Be kind to your mind, babe

Today is Stress Awareness Day. If you were to ask my mother how to take care of yourself and be stress-free, she’d say “stay away from it.”

But it’s not always that simple.

Whether we acknowledge it, we all come in contact with stress on the daily.

That can take the form of parents lashing out, a spouse pushing our nerves, our boss piling on the workload – and so on.

When we become conditioned to stressful situations our body lives in a state of fight or flight, which can wreak havoc on our mental and physical health. 

Too much stress can cause you to overproduce cortisol, the stress hormone. When your cortisol levels become unregulated, you lack energy and can’t fight infection as easily. Your body is inflamed.

We will always encounter stress…no matter how in tune with ourselves or our surroundings we are. 

As someone who has had a particularly bumpy ride the last two years, I want to share what worked for me.

Before I do that, I want to preface this with one simple truth: you might need to do some trial and error because what works for one, won’t work for all. And that’s okay!

In addition to therapy here’s what has helped me find my zen:

  • Acknowledging my feelings
    • I always want to feel my shit. I don’t want to numb anything. Burying your feelings is dangerous, as it will come to a head eventually. And it’s going to suck when it does.
  • Journaling
    • I have a journal from Urban and although I sometimes skip a few days, weeks, or months – when I need to pick it up and let things out, it’s there. It also serves as a form of not only therapy but accountability.
  • Supplements
    • Talk this over with your medical practitioner. But I’ve found that supplements like Theanine really help. And then make sure you’re good on Vitamin D and B-12! I know when my Vitamin D is low because I am tired, sad, and in a mental fog. Fortunately, I have several docs that keep an eye on my levels and we adjust my dosage accordingly.
  • Meditation
    • Silencing your mind is the best way to recharge and get centered. I recommend trying Headspace. Also, you can enable Headspace driving directions on Waze…definitely give that a go as it makes rush hour tolerable.
  • Religion
    • I have had many bouts with religion and God. But I always come back. Yet I acknowledge that not everyone is spiritual. So find whatever higher power you believe in, and lean on it.
  • Therapy
    • Listen, even if you have a perfect life, you could still benefit. I have made many a post to tell you why I think everyone should be in therapy. You won’t always vibe with your therapists, but that’s normal! Try several out until you find one you like best.
  • Balanced diet
    • Ever notice how you feel like garbage after fast food, but feel fine after something green? It’s no secret that food is fuel. Even if you have to grab food on the road, try to opt for something balanced. I love Cava for days when I need to pick something healthy up. A Green + Grains bowl is legit under $11 and you’ll have enough for two meals.
  • Exercise
    • I love a good mix of yoga and cardio. cardio helps me get my frustrations out and just burn that excess energy when I have it. but when I need to chill, or even just start my day right, I pop on some yoga with my girl Adriene. I have her in high rotation but these are my fave:

Have those hard conversations with yourself.

Acknowledge that you are a work in progress.

Your main goal should be to be better than who you were yesterday. You will be okay. I have faith in you. Take care of yourself. Everything, including life, is temporary. Don’t sweat the shit you can’t control, okay?

For more mental health, check out the podcast as well as the blog.

Love you, mean it ❤

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