Ahhhhh 2020. You held such promise. You did not deliver.
We are basically living in a buffet of stressors, and man! My plate is piled high! From Covid-19, to protests, job loss, not to mention breast cancer, there is no shortage of reasons to feel extra stressed. Now is the time to up our “self-care” routine. 2019’s version just won’t cut it.
First, take a moment and check in with yourself. It’s so easy to charge through the day, never noticing how we are really doing. Ask yourself the following:
- Am I short tempered?
- Am I extra exhausted? Is my sleep lousy?
- Do I suddenly have extra aches and pains? Headaches?
- Am I eating everything under the sun? Or no appetite?
An answer of “yes” to any of those could indicate you are indeed feeling the stress.*
Next step is CRITICAL:
Don’t judge yourself for feeling stressed.
Promising research has shown that those who accept their anxiety without judgement are less bothered by the experience!
I struggle with this one. I live in Los Angeles, very near many of the Black Lives Matter protests. For several days, my neighborhood was flooded with cops, National Guard and helicopters and my body felt it! My chest felt tight, my heart rate increased and I was tired all the time. But I knew I was safe, and even more, as a big supporter of Black Lives Matter, was even happy about the events. So what was wrong with me? Turns out, nothing, except my tendency to harshly criticize myself. Once I let go of the negative opinion and just neutrally observed my own stress, it was easier to move beyond it.
Now that we’ve lovingly embraced the fact that we’re more stressed, what next?
Burn off that Energy:
Exercise is a great way to discharge that kinetic energy “all wound up” feeling. To survive the 2016 election, I did tons of squats! While my fear for the country grew, so did my leg strength!
Scream really loud:
Not always socially acceptable, but if you have a place, inside your car for example, to just scream at the top of your lungs, you might be surprised at how much better you feel!
Have a good cry:
In graduate school, my roommate and I would watch “My Best Friend’s Wedding” and just sob out all of the things that were stressing us. To be clear, the 1997 Julia Roberts film is not sad, but something about it gave us permission to open the water works and just get it all out.
Before starting any new supplement, double check with your doctor.
Have some perspective:
Sometimes just knowing that these feelings are temporary can be helpful. Things will get better. That is until the locusts come…..
*Stress can certainly present itself in lots of ways, and if you’re concerned about how you’ve been feeling, ALWAYS a great idea to check in with your doctor.
How do you manage stress? Comment below, or better yet, join our private Facebook group and let us know!