- Posted by jwpalp
- On June 15, 2020
- 0 Comments
In our last blog, we discussed the warning signs of burnout. Today we’ll cover action steps you can take once you recognize stress and trauma flaring up in your life. The foundation for caring for yourself is kindness and balance. It would help if you used compassion and presence in your life to thrive in times of stress.
• Take media breaks: Make space and time in your life away from consuming the news, media, and even social media. When we observe trauma or stressful events, our mirror neurons cause our brains to believe we are participating directly in the event. We don’t realize this when it’s happening, but it can wreak havoc on our mental health if we don’t take regular breaks. Sometimes people prefer only to watch the news on certain days of the week. Find your balance with consuming media so that you feel informed but not overburdened by it. • Connect with others: Call, video message, or take a walk with your friends and family. Share your concerns with others you trust. In this socially distant reality, it’s more important than ever to help grow your valued relationships and share your experiences, thoughts, and emotions. If you have tried this and feel you aren’t getting the responses or results you need, it could be beneficial to talk to a professional therapist. • Nurture your body and spirit: Eat a well-balanced diet, practice healthy sleep habits and exercise. Take time every day to stretch, practice deep breathing, pray or meditate, and to drink enough water. Be mindful of your alcohol and substance intake. • Set yourself up for success: We all have areas of our lives that can feel sluggish. Whether it’s getting back in the habit of eating well or exercising, it can be tough to come out of a slump. To help, make small goals to set yourself up for success. Instead of making drastic changes all at once, focus on something simple at first. For example, instead of running five miles when you haven’t even jogged up your stairs for two weeks, try running one mile instead. This way, you can feel good about hitting your goal and will feel excited about continuing your progress down the road. • Make time for humor: Laughter always helps us to calm our minds and feel better on a physical and emotional level. Please don’t underestimate the power of humor. Use it to inspire and motivate yourself and those around you. • Take stock of your accomplishments: This is a time to think about what you’ve accomplished that you’re proud of. When we’re overly stressed it’s easy to forget what we’ve achieved and get lost thinking about losses. Practice gratitude. Take a few minutes every day to note three things you’re grateful for. Don’t give up on using your standard stress busters. They may not get the same results they do in better times but they’re still a crucial resource to tap into. Don’t be hard on yourself if they don’t ease all of your tension. • Go off in a new direction: If you’re struggling to get motivated it may be tough to pull this one off. Test out a new idea of how to cope. Be bold. We’re in a new world so why not try something completely different to reduce your stress? Be an explorer. Use your creativity to challenge and surprise yourself. If it doesn’t work it’s not the end of the world. It’s an experiment. Remember not to expect perfection. You’re on a new learning curve so give yourself some slack or you’ll end up stamping out the joys of learning something new. • Share what works for you: Be charitable. Think about how you can share with others the personal problems you’ve had to sort through and what’s worked to get ahead of your stress. Maybe you were feeling crabby with your partner or your kids or homeschooling was driving you nuts or you just wanted an hour to yourself and everyone’s at home and seems to want something from you. How did you turn things around? • Remember that it’s better to give than receive: Feel free to email me what works for you to reduce your stress and I’d be happy to share your ideas to help others while respecting your anonymity.