Sometimes life reminds us to practise what we preach! I often tell stressed clients to be gentle with themselves and in the last few weeks I’ve had to do that for myself as I’ve juggled unexpected stressful family responsibilities with work.
Being gentle with myself takes several forms.
The first is not being judgmental when I don’t get things done as or when I planned them. When stress levels are high you will need breaks (and coffee and chocolate!) to keep the stress under control. And remember to turn your Inner Critic into a Supportive Fan - download my ebook on how to do this below this blog.
The next is exercise to use up that adrenaline.
Sleep is high on the agenda too – sometimes it is elusive, so when your brain does switch off, sleep as long as possible without feeling guilty about the extra time in bed.
And friends and supportive family are essential. Sometimes to offload a bit, sometimes to talk about other stuff so your brain gets a break too. It’s really about connection, remembering that you’re not alone.
Then there’s the feel good things. My best is a long hot bath right before bed. Nothing nicer than going to bed warm and relaxed. Another is an occasional hot chocolate… For a friend it is buying herself flowers.
An important go-to for me is Emotional Freedom Techniques, particularly if I’m feeling anxious. It helps me shift my perspective and get a more balanced view of a situation, and to stop that inner critic from becoming judgmental. And when I have a session with another practitioner I get even more benefit from it, plus the bonus of deep connection.
What do you do for self-care when you’re stressed?
It’s important to know what works for you so you can just do it without much thought as stress dulls the brain! It’s not enough to rely on coffee / wine / chocolate as these are not actually helpful even if they make you feel better in the moment. Too much of these has health consequences that stress your body even more!