As the weather turns cooler, the sunlight hours lessen, and we start to spend more time indoors, I wanted to gently remind everyone to keep their stress levels in check, and allocate time to self care.
Stress. That sneaky bastard. It’s infiltrates our minds and bodies in ways we don’t even recognize many times, and in ways we couldn’t imagine. Of course we can sometimes feel that immediate surge of heat beneath the surface of our face when stress leads to frustration, or feel our heart start to race if it’s leaning toward anger, but what about all those other micro stressors? Stress could mean forgetfulness or poor sleep. Nightmares or fuzzy headed mornings after many hours in bed. It could appear as lethargy or seemingly manic “need” to clean the house from top to bottom. Sudden stomach issues/gut health problems? Stress might manifest in your hair coming out in patches, physical weight gain or loss, or even feelings of significant physical discomfort. Sex drive can plummet, we can become short tempered, and we might even find ourselves in a confused puddle of tears from the smallest thing. Maybe we’re eating too much (or too little), drinking more alcohol than water or just ordering takeout/delivery every night. Recognize that stress can show up in subtle ways and unpack/live there quite quickly. Don’t feel bad if it takes a toll on you, just be mindful, look for the warning signs (or listen when others might point them out) and move toward making some changes.
Now, let’s talk about combating that stress…or lessening it at least. Ah the infamous “self care”. What IS it? Mind you, when I say self care, it can mean a multitude of things and look very different depending on the person. I am not here to tell you how to take care of yourself, only you know that best; however, I will offer some ideas and thoughts. Self care gets a weird reputation sometimes, just being presented as bath bombs, chocolate and a fresh blow out at the salon. Self care isn’t just a random “girls guide to PMS” – it’s about listening to the needs of your body, mind and soul, and then honoring them. While yes, sometimes we might want (and need) to indulge in that wine and chocolate, but other times we might need a dang glass of water. We might need to work on moving our body and moving that stress physically out of us. Breathe work and music…maybe we need to unwind, breathe and work on just lowering our vibration a bit. Is the stress something that can be dealt with externally? Maybe investing in a one time deep cleaning of your house or getting a babysitter for an evening is a way to show yourself (and your partner) some love. Maybe you need to take the time (because let’s be honest, with COVID sometimes we’re not doing this enough) to get yourself dressed up and cleaned up. Put on that makeup or cologne, bust out that shirt or trousers that makes you feel good and go for a walk outside. Even if you’re not going somewhere in particular, just being SEEN by others and knowing that you feel confident in that moment can shift your mindset. Masturbate. Read a book. Zone out and play that video game. Dance in your living room in just your underwear. Watch a movie that you KNOW will make you cry and force some of those tears out if they don’t seem to want to come readily. Don’t try and mimic or force what others do onto yourself and then wonder why you don’t feel any better?! The self care we choose should make us feel at ease, able to breathe easier and uplift us.