Getting Stress Under Control-Calling a Life “Timeout”

Getting Stress Under Control-Calling a Life "Timeout"

Stress Under Control in Franklin WI

Getting Stress Under Control – Calling A “Life Timeout”

By David Gustitus, DC

How do you unwind when you’re constantly on the go, running errands, taking care of your family, working overtime or taking your work home, or just plain short on time and energy? I suggest you call a “life timeout”.

If the demands on you just won’t stop and you feel like you’re not keeping up with them, then you need to take a break. Here’s the harsh reality: if you don’t rest, restore, and recover, then your body will suffer. Given that heart disease and cancer (both stress-related illnesses) kill over 1.2 million Americans every year, it is important to take stress seriously and to do what is necessary to find balance in your life. If you fall ill because your health suffers or your body simply says “I quit”, then you will be no good to your family, your work or anyone else who depends upon you. You must proactively care for yourself.

Here is how you can regain control in the middle of the chaos.

1) R.E.L.A.X. Just like Aaron Rodgers encouraged his fans in 2014 to keep the faith, start by taking a deep breath and having a little faith. In fact, I recommend you start with 4-7-8 breathing. Inhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds. Practice 4-7-8 breathing during your day for a minute at a time. No matter how busy you are you need to breathe anyway. Start here. Too often highly stressed out people breathe in a shallow manner during their day. I survived a near drowning incident in the Pacific Ocean after having been caught in a riptide in the cold water. While I waited for help, I simply focused on treading water and breathing. Sometimes it’s all you can do.

2) Get an extra adjustment from your chiropractor during those times of high stress. At a minimum, stay on your regular adjustment schedule to keep your nervous system free from interference so it can adapt to the heavier demands upon you at that time. Massage and acupuncture can also help your body relax and are a great addition to your chiropractic regimen.

3) Alert those immediately around you that you need a break. If you cannot take a full day off, which I highly recommend, then just take a relaxing, head clearing walk out in nature, no matter what time of year. Too often our schedules get disconnected from natural rhythms and as a result so do our bodies’ circadian rhythms. These are the rhythms that tell us when it’s time to sleep and be awake. If this happens then it can be hard to fall and stay asleep and insomnia can result. Obviously this can rob us of our energy. To correct this issue, I highly recommend walking outside in the morning after sunrise and in the afternoon before sunset to allow the daylight to inform your brain what time of day it really is. Caffeine and bright lights can confuse the brain and body about what time of day it is and whether it is time to work or rest. Therefore, it is vital that you re-establish normal daily rhythms in sync with natural light. In the Winter time a UV lamp may be used to maintain adequate light exposure on shorter days.

4) Take a personal health day. Alert the world that you are being proactive in your self care and that you need a day to yourself. If arrangements need to be made such as babysitters, instructions given to co-workers to cover your responsibilities, or dinner prepared by someone else, then make them happen. Better yet, delegate that to your spouse, family, friends or co-workers. You can return the favor to them when it’s their turn for a personal health day.

5) Meditate. This is often difficult for Type A, go getter, highly responsible, and over-stressed individuals to do because they don’t see it as a priority. So, continuing on their same path, they put themselves last along with other self-restoring and wellness activities. Meditation can be very simple. There are many Apps on smart phones that can guide you for 5 minutes to start and work your way up to 20 minutes or longer.

6) Eat to live. Rather than living to eat, I encourage you to fuel your body for peak performance and longevity. I have heard so many people complain that life isn’t as enjoyable if they cannot eat whatever they want. However, these same people often suffer from health problems that interfere with their life. Make your plate at every meal to have 75% vegetables, and 25% a lean protein source. Make water your predominant beverage. Avoid all added sugars, chemicals, colors, preservatives, etc. If your food comes in a package, then choose foods with a single ingredient on the package: for example, broccoli, rice, or chicken.

7) Move your body. Movement is an essential nutrient that your body requires. Exercise is required for health and yes, you can just start with walking. If need be, start with walking to the mailbox, then down the block, then around the block, every day, without exception. Make it your new normal. Work your way up in distance that you walk, ideally up to 30 minutes minimum per day. Just make steady progress and you will be amazed at how your body responds. Once you’ve established a habit of exercise, then weave in some strength building exercises 2 to 3 times per week. You can build strength with just your body weight by doing air squats, pushups and planks. Ask me for help if you need guidance.

8) Take one step. If your goal is to live a long, healthy and active life, without limitations as you age, then the choices you make from this day forward will matter. There is no better time to start. You deserve to be healthy and happy. Your healthy future starts now, and it starts with a single choice, a single step. You can do it.


8:00am - 12:00pm
2:00pm - 6:00pm

8:00am - 12:00pm
2:00pm - 6:00pm

8:00am - 12:00pm
2:00pm - 6:00pm

8:00am - 12:00pm
2:00pm - 6:00pm



Rhythm of Life Chiropractic, LLC
7133 South 76th Street
Franklin, WI 53132
(414) 858-1212