How are you doing? Really?
There is no doubt that these have been stressful times. There are so many important aspects to health that we need to think about right now, but let’s focus on stress.
Women are 30% more likely to report experiencing stress and this stress is usually accompanied by physical and emotional symptoms. In comparison to stress symptoms in men, women experience 11% more headaches, 30% more weepiness, and 10% more stomach upset.
Many women feel the need to do it all, have it all and be it all, while looking their best. Who put this expectation on us? And how do we manage it?
For me, I prioritize sleep and joy. Unfortunately, it is said that 1/3 of adult Americans do not get sufficient sleep. Decreased sleep & increased stress make for a vicious cycle that researchers have identified again and again. This unhealthy cycle induces reactions within the body that negatively impact our brain and nervous system, our hormone system (endocrine system), and our immune system.
Ways that I support my sleep during stressful times:
1. 1 hour before bed, dim the lights
2. Spray my pillow with lavender spray
3. Turn on my white noise machine 20 minutes before bed
4. Have a journal or good book on the bed stand if I need to escape prior to resting
5. Identify 5 things I am grateful, while laying in bed
How do you prioritize joy, when sadness or stress is the stronger emotion? This one is definitely tricky. Sometimes, it’s ok to give in, but only for a minute. Acknowledging stress or sadness is ok, but living in it, is not. There is a difference between acute stress and chronic stress. Chronic stress depletes dopamine and can precipitate depression. These changes can lead to symptoms like fatigue, infertility, cardiovascular events, and even changes in your gut bacteria.
Ways that I support my joy during stressful times:
1. Move outside as much as possible
2. Call a friend- I tell myself the purpose of this call is to be vulnerable and to open my heart, you may be surprised, a good friend will always work to fill your heart
3. Book a trip or adventure- spontaneity has always brought me joy
4. Bake a new, delicious recipe
5. Take a bath with my favorite Epsom salts, and a romantic comedy playing on my computer
Stay strong, stay positive, stay sane.
In Extraordinary Health,
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