Simple Self-care for Stressful Times
With so much uncertainty, it's easy for us to go into fight or flight, or freeze.
Our bodies whisper messages to us, getting louder and louder until it stops us in our tracks- and our world is doing the same- causing us to examine our current state and direction.
This is an opportunity to pause & reflect on all areas of our life.
We're taught during the safety demonstration on a flight to put your mask on first before assisting someone else and this crisis feels like we're spinning out of control, not sure where we're going to land.
I don't know when this will all end, but I know that our world and lives are full of times with unexpected twists and turns and we can't avoid them but we can weather them with the right tools.
I think this is a big giant in-our-face reminders that we need to be very proactive in taking care of ourselves and that the best way we can take care of our loved ones is to make sure we are practicing self-care.
I know a lot of us have tons added to our already super full plates, a lot of us are now taking on the role of teacher and full time care-takers and our finances are taking a big hit as well.
Here are some super easy self care tools and tips that cost little to no money:
Now before your roll your eyes, this isn't your regular old breathing. I use this one to help me stay focused. Set some random timers on your phone to remind you, even a quick 2-3 minutes of deep interval breathing can stimulate your sympathetic nervous system easing you into relaxation.
2) Stay hydrated.
Dehydration is super important for an optimally operating immune system. Tea is basically water so add a box to your grocery pickup and add some added relaxation to your day. My favorites right now are rose & lavender chamomile. Or add some freshly grated ginger, lemon juice and honey to hot water for a nice germ fighting drink. Ginger can help settle an upset stomach if you've been over indulging or stress eating.
3) Lay down.
This can be a very emotionally draining time. Our work and home lives have changed so be gentle with yourself. If you feel tired, lay down! Take a nap. We call it "meditating" at our house. YouTube has tons of guided meditations if you'd like to start your nap off with one of those or check out our playlist on Spotify for some sleep vibes.
4) Go outside.
You can breathe, drink your tea and get some Vitamin D all at the same time! You can safely get your daily dose by spending some time in the morning sun. Low levels of Vitamin D can increase symptoms of depression so be sure to get a little bit of sunshine in every day.
5) Practice being present.
I originally started typing "practice gratitude" but it felt a little far fetched. I'm being kept from doing a job I love and also not able to qualify for programs such as unemployment because I am self employed, but still expected to pay all of my bills. A lot of my peers are in this same boat and it's a little scary. I'm so thankful for the clients who are working and still paying for their sessions ahead of time.
There are a lot of emotions that are coming up for all of us and not all of them feel good. But I believe that we're given mountains that we are able to climb. That doesn't mean we have to climb it all in one day. This can be the start of a very different life for us. We don't have to go back to the old lives we lived before this.
This can be a brand new start. And the challenges and obstacles we are facing can catapult us into a new direction if we sit with them and listen.
Yes, there's research that has shown the benefits of a gratitude journal and other feel good thinking can do.
But the truth is- we have this opportunity to sit with and examine our feelings. The "good vibes only" can be another way we run from what's coming up. We are literally being forced to face things, people and situations in our lives that we've been able to run from.
So be gentle with yourself during this time. Don't feel like you have to conquer all your mountains at once. Tackle the small ones like that pile of laundry you've been moving around all week.
Wishing you good health & peace of mind.