We’ve all had those seasons where stress seems to be at the forefront. Whether it’s while moving into a new home, the start or end of a job, launching a new business, dealing with health concerns, or something else entirely, we’ve all had times when life feels stressful. We also know that these seasons are bound to happen and it’s not something we can just will away or completely prevent. What we can do is find ways to best support ourselves and find ease within the stressful season.
I’m currently in a stressful season as I move from one home to another while in the middle of an autoimmune flare, and the tips I want to share with you today are the same things I’m using to get myself through this harder season.
1. Take one small action
I was texting with a friend the other day while feeling overwhelmed with my upcoming move and she said, “how do you eat a horse? One bite at a time.” And it is the perfect reminder to come back to the process I had already placed in front of me – do one small thing every day to help with your move. This looked like doing one load of laundry, packing up one box, or clearing out one cabinet. Sometimes this one thing created the momentum to do a second load of laundry, a second box, or a whole closet, but sometimes it didn’t, and that was okay too.
And if your season of stress isn’t tied to a move, you can take this same idea to whatever is your stressor. If you’re starting a new business or side hustle, maybe you think about the one small thing you can do each day to push your business forward (this is another thing I try to do for my own business). Or maybe you’re looking for a new job and each day you focus on applying to one job or acquiring a new skill to help you stand out in the job market. Where can you take one small action?
2. What can you take off your plate? Where can you ask for help or delegate?
Truthfully, this is a hard one for me. I’ve always struggled with asking others for help as over the years, I have convinced myself that I’m putting people out, even when I know they want to help me. I’ve seen this in having a hard time accepting the help my mom offered in packing boxes for my move or in following up with my healthcare professionals who were looking into something for me or accepting an introduction to someone who could help give me the advice to push my business/career projects forward. This is something I’m working on because I truly believe this is so important.
We can’t do everything ourselves and the people in our lives want to help us and support us. For me, this has looked like asking my parents to watch my dog so I can take a little getaway by myself to recharge or to watch my dog for a couple of hours while I pack. This could look like asking your mentor for advice on your business strategy or a teacher to help clarify something you didn’t understand in class. This can also mean asking your boss or coworkers for support on a work project. You don’t and shouldn’t have to do it alone.
3. Break the stress cycle
The best way to break the stress cycle is to move your body. In fact, in the book ‘Burnout’ by Amelia Nagoski literally says, “physical activity is the single most efficient way for completing the stress response cycle.”
This can be in any way that feels good to you. I often choose yoga, but you could also:
- Go for a walk
- Go for a run
- Lift weights
- Jump around
You get the idea – move your body in any way that feels good to you.
4. Stay committed to the routines and practices that make you feel good
If you have a morning or evening routine, do your best to keep that a priority during seasons of stress. If you have a movement practice that you enjoy, keep that going. Don’t let your self-care rituals fall completely to the side. You need these things that keep you grounded and feeling good even more in the stressful times as you do in the non-stressful.
With that said, I also think it’s important to allow these practices to be fluid and flexible during these times. For example, my meditation practice has been about 20 minutes every morning followed by my morning journaling, but in the last week or so, I’ve had to make some adjustments. I’m still prioritizing my morning meditation, but instead of 20 minutes, I’ve cut it back to 10-15 minutes. I’ve continued to prioritize moving my body, but maybe I’ve cut a run down to 20 minutes instead of my “planned” 30 minutes. You get the idea. Keep the practices that feel good but be flexible to make some adjustments.
If you enjoy the guided meditation and journaling practices that we do on weekly on The Soul Connection Podcast, I encourage you to try out my *new* FREE simple practice for immediate stress relief. This guided meditation and journal prompt can be downloaded right to your phone for use in those moments when you need it most. You can grab it HERE.
And while I didn’t mention this in the episode, I want to add something really important: This is temporary. Stress is not completely avoidable, but it is temporary. Remind yourself that this season won’t last forever so take it one day, one moment at a time.
How do you find ease during seasons of stress? What other tips do you have that I didn’t share today? Let me know in the comments below.