When you cannot control what is happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what is happening. That is where your power is.
Stress is part of our daily lives – however, not all stress is bad! There are good kinds of stress, such as the thrill of planning a wedding, the rush of being on the starting line at a race or the nervous excitement of a job promotion. Of course, there’s also unfavorable stress, in which negative circumstances and tension build on a consistent basis. Paying attention to the mind-body connection and how stress manifests in your body can help you intervene before stress begins to negatively impact your overall wellbeing.
If you ignore the signs and symptoms of stress, you may find that stress begins to take a toll on your mental and physical wellbeing. You may notice changes in how your body feels, your mood, or changes in your routine behaviors. You may experience headaches, muscle tension or pain. You may also feel chest pain, fatigue, or experience changes in your sex drive. Additionally, stress can cause digestive issues, sleep disturbances, and can lead to skin problems and a weakened immune system.
In addition to the 10 ways to care for your mind, here are some additional suggestions to mentally refresh after a stressful day:
- Get outside in the fresh air and surround yourself with nature
- Put on your sneakers and get your body moving with a workout or a gentle walk
- Practice mindfulness with deep breathing, yoga, or meditation
- Express thoughts of gratitude and spend time journaling
- Unplug from social media by turning off your phone and instead spend time reading or listening to your favorite music
- Gather with family and friends and embrace the power of social connection
- Take up a hobby and spend time painting, gardening, baking or scrapbooking
- Select a new recipe and cook a healthy and well-balanced meal
- Seek help from your healthcare provider if symptoms of stress continue
Remember to be gentle with yourself and practice compassion and patience in stressful times. Start to recognize the signs of stress and pay attention to what works best to help you mentally refresh after a stressful day so you can put those tools into practice. So often, we focus on caring for our bodies and we forget about what we can do to care for our minds. Pay attention to both your physical and mental health to achieve optimal wellbeing.
Janine is an Implementation Manager with Vitality. She holds a B.S. in Exercise Science/Sport Management from Rutgers University, as well as many certifications within the fitness and nutrition industry. She loves being a spectator/photographer at her daughters’ athletic events, writing on sticky notes, over-consuming nut butters, shiny lip gloss, taking hot yoga classes and competing in triathlons. For relaxation, she enjoys baking, taking naps in hammocks, and listening to podcasts.