fight with your partner or even get a Big Fat Negative – roll out the 5SSP (5 Step Stress Plan).

Step 1 – Get yourself away from the source of stress as soon as you can

This was definitely one step I should of followed, I had a really stressful and awful situation happen at work, instead of just going home or even going for a walk and getting a coffee I spent the afternoon crying at my desk.    Getting away from the situation even for a little while can give you a breather to get some relief and start making the way for the rest of the plan.

Step 2 – Write it all out

Set an oven timer or your alarm for 30 minutes and then get writing.  Do it free form without taking your pen off the page and as fast as you can.  Put down everything that happened, how you are feeling, what you would like to do, swear, curse, threaten and generally rant like a banshee.  This process gets it all out thick and fast – you get to vent the negativity without hurting anyone and by not stopping to think or ponder the words it directs the energy out rather than in.

Step 3 –  Do some vigorous exercise

When your body experiences a highly stressful situation it is flushed with chemicals produced by the fight or flight response.  Since in our modern living we rarely need to physically fight or run – we end up with these chemicals floating around our bodies for days after a stressful experience – keeping us constantly on edge.  After crying it out at work, I went home and sat on the couch and cried some more….in retrospect – bad decision.

Instead go for a run, take a brisk walk and listen to some music, do some laps at the pool or get on your bike and cruise the streets.  Get as vigorous as you can depending on where you are in your cycle.  Burn of the stress chemicals instead of storing them.

Step 4 – Decide on a one line answer for the problem

My one line for the next crisis at work is from A New Earth ‘This too will pass‘ there is nothing I can do about the situation so the only comfort I can take is in knowing that its not forever.  If its a BFN that is getting you down you could try ‘I will get pregnant‘.   When your mind returns to the situation fend off the negative thoughts with just this one line.  It will take a while for them to stay at bay but eventually your monkey mind will give up.

Step 5 – Indulgence yourself in pleasure

Now its time to turn the mind, body and soul in a totally different direction and soothe yourself.  Watch a movie, cook a beautiful meal, have a drink and a laugh with some girlfriends, eat a tub of chocolate mousse, take a nap, go for a swim, read a good book, get a massage.  There are only two rules 1. it must be pleasurable and 2. it must be relaxing.

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