Okay. So I've been feeling super stressed out lately. My dear old dog is sick, a young lady I mentor has been struggling with some extremely serious issues, my job has been more demanding than usual, and I have been presented with some significant decisions regarding my dad's house (my house, I guess, now) and my short term future. So, yes, it's been a little crazy. And I promise not to complain too much, but to make matters worse I have acted in backward fashion and added to my plate in terms of community involvement/obligations instead of paring down, meanwhile cutting down on my writing time (hence my recent absence).
I'm not the only one. I have a handful of friends who have recently expressed to me that they feel very overwhelmed by the various stresses in their lives. Be it a sick parent, the ongoing grief from the loss of a loved one, a change in relationship status, stress at work, relocation, or a battle with mental health, we all have brushes with stress.
So how to deal? I don't know. I know that for me, it helps to write... and pray... and allow myself a day or too to feel glum. But if none of those things work for you, I thought I'd share something I found while looking into resources for my mentee. A simple little list of reminders of things you can do to mitigate the effects of feeling stressed out.
Self-care strategies for dealing with stress, trauma and crisis (courtesy of Crisis Clinic):
1. Stay away from mood-altering substances, including drugs and alcohol
2. Get plenty of rest so that you feel rested and relaxed
3. Eat well-balanced meals
4. Practice stress reduction techniques such as deep breathing, mediation and visualization
5. Give yourself permission to feel bad. Schedule it in your day
6. Let yourself cry
7. Give yourself permission to feel good
8. Make small decisions daily to get control of your life back
9. If possible, put off major life decisions
10. Give yourself permission to focus on someone outside yourself
11. Structure your time and develop a routine
12. Lower expectations on what you think you “should be doing”
13. Take breaks from periods of isolation
14. Talk it out – even with a professional
15. Give yourself permission to do something that could feel good to you
16. Give and get physical touch. A hug can do wonders
17. Exercise – even a little bit
18. Remind yourself that your reactions are normal
19. Engage in practices that are meaningful to you such as prayer, walking in the woods, sitting quietly, reading inspirational material, talking a bath or journal writing
20. Do something that puts a smile on someone’s face