February 26, 2020 - Energizing and Replenishing Our Inner Resources!
Life seems to be moving too briskly and abruptly for comfort these days as the news outlets follow the spread of the Coronavirus, the resulting erratic stock markets and the everchanging US political primaries. We in the UK have had our own political and economic uncertainties with Brexit and a newly appointed prime minister. I find all of these transitions unsettling, and I can feel a certain stress in my clients as well.
We are certainly living in a time of perpetual change. Have you ever heard the proverb "May you live in interesting times"? The use of the term 'interesting' here could easily be replaced with alternatives, such as 'stressful,' 'tumultuous' or 'uncertain.' Let's face it... most of us have little control over the national and global situations that are weighing on us. For that very reason, it's critical now that we make time to replenish our inner resources. This week, I want to share some simple suggestions for promoting relaxation that will hopefully benefit your mental and emotional well-being. To tackle these times stressful times, we need to get plenty of rest and exercise, and try to create some moments for laughter.
Research shows that we benefit from rest, regardless of our age. In fact, rest can be a kind of a reboot for us as it recharges our bodies and rejuvenates the mind and spirit. One easy way to get more rest is to establish a regular sleep routine whereby we go to bed at the same time each night. If you want to indulge yourself, go to bed 30 minutes earlier than usual to treat yourself to some extra REMs. Not only will you feel better when you wake up, but you'll be able to deal with the daily changes more calmly and clearly.
And when you aren't sleeping, you can set aside time to rest your mind by engaging in a desired activity, even if it's just for a brief period. I suggest turning off the TV or putting down your phone or tablet and settling in with a good book or magazine, or spending time with a preferred hobby. The goal here is to actively engage in an activity rather than to sit passively in front of a screen. I can guarantee that you'll feel much more energized doing the former!
Another way to get energized is with exercise. Physical activity helps to boost your endorphin levels and get your heart pumping! Set aside time for daily exercise, even if it's just for 15 minutes! Walking around the block during lunch, taking a short run or brisk walk to the local park, or even putting on music and dancing though a few songs will all do wonders for your body and mind!
My final suggestion is to look for opportunities to laugh. Laughter oxygenates your blood and relieves stress which, in turn, boosts your immune response. But most importantly, it improves your mood at lightning speed. So, call a friend who makes you laugh, read a funny book or put on your favorite comedy show. Laughter is the best medicine, and you don't have to deal with health insurance companies in the process!
I hope you will try my suggestions. This simple advice could make a world of difference in your day, while keeping stress at bay.