Stress management is HARD! I have been struggling to manage my stress level recently. Even with all the tools in my stress management “toolbox” it is a challenge for me daily. I have been working on employing many strategies to curb the stress I have from work, life, the election, COVID, and everything else in between. They only help when I am consistent and I have not been falling short. It’s ok, it happens, getting down on myself about it isn’t going to improve anything! Not managing my stress level may sound like something that doesn’t matter too much, because it is so common and acceptable by society and so on. NOT for ME! Unmanaged, high levels of stress for me = illness, sickness, feeling unwell, ulcerative colitis flares, IBS flares, fatigue, and the list goes on. Managing stress is more than self-care and taking a bubble bath, it is a means of survival.
Some of the ways I am attempting to reduce stress-
-Setting boundaries around when you are working and available and when you are not. Then sticking to it.
-Finding time to do something for YOURSELF each day.
-More regular therapy sessions.
-Setting things I cannot do anything about aside and focusing on the now.
-Mindfulness and taking each day one at a time, to limit the feeling of being overwhelmed.
-Going outside every day even for a few min!!
-Movement-moving my body in any way. I haven’t done a full exercise class all week but even part of one is better than zero. Walking or sitting outside a few minutes a day helps lift my spirit especially when the weather is nice! -Self-care: sometimes this is sleep, resting, setting boundaries, and sometimes it’s time with a friend, a Zoom call with my friends in other states, or a distanced chat in the park. A small portion of self-care is bubble baths and face masks and I encourage everyone to find what brings them joy regardless of what is being marketed to us! (It’s hard I get sucked in ALL the time!)
What your favorite ways to keep stress at bay?
For more information and tips on living with inflammatory bowel disease from the medical and patient communities, download the Gali friend for IBD mobile app and she will create a personalized feed of articles just for you!