Written by JoAnna

Ready? Set. BREAK!

So, I have a confession. Yup! It’s a biggie! I’m currently sitting on my recliner, one of my favorite shows on the TV, my laptop is actually on my lap, my trusty water bottle next to me, but also next to me…. A bag of gluten free chips. That’s right! It’s 10 o’clock at night and I’m doing something that 99.9% of the time I not only wouldn’t do, but I 100% of the time preach against. Eating past 9 pm and eating things what don't bless my body. “Well Jo, guess you’re a big stinkin’ hypocrite.” No. It makes me human. I makes me a human that had a rough day. Actually, if I’m perfectly honest I’ve a rough couple of weeks and me, being me, chose to use healthy ways to handle and cope with my stress such as yoga, running, journaling even. Except for today. Today all the stress and anxiety that have been accumulating finally got to me all of a sudden I felt like a ticking time bomb ready to explode and none of the above options actually worked to silence my mind and soothe me. So, chips it is. Chips and a plane ticket to one of my favorite places in the world. Don’t worry, tomorrow I will get up at 5 am, go for a run, come back home and have the healthiest breakfast possible and probably drink a little extra water than I usually do to help detox my body.

You see, life happens. It happens in the best ways, the unexpected ways, and the “What. Just. Happened?!” kind of ways. Sometimes, it all happens at the same time. It’s how we each choose to deal with these types of situations that can truly be the making or breaking point. On a daily basis I like to remind myself that life is happening FOR me, not TO me. Read that again. Life is happening FOR you, not TO you. Which means that every challenge that presents itself is only there to build you up and prepare you for future challenges and to teach you how truly strong you are. Your ability to fall apart and get back up shows your strength a lot more than you trying to hold it together perfectly all the time. I learned that lesson the hard way, trust me. We all get overwhelmed. We all deal with stressors every single day. We all have triggers that cause us to relive certain trauma or that bring us anxiety. Guess what? That’s okay. It’s okay that you eat a couple chips. It’s okay that you give yourself time to catch up sleep. It’s okay for you to have your mom watch the kids so you take a solo trip to see your best friends that don’t live anywhere near you. It’s. Okay. Just as long as you understand and take life’s cues that are potentially screaming “STOP! BREATHE! IT’S BREAK TIME” and actually make time to take that very much deserved and needed break.

If you’re so overwhelmed that you don’t even know how to begin taking a break, here’s a couple of things that I recommend:

1. Get a FULL 8 hrs of sleep EVERY night. (This is mostly for the workaholics like myself. Everyone should be doing this anyways.)
2. Take a hot bath. Go all out. Add the candles and wine!
3. Take an impromptu get away. (Even if it’s just for a weekend)
4. TURN YOUR PHONE OFF! Give yourself a technology detox.
5. Go for a hike.
6. Spend time in nature and reconnect with yourself. (The beach is my happy place)
7. Talk to someone. Whether it’s your mom, your best friend, your significant other, or a therapist it’s always important to hit pause on your life and make sure you’re communicating what you may going through to someone else.
8. Treat yourself! Go buy yourself those shoes you’ve been eyeing for the last two months or go get your mani/pedi done!
9. Take up a new hobby.
10. YOGA! Trust me on this one. I never really believed yoga would help me in any way and now it’s become a daily practice that helps keep me calm, centered, grateful, and healthy.

Confession #2: I take breaks ALL. THE. TIME. I mean, how else am I supposed to run a company, rock at being a single mom, keep myself fit and healthy, and stay sane and happy while doing it all? Taking time to see my best friends in Colorado is by far one of the best decisions I've made all year. So now it’s your turn. If you’re feeling beyond overwhelmed or feel that wave of stress and anxiety about to hit take a deep breath, pick something from the list above and TAKE ACTION. Don’t just think about doing those things, DO THEM! Trust me, you’ll feel better! Make sure to stay tuned on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to find out what healthy foods can actually help reduce stress and anxiety.

XO, Jo