Loving Yourself in the Midst of Stress

Stress comes and stress goes.

How we handle it and what we do with it greatly affects our physical, mental, and spiritual health. There has been much research on what happens to our bodies under stress. Many studies confirm what I found to be true for myself: When we don’t deal with stress in a healthy way and stuff it down our bodies hold on to it until we end up having physical symptoms. That could be something like chronic illnesses, pain, even diseases like cancer, digestive diseases, fibromyalgia, etc.

So, what can you do to help love yourself in the midst of stress (a.k.a – take care of yourself)? Here’s my top 5 suggestions:

  1. Pray – Draw close to God and He will draw close to you. When you take time out of your day in quietness with God you will automatically turn down the stress response. Plus, God can help if you ask Him too!
  2. Forgive – Often when we’re stressed we want to blame others. I invite for you to offer forgiveness in a time when anger or frustration would normally come out instead.
  3. Take time for yourself – Maybe even just a few minutes here or there breathing, praying, or whatever to help calm the central nervous system. Fill your cup!
  4. Sleep and exercise – Yes, this is taking care of yourself! Getting enough sleep and exercise is super important when we’re stressed. When we’re tired and our bodies don’t get the movement they crave we are more likely to be grouchy and snap.
  5. Relax with family or friends – Research shows that spending time with those we love helps relieve stress. Laughter is the best medicine!

What is your go-to when you are stressed? How do you manage it?