The importance of self-care techniques to combat stress

Sometimes life hits us over the head, leaving us dazed. That sense of inertia and confusion is common during times of major transition. According to the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, developed in the late 1960s, the biggest life stressors are consistent among us: death of a spouse, divorce or separation, imprisonment, death of a family member, personal injury or illness, marriage, dismissal from work, reunion with a spouse and retirement.

Then there are other, well-documented big stressors, such as moving from one home to another, starting a new job or starting your own business. Blood pressure goes up. Sleeplessness nights become the norm. Nutrition…what’s that? Let’s look at three ways you nurture yourself during a time of major upheaval, no matter what the universe is serving up.

1. Bring on the hygge!

This Danish word, pronounced “hoo-gah,” celebrates all things cozy and comforting. Steal a page from the Scandinavians by lighting candles, wrapping yourself in soft, warm fabrics, drinking a warm cup of tea. Put on the fuzziest, silliest socks you can find. Mull the wine. Eat the soup. Shelter in place!

2. Proceed in short bursts

If you’re doing something challenging – whether that’s trying to figure out the computer system at a new job, or packing up your deceased mother’s belongings, take many frequent breaks. You are either taxing yourself emotionally, cognitively, or both, and it’s okay to acknowledge this. Stop every 20 minutes, step away, take deep breaths, and have a short walk or a glass of water. Regroup. Then proceed.

3. Rely on a mantra

A mantra can be as simple as “I am strong.” But choose one that has meaning for you. When I’m facing challenges, I like “Om Gum Ganapatayei Namah,” a devotion to the Hindu god Ganesh. I love how the blog Shakti Womyn describes Ganesh, He is at once a wise and gentle confidant, a fierce protector, a bestower of breathtaking blessings, and he who removes obstacles.”

How do you nurture yourself during times of transition? Tell us in the comments!

“3 Ways To Nurture Yourself In Times of Transition” by Kathryn Drury Wagner was originally published on Spirituality & Health.

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