02 May How to Take Care of Yourself in Times of Stress
We’re all familiar with feelings of stress and even anxiety. These feelings can often come and go, but sometimes they linger for a little longer than we’d like. Often when we get stressed, we can become less likely to do things to prevent stress. While that doesn’t make sense logically, stress often isn’t logical. It’s nice to remember that we can help ourselves feel better, we just have to remember in the moment. Here are some of our tried and tested ways to look after ourselves in times of stress.
Reconnect with nature
Reconnecting with the world around us is one of the simplest ways to come back to the present moment. And it’s a little harder to be stressed when we don’t have the past or future to worry about. Find a park and walk in the grass, go for a hike, or simply take five minutes out of your workday to step outside and look up at the sun. You’d be surprised at how good it can make you feel.
Eat your frog
Ever heard the saying ‘eat that frog’? While the exact wording shifts slightly depending on who you listen to, Mark Twain once said sometimes along the lines of ‘Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.’ Brian Tracy then turned this into a book about productivity. The idea is that if there is something weighing you down, a task you’re putting off, do it first thing. Once that stress is off your back, you will feel a lot lighter. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, notice what’s making you most stressed, and get it done. Now. The act of doing it us often less painful than the stress surrounding it.
Do something active
Movement gives us endorphins. Those chemicals in the brain that make us feel good. Whether it’s simply walking, practising yoga, running, or whatever else you like to do, movement will help you get out of your head and back into your body. Think of it as activity and moving the body, rather than exercise.
Reach out to a friend or loved one
Sometimes all we need to feel a little better is to get some perspective. And reaching out to someone you’re comfortable with can help you do that. Whether you want to talk about how you’re feeling and get it off your chest, or simply let the conversation take your mind off your stress, connection is one of the best ways to feel happier and calmer.
Find a creative outlet
Play is a forgotten art. The act of doing something for the sake of it, because it makes you feel good, rather than because you get a direct tangible benefit from it. Colouring, drawing, knitting, whatever it is, creative outlets are some of the most mindful activities we can engage in. It doesn’t matter how good or bad you think you are at it, the act of doing it is calming for the body and the mind.
Indulge in pleasure. It might be chocolate, a hot bath, or a glass of red wine. Don’t forget to slow down and enjoy the things in life that give you pleasure.
Put your technology to bed
Our phones and computers don’t help when we’re stressed. The emails, text messages, notifications of any kind, can either keep us in our stressed mindset or even add more stress to the party. Set a time to put your phone and computer to bed, before your own bedtime. Spend the rest of the evening enjoying the company of your friends and family, reading, taking a bath, drinking herbal tea, and eating nourishing food.