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Restorative Practices to Manage Stress Effectively

Stress is a universal feeling we all share. However, how we cope with stress is different among us all. Some of us suppress the stress we feel; some may sit with it no matter how uncomfortable it can be, some may have comforting rituals that help restore positive energy. Whatever it is, I want you to think about your stress response. 

Ponder: Think of all the things you find stressful and add them to a bucket. How quickly does the bucket fill? Does it overflow? Are there things in there that you can take out? If your stress bucket is overflowing, your body is taking a hit. Our digestion is impaired, blood sugar can become unregulated, sleep is disturbed, and our eating habits can shift. Next time you feel stressed, take a moment to breathe and then respond. 

Some practices that I like to participate in when I’m stressed or feeling burnout are: 

  • Breathing Techniques (4-7-8). Inhale for 4 counts, hold the breath for 7 counts, exhale through the mouth for 8. Repeat
  • Tapping: Tapping is a combination of Ancient Chinese Acupressure and Modern Psychology that works to physically alter your brain, energy system, and body all at once. The practice consists of tapping with your fingertips on specific meridian points while talking through the stress of any kind, traumatic memories, and a wide range of emotions.
  • Reframing: It isn’t so much about what has happened or is happening, it’s about how you choose to look at it. Ask yourself, “where is the light in the dark?” 
  • Movement: finding the time and energy to move your body in ways that feel enjoyable. Don’t think so much about this as exercise. Think about it as a celebration for your mind and body. Shake the stress out by dancing, run to quiet the voices in your head, flow on your yoga mat to re-center yourself.
  • Get outside! A 30-minute walk in the fresh air can uplift your mood remarkably. 
  • Epsom Salt Bath: draw a bath to relax. Let the steam from the bath purify and detox all the negativity. 

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