In light of the most recent events happening in our country and the rest of the world, I’ve seen a few a friends remind their social and email networks of the importance of taking some time out to self-love and self-heal. It sounds a little pseudo, but stress really does kill you — and you can’t tell me that folks aren’t stressed the hell out these days.
Thing is, my dad always reminds me that your brain doesn’t know the difference between physical and mental stress. That it all seems like you’re banging your body up against a brick wall.
So to help combat that a little (and to pay the reminder forward¹), here are my top five suggestions to loving yourself in the midst of a crisis/storm/stressful time.
1. Take some time away from whatever it is that’s stressing you — I know, I know. It sounds like you’re just avoiding things, but sometimes you have to step away from the stressful stimuli to gain perspective and also to not go crazy. That’s not saying to get under the covers for days, but you shouldn’t be afraid to turn off the TV, power down your phone, and avoid the Internet for even a few hours to help you de-stress.
2. Do something that makes you happy — For me, that’s usually dancing or hanging out with loved ones doing nothing. Your happy place will be unique to you, but you should find it and engage in it at least until you can find yourself laughing genuinely.
3. Get a hug from someone — Yes, the photo for this post is someone hugging herself, but understand, there’s power in the touch of loved ones. Let someone hug you (even if you’re not a hugger), and let him/her do it for longer than 30 seconds. You’ll see.
4. Get some rest — Sleep is so important. And I say this as someone who is a night owl and rarely goes to sleep at a reasonable hour, but I also speak as someone who can feel the difference when I get a restful eight hours of sleep and when I barely get four. My body knows the difference, and so does yours. And your body will break down if you don’t let it refuel to the level it needs.
5. Don’t feel guilty for thinking of you — I used to have this problem (sometimes still do). When I made time for myself in the midst of a stressful situation, I’d feel like I was letting folks down or being selfish. But I had to learn that it’s not about being selfish. It’s about self-preservation. And if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t be there for anyone else.
Those are my top five suggestions, but what about you all? Do you have any that would be good to share?
1 I also want to be sure to thank those who included me in their reminders. It was much needed!
PS: WordPress tells me this is my 700th post!! WOW! That’s kinda crazy — thank you all for coming with me on this crazy ride thus far. Here’s to at least 700 more :)