You know that change can cause stress, even when something good has caused the shakeup. I’ve told you about the benefits of change and how it can make your life better. We’ve also touched upon ways to use times of transition to your advantage and to better manage upheaval. Now I’d like to move onto something a little more enjoyable, and that’s relaxation. During times of intense emotional overload, your body and mind need self-care more than ever. It’s crucial that you find time to relax, you’re going to like this part.
Impact of Stress
Stress can affect both your body and your mind. A rush of hormones, including cortisol and norepinephrine, is triggered when you’re stressed or scared. This physiological response has long been in place throughout human history. While the causes may have changed, the results remain the same. Blood pressure rises, heart rate increases and digestion stops. This is known as the fight or flight response. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. While these bodily reactions can be useful during short periods of stress in order to move you forward and get you out of harm’s way, they are incredibly detrimental to your physical and mental health when they remain over long periods, such as in times of prolonged stress.
Signs of Stress
Visibly, you have automatic responses such as clenched jaw, balled fists or headaches. You may experience difficulties with sleep, sore muscles, depression, anxiety and trouble focusing. There are a whole host of symptoms that occur when your body’s physiological response to stress kicks into high gear. Your immune system is lowered by constant pressure, and you may find yourself sick more often than you used to be. You may even notice such physical symptoms as hair loss, urinary tract infections and heartburn. Stress makes you sick – physically sick!
Cope with Stress
The way you cope with chronic stress is what matters. Shortening your exposure to the worry is your ultimate goal. The strategies we’ve previously covered will help you in that area. Let’s explore a more immediate way of helping to ease the symptoms related to your tension.
It really is all about self-care, give these strategies a try when you’re feeling nervous:
- A warm bath
- Focused breathing
- Soothing music
- Time with friends
- Progressive muscle relaxation
- Warm beverage
- TV show or movie break
- Nature hike
- Prepare healthy meals
- Take a short trip
- Play with your kids and grandkids
- Call a friend to chat
- Explore a museum in your City
- Go eat at a restaurant you’ve been dying to try
- Play with puppies or kittens
Add any activities to this list that are particularly appealing to your soul. Anything that helps you to feel at peace and is enjoyable counts.
What’s most important is that you proactively set aside time to engage in your relaxation activity of choice. Even a short break for your favorite television show can rejuvenate you and help to slow down the negative effects of stress. Give some of your favorites a try and see just how much easier it is to deal with difficulties in times of upheaval.
Ok, pull out your calendar and schedule this time, now. I mean it! What do you do for self-care? How do you work it into your daily routine? I want to know – leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
Need some good book ideas? Check out my Pinterest list on books worth reading.