Staying Healthy During Stressful Times
Author: be well™ with Big Y® Registered Dietitian Team
The past few years have been layered with so many “what ifs” that, for many of us, our body has taken the brunt of the stress. What can you do in this moment to bring yourself back to center?
Acknowledge what you can control.
Each day is different than the one before, so it's easy to feel a bit angsty at times. Acknowledge this. Allow yourself the freedom to feel overwhelmed … and then move forward.
The perception of what you can control directly correlates with how overwhelmed you feel. Be curious about situations you can control.
1-2 Punch: Hygiene and self-care
Never underestimate the power of going back to the basics. Personal hygiene, sleep hygiene and making your needs a priority are what’s needed.
Proper hand washing: rubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds helps to remove germs better than hand sanitizer. Do it often, shut the water off with your elbow and be sure to let hands air dry, or use a paper towel.
Shortened sleep, in conjunction with feeling stressed, can weaken your immune system. Do what you can to get 7-9 hours, or more, of shut-eye each night so your immune system’s cells can be ready to fight any cold or virus that may come their way.
Making your well-being a priority is not selfish. If anything, it’s the most important thing you can do for yourself and your family. Take moments to pause so you may land in the space where you are, multiple times throughout the day.
Whether it’s taking three deep belly breaths through your nose (expanding your stomach on the inhale versus the exhale), sitting in meditation, journaling, practicing yoga, going for a walk, giving yourself a massage, loving on your pet, dancing, forest bathing or watching a comedy special—bring yourself back into your body and out of your mind.