March 4, 2021

Practising self-care to mitigate stress

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Self-care can mitigate stress

You wake up from another night of tossing and turning, your shoulders are tight, your jaw aches from grinding your teeth in your sleep. For a few minutes too long you lay in your bed contemplating the day ahead of you and your long to-do list makes you want to go right back to sleep. You already feel sure you will end up canceling your plans to meet up with a friend for dinner, so you can work through your mealtime.
Does this scenario sound familiar? Once you recognize the signs, how do you mitigate your stress? When I recognize that stress is accumulating in myself, I know what I can do to be proactive in stopping it.

Here are some things that help me mitigate my stress:

  • Rest
  • Walking
  • Breathing
  • Time with friends and family
  • Working in my Garden
  • Woodworking
  • Riding my motorbike

Make a list of things that mitigate your stress

Your personal list will probably look different. You may find that you prefer painting to ease your stress. You may realize that journaling clears your mind. Maybe physical activity calms your nerves. If it helps you relax and reset then make time for it. Some things, such as rest and time with loved ones, will help almost anyone.

Is your practice of self-care mitigating stress?

If you find that you are unable to recuperate as you usually do, or you need more and more time for mitigating stress, it most likely means that somewhere in your life you are stuck in a pattern of accumulating too much stress. A yes response means that you need someone to help you get unstuck. Who can help you?

Here are a few questions to ask yourself to build healthier patterns:

  • What areas in my life are draining me more than they should?
  • How long have I been feeling this way?
  • What conversations do I need to have in my workplace about areas of high stress? (This is especially important if you have a leadership role—the workplace stress of the people under you relies on how you operate at work.)
  • What conversations do I need to have in my personal life about areas of high stress?
  • What boundaries can I set in place to prevent stress from accumulating in the future?

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