Column 50 – Reduce Stress with Three Minutes by The FlyLady, Marla Cilley

Our habit for December is learning to Pamper ourselves. So many times we ignore the little messages from our body that we need to take a break. We push ourselves to the point of exhaustion and we can’t figure out why we are so tired all the time. This is why for the month of December I want you to practice taking a few minutes each hour to catch your breath.

There are lots of ways to pamper ourselves; we have just forgotten how to love ourselves. Have you ever watched a toddler comfort themselves when they get sleepy? First they want something to drink, then they go find their blanky or favorite stuffed animal. After a few minutes of petting the critter they rub the blanket or animal up against their face and eyes. It is such a calm way to settle down.

We may think we look funny with a stuffed animal in our arms but we can pet our real live critters. We get as much joy out of this routine as they do. Our blood pressure drops and we can feel the stress leave us.

Learning to listen to your body will help you be in control of the stress in your life. When we practice calming ourselves every hour we stop the stress before it starts. I know that you think you don’t have time to sit for 3 minutes. Those few minutes are going to help replenish your batteries.

I want you to make a list of few things you can do while you sit quietly for three minutes. Here is what I can come up with off the top of my head.

  • Close my eyes with my feet flat on the floor.
  • Put on a slow song and get lost in the music
  • Make a list of five things you are thankful for
  • Read a page in a book
  • Open up a magazine and thumb through the pages
  • Write a Thank You note
  • Paint your fingernails or file them
  • Pick up your needle work or crochet
  • Really enjoy a cup of tea or coffee
  • Watch a candle flicker

Now you can see there are a number of things you can do as you sit back and relax for just a few minutes. The hardest part is remembering to do it. That is what timers are for. Set your timer for 57 minutes. When it goes off; it is time to take a break!

I know you can do this! These simple 3 minute breaks are going to bring the joy back to the holidays!

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