For those of us in California, our stay at home order, unsurprisingly, was extended another month. Eesh.
Regardless of where you live, the restrictions and changes we’ve experienced over the past month have been a LOT to process emotionally. To various extents, we’re all experiencing more stress in our lives. And it’s important that we address this added stress and counter it with healthy activities.
And yet, sometimes when we’re feeling stressed, it’s hard to think of anything but the stress.
We forget that we already know so many ways to help ourselves.
So here’s a couple of recommendations I’ve made to my clients, and advice I am following myself!
1. Keep a list. Take a moment and write a list of healthy activities that help you reduce or manage your stress levels. Write everything down you can think of that makes you feel better without compromising your health (in other words, keep activities and substances off this list that aren’t boosting your health or immune system).
Keep this list handy, and when you have time or urgently need to de-stress, take it out, pick one activity on the list and do it.
TIP: Try not to get into your head too much about which one to do. Pick the one that caught your eye first. Or you might even decide before feeling stressed which activity you’ll do when you are feeling stressed. Either way, avoid paralysis by over-analysis!
2. Make de-stressing a daily habit. Commit to doing one or more of these stress-reducing activities every single day. Rather than doing these ONLY when you’re super stressed out, designate a particular time of day to de-stress daily. Not only will this help you create a good habit, but it will also help you build resilience to stress.
TIP: Try doing your daily stress-reducing activity with a partner. This helps you both be accountable to each other.