Many of us suffer with the effects of stress even though we preach to our clients the importance of cutting the stress out or down. Stress is a fact of life. Stress occurs as a coping mechanism for our brains and bodies and the fight-or-flight response is also known as the acute stress response. It is essentially, the response prepares the body to either fight or flee the threat.
Currently in lock down we are out of routine, anxious about the virus and the unknown it brings. For some there may be financial pressures, worry about vulnerable family members or children. Unknown times bring with it an inability to plan or be in familiar places or practise our usual habits. Countless outlets for managing stress aren’t accessible at present due to finances or they are restricted such as holistic treatments, working out, socialising with friends and family so we have put together 10 tips to try to help you combat stress.
1) Breathe. Studies have demonstrated the phenomenal impact that breath awareness can have on our health and well-being. Preliminary studies show that the pranayama, or breath regulation also known as alternate-nostril breathing, can decrease blood pressure and aid in creating a sense of ease and calm by igniting the parasympathetic nervous system.
2) Turn off your social media notifications or limit the time you scroll through it. The instant gratification of scrolling through social media might give you a hit of dopamine, but it isn’t enriching your sense of self. So very often what is portrayed by others is a snap shot of their life and not their whole lifestyle or day. Self-care is often about disconnecting with the world – both physically and virtually – and putting your needs first.
3) Practising gratitude is a great act to combat stressful thoughts as it sets you into the right mindset and volunteering time or donating to charity gives you a feel-good factor that fights the negative effects of stress. Gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, from envy and resentment to frustration and regret.
4) Practise what you preach and book in a treatment. There are so many benefits to having a regular holistic therapy treatment whether that is massage, reflexology or something different. Nearly every therapy has a positive effect on the stress hormones.
5) Use your tools. All of those things that have sat in the treatment room whilst we have been on lockdown such as meditation music, essential oils, diffusers, low lighting and crystals. Schedule in some time to use them to their best advantage and as you already have them around you it won’t cost you a penny.
There are many different other things to try if none of the above seem appealing including meditation, moving your body or getting outdoors. The important thing is to find what works for you and enjoy some quiet time that helps you unwind and can easily fit into your lifestyle and day to day whether that is 10 minutes to enjoy a herbal tea or an hour to do some yoga.
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