7 Dos and Don'ts When You're Stressing Out

Well Cabin Fever is setting in. Not because I'm bored or especially isolated like the elderly, but because life can contain 'issues,' and for the past couple of months several of my panic buttons have been simultaneously pressed. Some, such as job loss, relate to the Carona Virus and its effects, but others are family related. On that level - my isolation is real.

So, for my benefit as much as yours, I thought it might be helpful to create a list of dos and don'ts to remember when the shit is at risk of hitting the fan. These tips can help to disperse or re-route intense emotional energy into productive, or at least not destructive, directions.

1. Don't 

use social media or mobile phones in a panic. Your response might make perfect sense when you feel stressed, but later when your judgement returns you'll be scrambling to clean up your profile and will possibly be suffering from SMS-guilt. Remember - you can't delete a DM or SMS!

Do

keep a journal or video diary if you are prone to expressing yourself in words. Make the journal or video diary easier to access than your mobile phone or Facebook. When you're in a panic you'll go for what's easy and habitual. Break the habit with a new location for your phone and place your journal where it used to be. This works for a while, but you might need to change locations from time to time if - like me - you're a repeat offender!

2. Don't

do dishes or housework when in a panic. Stuff gets spilled, chipped, damaged and possibly thrown in frustration. I've learned from experience that if I attack my garden, it attacks me back with scratches, bites and bee-stings. 

Do

leave the domestic tasks until the stress has settled. I have decided that it might be a good idea to save chipped cups and dishes in a bucket near the wheelie bin. If I feel overwhelmed I can smash it out without doing any harm. (You can donate the broken bits to mosaic artists.)

3. Don't

use a power-tool, drive a car, bike or other vehicle. Stress can make reaction times too fast and we can become hyper-reactive and prone to speeding fines, skidding and accidents. 

Do

go for a walk somewhere quiet, preferably in nature so you can experience the healing effects of the colour green and the life-force of nature. The energy of streams and lakes can have a gently cleansing effect on your spirit. For powerfully thorough psychic cleansing you can't beat witnessing the wild waves of a deserted surf-beach and be humbled by the power of its roiling tumultuousness. 

4. Don't

drink coffee. It's a stimulant and will not help your heart-rate slow down. (This is the one I fail at time and time again. As I write this I'm making my fourth cup. It's 12pm!) 

Do

drink green tea. It's a calmative and helps repair oxidative stress from all of that stressed out over-breathing. 

5. Don't

do hard or intense exercise unless it's genuinely calming for you. If your heart-rate is already high from being stressed out, going for a hard run or cycle can be counter-productive. 

Do

some gentle yoga or dance that progressively 'steps down' your energy. Or just go for a walk.

6. Don't

tackle issues or confront others head-on until your emotional energy has dissipated. 

Do

list the three top things that are bothering you and three things you can do NEXT WEEK to contribute to a solution. 

7. Don't 

try to fix everything today.

Do

spend today re-establishing your place at the still centre of the spinning wheel of life.

For more info: You might like my Trauma Rescue Infographic. I have it stuck in my bathroom and it helps me a lot when I remember to look at it.

Do you need a book to read during isolation? 

Now is a great time for eBooks because you don't have to wait for them to be delivered.

My eBooks are only 99 cents, but they're also available in paperback via Amazon, or directly from me if you live in Australia.

Be Well. X

Leanne Margaret © 2020

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