It's no secret that life can be tough at times, and in the midst of a crisis, things can feel downright overwhelming. Whether it's a global pandemic, a personal loss, or a financial setback, it's easy to get caught up in the chaos and forget to take care of yourself. But let me tell you, my friend, self-care is crucial during times of crisis, especially when it comes to your mental health.
Everything Starts With You
First and foremost, it's important to recognize that it's okay not to be okay. You don't have to have it all together all the time, and it's okay to feel sad, anxious, or overwhelmed. These emotions are a natural response to challenging situations, and it's important to acknowledge and accept them.
Next, make sure you're taking care of your basic needs. This means getting enough sleep, eating nourishing foods, and staying hydrated. It may seem simple, but neglecting these needs can quickly lead to physical and emotional exhaustion, making it even harder to cope with stress.
Another way to take care of your mental health is by practicing self-compassion. Be gentle with yourself and don't beat yourself up for feeling a certain way or for not being able to handle everything on your plate. Talk to yourself as you would a friend, with kindness and understanding.
Taking care of your mental health during a crisis also means reaching out for support when you need it. This could mean talking to a trusted friend or family member, seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor, or joining a support group. Remember, you don't have to go through difficult times alone.
Finally, make sure you're doing things that bring you joy and help you relax. Whether it's taking a bubble bath, going for a walk, practicing yoga, or reading a good book, doing things that make you feel good can help boost your mood and provide a much-needed break from stress and anxiety.
Taking care of your mental health during times of crisis is essential. Remember to be kind to yourself, take care of your basic needs, reach out for support, and do things that bring you joy. You've got this.
3 Tips to Help Feel More Present
Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present in the moment, without judgment. It involves paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, and sensations without getting caught up in them. You can practice mindfulness by focusing on your breath, observing your surroundings, or simply tuning in to your senses.
Engage in physical activity: Physical activity can be a great way to help you feel more present in the moment. Whether you go for a run, take a yoga class, or simply go for a walk outside, focusing on your body and the physical sensations you're experiencing can help you feel more grounded and present.
Connect with nature: Spending time in nature can be a powerful way to help you feel more present. Whether you go for a hike in the mountains, spend time at the beach, or simply sit in a park, being surrounded by nature can help you tune in to the present moment and feel more connected to the world around you. Take the time to notice the beauty and wonder of the natural world, and let it help you feel more present and alive.
Fight or Flight
We often hear the term “fight or flight” - the fight or flight response is a natural physiological reaction that occurs when we perceive a threat or danger. This response is triggered by the release of stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, which prepare the body to either fight off the threat or flee from it. The fight or flight response is an ancient survival mechanism that allowed our ancestors to quickly respond to threats, such as predators, and increase their chances of survival.
When the fight or flight response is activated, the body undergoes a number of changes. The heart rate and blood pressure increase, the breathing becomes rapid and shallow, and the muscles tense up. These changes are designed to help the body respond quickly to the perceived threat, either by fighting off the danger or running away from it. At the same time, the fight or flight response can also result in a number of symptoms, such as sweating, shaking, and nausea, which can be uncomfortable and even overwhelming. Here are three simple tips to help with grounding during a fight or flight response:
Getting Out of Fight or Flight
Getting out of the fight or flight response requires activating the body's relaxation response, which is the opposite of the stress response. Here are some techniques that can help to activate the relaxation response:
Deep breathing: Taking slow, deep breaths can help to slow down the heart rate, lower blood pressure, and calm the nervous system. Breathing exercises, such as diaphragmatic breathing or alternate nostril breathing, can be especially helpful.
Progressive muscle relaxation: This technique involves tensing and relaxing each muscle group in the body, one at a time. This can help to release muscle tension and promote relaxation.
Mindfulness meditation: Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present moment and cultivating a non-judgmental awareness of your thoughts and feelings. This can help to reduce stress and promote relaxation.
Physical activity: Engaging in physical activity, such as yoga, running, or swimming, can help to release pent-up energy and promote relaxation.
Social support: Talking to a trusted friend or family member, or seeking the help of a mental health professional, can also help to reduce stress and promote relaxation.
By practicing these techniques regularly, you can train your body to respond more quickly and effectively to stress, and reduce the frequency and intensity of the fight or flight response. It's important to remember that everyone's response to stress is different, so finding the right relaxation technique that works for you may require some trial and error.
Importance of Self Awareness
Being self-aware of your mental and emotional health is incredibly important for your overall wellbeing. When you are self-aware, you are able to recognize and understand your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and how they are affecting your mental and emotional state.
This awareness allows you to identify areas of your life that may be causing stress, anxiety, or other negative emotions, and take steps to address them. By being self-aware, you can also identify your strengths and weaknesses, and work to improve yourself in areas where you may be struggling. Self-awareness is a key component of emotional intelligence, and can help you to build stronger relationships with others, improve your communication skills, and achieve greater success in both your personal and professional life.
Understand we can not always change our external circumstances in an instant. However any action or plan requires you to be whole, in the present, and with a clear mind.