# combating stress # Jennifer L. Scott

Combating Stress | My Story | Jennifer L. Scott

In today's bonus video we are talking about stress: what can cause it in our lives, and practical ways to combat it. When stress gets bad, it can manifest itself in various ways physically.

Some people might get bad skin, some might have other symptoms like eczema or various health problems as I discuss in today's video.

As I deal with stress I am finding what works for me in combating it. I would love for you to watch and join in on the discussion.

Mentioned in the video:
The article on how spending time in nature reduces stress.

We have been playing backgammon with our kids. Playing games are a great way to de-stress. You will laugh, use your thinking skills, and be pulled in with the suspense. Teach your children to play these games too and they can play together when they are bored. My daughters love to play this together and my two-year-old son is interested in learning it. What a wonderful way for the children to spend their time instead of watching TV.

I like to use my rebounder to de-stress at night. Due to my sciatica, I have not been able to rebound for the past few weeks. I am looking forward to picking it up again.

The faux flower arrangement behind me is by Horchow.

I discuss so much more in today's video, these are only the applicable links.

As you know, I occasionally work with sponsors who help to support my channel. I would like to thank
Skillshare for bringing us today's video. Skillshare is an online learning platform that has over 25,000 classes available. The first 500 people to sign up with my link will get two months of Skillshare premium for free. Thank you, Skillshare!

I hope you enjoy today's in-depth discussion. I'll see you tomorrow!

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Kelly said...

What a thoughtful video, Jennifer! I recently left a stressful career in the corporate world to run my own business (primarily from home) and be a full-time at-home mother. I must admit that I was surprised at the amount of stress that my new lifestyle brings me! I think that many people who work primarily outside the home don’t realize this...I have found that in order to avoid ‘working’ 24/7, I must set clear boundaries for work vs. family/relaxation time...otherwise, I will ‘work’ all day/evening at home with zero relaxation time, which is when my stress levels get out of control! My stress manifests in very tense neck muscles, and, as you mentioned, in my skin...I can almost feel my skin being tense! My first go-to technique, especially if the weather is too chilly to enjoy outside, is to spend fun, screen-free time with my little ones...playing a game, making popcorn, or just chatting! I also love nothing more than preparing a creamy cafe au lait and curling up under a cozy blanket with a good book. I couldn’t agree with you more that self care is vital for preventing stress!

Ladylike said...

Hello Jennifer,
What a nice surprise to find a video from you on a Wednesday. At least, that's when I am finding it! It is also very timely for me, as I will explain below. My reactions to stress have included fungal infections, sleeplessness, vulnerability to viruses such as colds and flu, and in the case of major life stress, loss of appetite. I would like to make a distinction between every day stress and major life stress. I am currently experiencing a major life stress, which is that my husband was diagnosed with a serious illness a few weeks ago. Right now is probably the most stressed I've ever felt in my entire life, and I am no stranger to loss or natural disaster; so that is saying something. And yet, these challenges sometimes happen, and we need to get through them. I am not the first, and I won't be the last to endure a major life stress. I agree with you about spending time in nature. I have also found it beneficial to reach out, share, and ask for support. It is also useful to reduce my expectations for my own accomplishments. Having something to look forward to in the future is also helpful. Thanks again for the timely video.
Warm best,

Vicki Zimmerman said...

This is a wonderful video and I'm sending it to a friend I was chatting with on the phone, today, as she said she feels like she is going in so many different directions after a home remodel, volunteering at a dog rescue center walking dogs, taking the grass out of her yard and replacing it with bark, etc. It's taking the time to say "yes" to what matters and saying "no thank you" to all the distractions that become bad habits.

I loved hearing how you played backgammon with your eldest daughter and chatted with your eldest son about the tree. Knowing you also play piano with your youngest daughter and enjoy quality time holding your youngest son shows that you are enjoying these precious life moments and feeding your soul as you feed their souls. Outstanding!

Since I am like a hummingbird, am curious about many things, and move about quickly, I have to learn to slow down and focus, because I think a lot and want to explore various avenues of ideas and interests. When I don't sleep well, I can feel run down and my self care may involve having a cup of ginger tea with lemon and a dash of cayenne pepper. Sometimes, I just feel like I'm about to get a sore throat or my throat is dry and scratchy and I'll take note and dial it back and calm down, as you said. I like to rest with my cats for 10-15 minutes and wish I would do this more often. ( I know they would like it as much as I do, as we like each other's company!) The Rebounder is a great way to de-stress and when doing it outside, adding the sounds nature, with breezes and birdsong, really helps. I like to keep the windows open and get fresh air. Watching your Daily Connoisseur videos is very relaxing to me, because it's peaceful and I learn something. I also like to write poetry, occasionally, and would enjoy more of that. I think finding a specific time of day to do the "intentional rest" is a discipline I need to create. Thanks again for your wise videos and I'm happy your eczema is under control.

Pauline said...

