The physical effects of the stress we have all been under
the last year has led many of us to feel vulnerable; both physically and
mentally. It is normal for our bodies to
experience the physical symptoms of emotional distress.
Humans are designed for survival; the old “fight or ”flight”
response. Whenever we are faced with a
perceived threat, the hormones cortisol and adrenaline start to flood throughout
our system. Our muscles tense up, our
breathing becomes more shallow and rapid, our heart rate increases, our stomach
acids churn as we enter a state of
“hyper-vigilance.” These hormones can
save us, but they can also cause us great anxiety; exhaustion, irritability,
sleeplessness, over timulation or even depression.
According to Lucy McBride, MD, here are a few tips to help
ease some of that anxiety:
Limit your media consumption, set a daily limit on news TV
and radio, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Fact-check your worries, distinguish between worries that are
grounded in fact vs. false internal narratives. Protect your body by countering
negative thoughts with facts.
Keep a journal, the simple act of writing down your concerns
helps free your mind of clutter and opens your mind up to more calm, rational
Prioritize sleep, aim for 7-9 hours.
Exercise, get moving.
This is one of the best ways to de-stress and to release anxiety.
Find a mental escape;
read a book, page thru a magazine, binge on trash tv, learn a new craft or
Laugh as much as you can; watch a comedy, listen to your
kiddos, play with your pets, read the funny papers, listen to a funny
Please go easy on yourself, we are all living through these
extremely challenging times and doing the best we can. We can only do so much and please remember,
its ok to ask for help!
National Suicide Lifeline 800-273-TALK (8255)
SAMSHA 800-662-HELP (4357)
NAMI 800-950-NAMI (6266)