The truth is, I am still finding myself adapting in some small way to the new life COVID-19 is demanding. I would describe 2020 as a year of almost a never-ending test of my belief system, my personal relationships and my mental stability. It continues to challenge in these aspects.
Yes, it has been a roller-coaster ride of note and it may also have a few more unexpected tummy dropping moments.
What is evident from the 18 months as I look myself and those around me, is how we respond and handle stress. We all know someone who just never seems to be affected by stress, they just seem to be blowing the wind. Then there is the person who is not coping or think they are coping but exhibit all the signs of stress, like lashing out, having a racing brain and/or heart, stomach-ache, sweating, comfort eating, shaking, etc.
Yeah…I have had a moment or two of wishing I could of taken some words back that ran out of mouth in a stressful moment.
Today you can learn some easy actions to help you cope with stress now and begin to redefine your response to stress.
What is stress?
Let’s look at what stress is exactly. As defined by the United States National Library of Medicine, stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension. It can come from any event or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous. Stress is your body’s reaction to a challenge or demand. In short bursts, stress can be positive, such as when it helps you avoid danger or meet a deadline.
The chemical imbalance of not enough dopamine (cognitive alertness), norepinephrine (vigilant concentration), serotonin (sensory satisfaction) just let me flat and not present in the moment.
Everyday is an opportunity to take stock, reprioritize and be truthful with oneself that you have the power to regain your power to respond to stress differently.
Don’t get me wrong, stress is normal. We all have some form of stress each day but it is how one responds to it, is the differentiator.
3 Stress Management Strategies
Here are 3 easy actions you can take today, to help you respond better to stress:
- Instead of a glass of wine to relax, take a bath. Take 1 cup of Epsom salt, add 10 drops of lavender essential oil to bath. No phone in the bath (smile)
- Breath. It’s easy to forget about breathing but it is essential to our existence. Take a deep breath through your nose, counting to 4, exhale through your mouth, counting to 8. Repeat 6 times.
- Move your body. Exercise plays a critical role to release the feel-good hormones. Take a 30 minute walk during the time of day which you can focus just on you. No phone calls or answering emails while walking. (smile again)
Take care of yourslef…you are first.
Alecia Maifadi (BA, PMP, CCP)
Chief Executive Officer, Posh Holdings
Credentialed Coach I Project Management Professional