Thank you for your video! I can definitely relate with being wired all the time, with working and parenting, etc. I get a rash and hives on my face! And clench my jaw at night. I’ve broken three night guards since having children! It was helpful to hear that you can feel it coming in your skin reaction and then catch it with self care. It’s so easy to leave any type of relaxing out of the day, when there is so much depending on you. This video was such a caring reminder. I’ve tried to find mini self care routines that I can squeeze into the busy day when everyone is around me and needing things, like listening to a song I like or taking a minute to appreciate the clean house :) Take care!!

Mimi Gregor said...

I get stressed from trying too hard to get things perfect, even though I know that perfection doesn't exist, so I am on a fool's mission. When stressed, I tend to hold tension in my jaws and neck, so that it sometimes gives me a -literal- pain in the neck or even an ocular migraine. (I used to get full-blown migraines with the pounding headache and the nausea. Thankfully, after menopause, I don't get the pain or sick feeling -- just the "light show". It dissipates in 20 minutes or so, so it's only mildly annoying.) When I was younger, I would get terrible acne, but my skin also cleared up with menopause. Sometimes I get ...um... digestive problems, shall we say, when I get stressed.

I have indeed noticed that being outdoors relaxes me like nothing else can. In fact, just this past Tuesday, I went for a morning hike in the woods, then I came home and worked in the yard for an hour or so. Strenuously. I was deadheading and pulling up English Ivy that was taking over our house and trees, and pruning dead limbs, so I got quite a workout. But I still had lots of energy, so I cleaned and organized our bathroom cabinet. Later that day, I was reading on the sofa and thought for a moment that I was tired, as my entire body felt as limp as a wet dishcloth... but I didn't feel sleepy. What was this sensation? Then I realized what it was that I felt: relaxed! I so seldom feel totally relaxed, so it took me a long while to recognize it!

Since then, I have tried to spend a bit of time every day doing a bit of work in the yard, and it really does make me feel so much calmer and more energetic.

Karen said...

Thank you so much for this bonus video--such good reminders for us as women! I, too, take evening baths, pretty much every single evening. I started this 15 years ago when my twins were born and I had 3 children 4 and under with a husband that traveled a lot! Like you, I sometimes put on a face mask or peel, use epsom salts and oils. My husband gave me one of those bamboo bath trays for Christmas and it holds a book, candle, drink, etc...I feel pretty spoiled in the tub. :) My stress manifests itself in a "nervous" stomach and digestion issues as well as tensing my neck which turns into a migraine. I go in spurts where I do a good job of taking care of myself and reducing stress and other times where I'm in a bad rut. A walk outside in the evening does me a world of good; being in nature is definitely calming! Thanks for all of the good advice and reminders!

Polly said...

Having a handle on stress is so important and it's important to realize that we can't (and should not attempt to) "do it all." I'm just resurfacing from the most stressful year of our lives as my husband had two surgeries and devastating radiation/chemo treatments for a completely out-of-the-blue cancer and we lived out of state for two months with our children. Interestingly, I was not nearly as stressed as I had been at various points *prior to* cancer striking our family.

Here's why (and I share this in the hopes it will help someone else going through a lot of stress): *grace/prayer/faith (top of the list) *MARGIN--vigorously cutting back non-essentials and keeping focused on making life as simple as possible (not always efficient, mind you, but simple), cutting way back on everything including homeschooling *rest and sleep--plenty of sleep *a daily exercise habit that I'd established--walks, body-weight resistance training....at least 30 minutes most days *being very real with myself and others and not pretending, just having faith and hope and tears

At home I also like frequent warm baths.

A stress like cancer is uncontrollable, but so many of the stresses I placed on myself prior to cancer were things that *I* invited into my life and were simply not important or life-giving at all. A seismic shift in my thinking about what's important has occurred. And I'm far happier as a result. In fact, I was asked to give a workshop on this at the CMI eastern conference this spring (Charlotte Mason Institute--homeschooling) & am looking forward to sharing some of the stuff I've learned. This is only a tiny bit of it! I think you're doing your readers/viewers a huge service to discuss this issue because so many women, including homeschooling mothers (who, in my mind, should probably have a more relaxed time of it) are so very stressed and exhausted, and we need tools to be able to keep ourselves healthy.

It's me, again. said...

Years ago when my children were young I remember I reached a level of stress which became unmanageable and I sat myself down and wrote out a list of all the things I was trying to do. I remember looking at the list and being amazed at the length. My first task was to cross off the activities which were obvious commitments which I didn't enjoy but had felt compelled to participate in, then I had to rework the list, again looking at the remaining items and questioning myself, what were the activities which truly benefitted myself or my family, then lastly was there something which truly fed my soul. I was able to shrink a list of 13 or 14 items down to 6 or 7. This decision truly has changed my way of thinking when it came to the outside pressure we are put upon by family and friends and our community. Ever since when I get the call from church that I need to bring a pie to a church dinner, I buy a frozen one and bake it. I decided if I made the effort to make a homemade pie I would serve it to my family. I have made many more decision like the "church pie"decision and have found that all those little decision can end up making a big impact.
Jennifer, I remember well when my 3 children were young and the pressures and I now see my daughter in law working so hard to keep up, you definitely have the right idea, they are only young once and yes the house needs cleaning, the laundry needs to be done and the meals never end but all the rest.....let it go ......keeping up with the neighbors or trying to get someones approval .....let it go......God wants you to be right where you are loving and enjoying your children and your husband. God bless. Nancy

Kgirl said...

