by Kerri Anderson, owner of Healing in Harmony in Glocester, Rhode Island
How are you handling this “new way of life” we are facing? Now more than ever it’s important to have resources to help navigate through difficult times. There is a lot of stress and fear going around, how can you deal with these feelings, what steps can you take to care for yourself and your loved ones?
As a massage therapist, life coach and energy healer I help clients reduce stress, relieve pain and guide them through life’s challenges. As a small business owner I have had my share of stress over the past few months, I use all the advice I am offering you.
We know that stress can wreak havoc on our health. It lowers our immune system, raises blood pressure, raises heart rates, depression, anxiety, headaches and can lead to more severe long-term diseases. As serious as stress is there are simple ways to help and reduce stress.
Accepting your feelings and emotions without judgement.
Everyone handles challenges differently, and there is no right or wrong way to feel.
I believe the first step is to accept your feelings good or bad, it’s ok if you are stressed and it’s ok if you’re not. There are also stressors that will always be there and you can’t prevent such as this new normal way of living, face masks, serious illnesses, and loss of loves ones, pandemics and national crisis. Accepting there are things we don’t have control over will help us long term.
Know where your stress is coming from.
Taking time to think about and maybe write down your triggers and stressors. Writing things down helps in discovering where you might not even know you were holding stress, and can help you identify how you might be stressing over things you had no idea of.
How might you eliminate stress?
I know there are things we can’t eliminate but we can work towards reducing the stress. If watching the news gets you agitated, you can watch less or turn it off. If being around certain people is challenging, spend less time with them. Find things and people who bring out the best in you. Find and list what you are grateful for. When I’m feeling off, I stop, pause and list 5 things in the moment that I am grateful for. I also try to get out in nature for grounding. As simple as this may sound it really does work.
What can you bring into your life to feel Joy?
When we shift our focus, it can help us in the moment. What makes you happy? What makes you feel good? It can be as simple as planting flowers, playing with your kids or pets, zooming with friends or if you can being with friends. Relaxation of all kinds massage therapy, yoga, meditation, nature walks, dancing. It can also look like resting, taking 5 -10 minutes of alone quite time. This doesn’t take up much time, keep it simple.
Express your feelings.
Holding things in can lead to resentment and increase in stress. I have so many clients who don’t express how they feel to someone who upset them, hurt them or misunderstood them. It is good to try to communicate your feelings in a calm assertive manner. This also helps you release tension and in turn stress.
Looking at the bigger picture.
Asking yourself, how important is this to me? Will I feel this same way in week? A month or a year? If your answer is No than you might want to try to let go and focus on something else.
I believe with open awareness we can begin to understand where we stress, why we stress and how we can work towards letting go or accepting stress.
I do not want to belittle the severity of stress, this article is intended to offer simple guidance, and if you or someone you know is feeling deeply stressed or depressed please reach out to your doctor or therapist.