Stress is often called the silent killer. Prolonged exposure to stressors can have profound effects on you physical and mental health. I can’t tell you how many moms have contacted me about being depressed, fatigued, unable to focus, and the list goes on and on.

 

So what causes stress exactly? Well, it’s really quite simple actually. You do. Some would argue that stress is not caused by a what but rather a whom.  You created the stress that is consuming your life. And I’m not immune. I created my madness. We can’t blame anyone else and if we do find blame elsewhere it’s because we’ve given that thing or person permission to take control. So once again, stress is our own faults.

 

How can we remedy or reduce our stress? This answer is just as simple as the cause…simply “do you boo”. That’s it. Give a damn about yourself. Put your needs above others. Do you want a pedicure? Go get it. Don’t neglect your rough and crusty feet because the dog needs to go to the groomer. That’s a crazy business. Do you for a change.

 

When is the last time you’ve had a check-up? The kids got their school physicals. You made your partner a doctor’s appointment, but you think it’s okay to ignore that nagging pain in your neck or numbness in your fingers. Did you know women have atypical symptoms for a heart attack? Have a heart attack and see how helpful you are to your family.

 

So maybe having a heart attack is a bit extreme, but you need to be scared straight. Do you know what my breaking point was, the thought of having dentures? I canceled my dentist appointment at least five times because I felt other things with my kids, business clients etc were more important. And then as I was leaving Costco one day, I saw a woman not too much older than me with no damn teeth eating a polish sausage. I had to stop, literally and have a quick pep talk with myself: “Is that what you want? No teeth. Just go to the dentist Nikki.” Now I don’t know that woman’s situation and believe me I’m not judging her but I know 30-something-year-old people are supposed to have teeth and I want to keep mine.

 

So I said all of that to say go get a massage. Join a workout class. Join the class even if you don’t want to lose weight. Exercise can decrease cortisol, our stress hormone. Read a book and transport your thoughts into another world. Binge watch HGTV or Netflix or my personal favorite ESPN 30 for 30 (don’t judge me). Whatever you do, just do you.

 

And once you start to do you, your attitude towards your worth will change. You will place more value on yourself and the things that bring you joy. You will indulge in them more and add them to your routine. And when we learn do us more, we will then do a better job of taking care of others.