Oh gosh, you are such a calming influence, Jennifer. Thank you for this video: so many truths in it. I have been upping the self-care and just kind of monitoring myself lately as I am approaching a transitional time in the workplace -- one I've known has been coming for months, so I've been reminding myself of my own worth and nurturing good relationships to hopefully minimise the damage to my health and not have/be exposed to the extreme reactions I'm seeing in others as this all plays out over a protracted period. I feel like I need a self-care forcefield! Anyway, it involves lots of early nights and Epsom salt baths, running in nature, playing Classical over other forms of music (I'm noticing I'm getting more irritated at other music I usually enjoy if I'm stressed), making sure there are flowers in the home and nice things to look forward to. There are so many aspects of life out of our control that it's nice to invest time in making your home a haven that speaks to you and feeds your soul and shelters you in tough times.

I agree everyone should also listen to their bodies. I have a twitchy eye at the moment, which I know is symptomatic of how I'm feeling deep inside even if I think I have it all together. More early nights! Twice in my life, when I've been forced to work through some extremely stressful situations, I've had eczema on my eyelids. The second time was recently and about a decade after the first instance, but I recognised both situations as being totally out of my control and not something I wanted to experience, so my body was rebelling.

Deep breaths and one day at a time, everyone! Be grateful for the small things and all the beauty you see in nature. Other things will work themselves out eventually. Thanks for a super timely post, Jennifer. You are such a treasure, I've been following you from different homes and when I've had different partners (or not) from over the world for about a decade now. You are one of the things that I know can ground me just because you have always been there. Thank you for all that you do.

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Ladies, I am deeply appreciative of your comments. I have gleaned insight from every single one of you. I will continue discussing this topic because it is so relevant. We are all experiencing the burden of doing too much, or have had that experience in the past. Thank you for your input on this blog. I appreciate you!

Jennifer xx

Janessa said...

Yes to looking at moss!!!! It is the microscopic nature of moss that makes it impossible not to be 100% present in the moment when looking at it. When designing our patio 15 years ago, I chose unmortared flagstone because I wanted moss to grow in the cracks. It does and it looks so beautiful! I also grow lots of flowers in our flower beds around the patio, which are also so lovely, but I find when I relax on the patio swing, that the moss draws and captivates my attention the most. I even started learning what species we grow (we are surrounded by forest, so it's a lot). I'm obsessed! ;) It's so important to be intentional about unplugging! Thanks for the reminder!

R.S. said...

Dear Jennifer,

Your story about the moss made me tear up and also laugh at the same time. What a beautiful story! We are also a homeschooling family, and what you said at the beginning of the video about each individual component being so wonderful, but all of it together being SO MUCH, is so very true.

What has helped me lately is to rely on that God-given grace that is so easy to forget. Almost every day, I could give myself heart palpitations worrying about whether or not we will have time to read all of the Great Books before they graduate in five, eight, and twelve years. I think, "what happens if I get struck by lightening in the middle of the school year"? This is not good! This is not healthy!

I have to remind myself that the Ivy League is not - nor has ever been - a goal of our homeschool. The goal is to guide them to live lives of virtue and moral courage. THEN, I have to remind myself that I'm not the only one who can steer this ship. I'm the only one who can do it MY WAY, but not the only one who could do it well. That's hard to admit.

We women are uniquely suited in our role as mother, but it can be very taxing, and so self-care, is, for me, paramount. The Daily Connoisseur (books, videos, and blog posts) continues to be part of that. And so I thank you!!!

My stress manifests as being short-tempered and eating chocolate in my favorite brown easy chair after everyone has gone to bed. Madame Chic would not approve! I've recently been crocheting more, and that has been a great help! It's meditative and helps keep my hands out of the chocolate!

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Ladies, I have really enjoyed this chat and you have given me so many ideas and things to ponder. I will definitely be revisiting this topic again soon! Thank you!



Unknown said...

Thanks so much for this video. I surely needed it, and I appreciate the advice so much. One of the things that brings me the most joy and stress relief in my own life is cuddling and spending time with my dog. Yes, she is a big smelly lab who sheds all over the house, needs rigorous daily exercise, and sometimes chews up our things. BUT, there is something special and healing about looking into another creature's eyes, one of God's creatures, and sharing a quiet moment together. It always brings me joy.