To say these times are a little stressful would be an understatement. Even a simple task like getting groceries seems to be a much larger feat than it was a month ago. We know that during these times we want to get and stay at the top of our game and give our immune system the best chance we can.
While some stress short term can be helpful, for example, running out of the way of a car getting too close. We know long term chronic stress takes a toll on our immune system. We don’t want our bodies to be responding like we are getting chased by a tiger most of the day. It causes your body to produce more cortisol, raising your blood sugar and a cascade of other things that lower your body’s ability to fight against infections and it is exhausting. Unless we have to fight or flight for some reason, our stress is all perception. How do we change the way we see things? As the late Dr. Wayne Dyer said, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” What are some simple but tangible ways to do that and lower your stress?
Here are some things we find helpful that everyone can do:
- Journaling: This can look different for each person however journaling just a few moments a day can help lower stress and anxiety. A few ideas might be to start your day with some water, coffee, or tea and jot down three things you are grateful for or appreciate. By looking at the good things and it could be the smallest thing such as, “I just love looking at this plant in the corner, enjoying spring blossoms beginning to appear or I caught my kid doing something really nice.” What we focus on, we get more of.
- Breathing (we can all do this!) – Breathwork: Our breath is a powerful tool for decreasing stress by activating the parasympathetic nervous system. We love The Holistic Psychologist’s video on an intro to Breathwork and the 4, 7, 8 breath. (A Belly Breath, breathing in for a 4 count, hold the breath for 7 counts and exhale for an 8 count). You can find more of her tips here: The Holistic Psychologist.
- Mind-Body Practice: For many, this may seem overwhelming but we like apps that break this into more easily consumable pieces. We recommend Insite Timer, Calm, Deepak Chopra & Oprah 21 Day Meditation Experience, or Headspace. They have a variety of durations and styles and many are free. You can also go on YouTube and find free meditations or meditation music. Experiment. Aim for just 5 minutes a day and see what happens. Our personal experiences have found meditation to be extremely beneficial. Going in and through is the only way out of our fears and stressors.
If you are still feeling stressed and are looking for some additional support, we can help. Contact us to schedule a free health coaching session with one of our certified health coaches. They are trained in behavior modification and can support you in:
- Improved Relaxation Techniques
- Feel More Comfortable in Your Body
- Improve Energy
- Attain Personal and Professional Goals
- More Manageable Relationship with Food