First step to minimizing or eliminating stress…
Some of the basic physiological needs (think bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy) are super important for stress management, and some of the first things to go when stress is building.
Respiration – make sure you’re breathing! We often aren’t aware of our breath, and continuously shallow breathing makes the body think that the sympathetic nervous system needs to come online. Regulate this with developing some awareness of your breath, taking a few slow breaths every hour, or practice regularly with an app like Calm.
Circulation – get moving! Do something you enjoy and just have the goal of getting your blood moving. Very important for most of us that have been stuck in houses and in office chairs for much of the year.
Water – drink some water! Most of us are chronically dehydrated and our bodies get the message that we are in danger. Just try to increase it by a little bit each day, or drink regularly every hour.
Food – good nutrition is very important, but I think one of the things most of us miss most often is just eating regularly! If you’re like me you get up, have a little less time than you think to get everything ready to go for the day, and then end up living off of coffee until lunch. This is really rough on your body and another cue to the nervous system that it might be in danger.
Elimination – the number of people who can go most of a work day without using the restroom is astounding! Such a basic bodily function, yet we train ourselves to ignore it in favor of meeting expectations and getting to everything on time. Just try to regularly eliminate and prevent the additional stress on your kidneys and other body systems.
Try prioritizing these and see what happens! – Amanda