Taking care of YOU when life is stressful
Author: Leslie Bradley
Date : November 2, 2020
There is no denying that 2020 has been quite a year. To top it off, we’re in the thick of an election season that is causing substantial stress and polarization. According to the American Psychological Association1, 68% of Americans identified election-related stress as having a significant impact on their lives. All year long, I’ve been stressing to clients that self-care needs to be a top priority, but those words could not be truer than they are today. As we prepare to celebrate International Stress Awareness Day on November 4 (they did that on purpose, didn’t they…c’mon, the day after the election?!?), take a moment to take stock of your stress level and consider what you can do to take even better care of yourself. Here are some ideas to help you weather the stress of the election, COVID-related restrictions, difficulties working from home, teaching your children, really just any and all challenges in life:
1. Take moments of self-care.
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2. Create healthy boundaries.
3. Take care of your body to take care of your mind.
-Set a bedtime and a wake up time, and hold yourself accountable to those times.
-Create a bedtime routine – change into comfy pajamas, brush your teeth, turn down the lights, do some quiet activities that encourage your body to wind down.
-Turn off your devices! Screens can inhibit our bodies’ natural ability to induce sleep through the hormone melatonin. Allow at least 30-60 minutes before bedtime that are screen free.
-Be sure that your bedroom is sleep-friendly! Are your pillows and mattress comfy? Do you need blackout curtains? Consider using a fan or sound machine to drown out sleep-interrupting sounds.
-Be sure you’re getting your fill of Vitamin D. Head outside as much as possible. As the days get shorter, consider using a light box. Be sure to consult your doctor to determine if supplements and/or phototherapy would be beneficial for you.
-Cut down on caffeine and alcohol consumption in the evening.
-Get regular exercise.
-Use your bed only for sleep and sex.
4. Pour into positive, enjoyable activities.