Self-care during stress
Feeling more frazzled, sensitive, on edge, ungrounded, or ___________ [fill in the blank] than normal during times of stress, change, extra busy-ness, etc.? As we are all human and experience struggle, I thought I’d share with you how I support myself through self-care in any time of increased stress or pressure (super common in an often busy holiday, end-of-year season!).
Caring for myself is a personal priority every day, but especially rises to my awareness when I feel like I’m struggling. Our only daughter left for college this fall – such excitement and oh, what a sense of loss we experienced! Again, all the more reason for nourishment on all levels. Here are some of my self-care supports:
Many of you know that I like the 80/20 guideline – focusing on what you do most of the time being health-promoting and what you do as treats every now and then being nourishing for your soul. I’ve found comfort this fall in ginger tea, roasted root veggies, and kabocha squash soup. And, apple crisp for treats at night (thanks to my super-supportive husband who’s uber-talented in the kitchen!).
While I’m lacking an official exercise routine (as I say in every patient visit, we are all human, right?!), I do walk to work 3 days/ week and bike/hike/rock-climb 1-2x/ week, typically. Personally, I feel best with gentle movement and try to not overtax my system with anything too strenuous.
It’s always a practice for me to have a more regular rhythm in my somatic-based sitting meditation. But, even when I’m not on my cushion for an hour each morning, I do have an active mindful practice that is filtered throughout my day. That’s part of my routine between patient appointments that allows me to be clear and present for each of you.
I do find that I want more sleep in the darker seasons; I’m okay with respecting my seasonal rhythms. I tend to get up early many mornings each week, so I make sure that I work backward to get to bed in time to get my 8+ hours. Personally, I’ve been needing 9-10 hours/ night but that’s info for another blog post… Read this earlier blog post for more sleep tips!
Connection with self, others, something greater
I’m a pretty strong introvert who also needs heartfelt connections. Finding a balance of connection with others and quiet recharge time is an ongoing practice for me, especially in the last 2 years of starting new jobs, meeting new people, etc. – so much ‘putting myself out there,’ both personally and professionally. The more I connect with myself and with nature, the more I find I have the energy to connect with others. And, for me, singing with Aurora Chorus encourages me to connect with myself, others, and something greater, all in one rehearsal 🙂
We are all different individuals
I do hope that some of the ways I find self-care to help in times of stress can be useful for your exploration, too!