Stress Awareness Month: How to Practice Self-Care

April 9, 2020

With all the news that’s been circulating lately, it’s easy to feel anxious or stressed out. April, believe it or not, it is Stress Awareness Month, so our team wanted to take a moment to discuss how to overcome stress and to relax when you need it the most.

Slow Down

With so much uncertainty, it can be easy to start to feel like there is no end in sight. If you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, try this simple exercise:

  • Breathe in for five seconds.
  • Hold your breath for five seconds or until it feels comfortable to exhale.
  • Breathe out for five seconds.
  • Increase all of these to ten seconds, and then repeat from the beginning.

If you only focus on your breath and breathing, you can start to shut out some of the other things that are fighting for your attention. Once you’ve calmed down, you can go back to whatever you were working on but give yourself a second of peace first.

Shift Your Attitude

If you find yourself stressed out from negative thoughts, try to focus on positivity instead. It can be hard to do at first, but over time, you’ll get more used to thinking of the positive aspects of your life.

Try these ideas when you’re feeling stressed out from negative thoughts:

  • Name one good thing that has happened to you today.
  • Instead of thinking of something negative (“I can’t go outside,”) think of it in a positive way (“I get to spend time with my family.”)
  • Try reaching out to a friend or family member.
  • Name one good thing about yourself.

Try not to get discouraged or frustrated if you have a hard time thinking positively. Like most other things, it’s a skill that you can develop over time.

Journal

Journaling can be a relaxing activity anytime, but it can be especially therapeutic during times of high stress. Internalizing your anxieties or stressors is uncomfortable and unhealthy, so let them out.

Every morning or evening, or whatever time of day suits you best, take a break to just write down everything that’s in your head. It can be uncomfortable at first, but just let it flow. Not in full sentences, bouncing from one thing to another, who cares! There are two primary benefits from journaling, 1) it gets thoughts that are in your head out and 2) it gives you documentation to look back on and reflect at a later date. It’s a win-win. 

Find Some Joy

If you’re stressed out, try to find something to distract yourself. Try calling a friend, reading a book, or spending some time on a favorite hobby. These little moments can help you recharge and root yourself in the present.

If you like spending time with others, you can have an online conference or handwrite a letter to someone you love. These little acts of being social can go a long way towards helping you destress.

Seek Out Help

If you find yourself constantly stressed or if it starts to get in the way of your regular routine, don’t be afraid to reach out! Local organizations like Summit Pointe are offering counseling services and can help you find a professional who is right for you.

Even if you can’t leave your house, a lot of local organizations are moving to virtual counseling sessions. That way, you can get the help you need from the safety of your home.

 

Our team at BCVision is dedicated to supporting those within the Battle Creek community. We want this to be a place where everyone can live, work and play. Do you need help getting connected with resources in Battle Creek? Contact us at support@bcvision.com to learn more.

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