So, what do we do to address this normal response to any threats to our well-being; that, can eventually, negatively impact our well-being, when they become chronic?
If that doesn't sound easy, that is because it isn't. Anything, that goes against our evolution/natural state, is not easy, but can be beneficial.
We live in a society with growing acceptance of prosocial emotional management. Meaning, our cultural is recognizing that the attitude of minimizing emotions, mental health, impact of daily and, chronic stress is leading to SERIOUS repurcussions.
Consequences that we, as a society, as less and less willing to accept.
Leading to more people having empathy for themselves and others (hopefully).
Adequate self-care helps us to manage long-term stress; while healthy coping skills help us manage stress in the moment.
Examples of self-care:
Going outside; walks, hikes, swimming, etc;
General exercise; stretching, running, lifting weights
Movement; music, dance, yoga, tai-chi,
Relaxing activities; bathes, spa-treatments, rest, reading
Basic needs; bathing, eating, sleeping, doctor and dental care
Most important is meeting one's basic needs. No amount of coping skills or self-care will matter, if someone has not had enough sleep or eaten all day.
Your world is likely to not end if you make sure you eat several times a day, go for a walk, get 7-9 hours of sleep, and have adequate hygiene. But, it will if you do not ever make time for these things.
If, doing anything for yourself, especially basic needs is a barrier to adequate self-care. One of the first things would be looking at the reason. In the end "Do you believe you are worth it?"
I think everyone is worth it. Yes, even you. We are all worth it. If we can not be worth it to ourselves, how will we ever feel worth any positive treatment from someone else? The answer; Never. We will doubt, and that hurts our relationships.
Yes, it is true. The quality of our self-treatment, influences how others treat us. Loving yourself impacts every aspect of our life. If, you want a better life, focus on the one thing you can control; YOU!
Examples of safe coping skills:
BREATHING, BREATHING, BREATHING
Counting til ten or twent or until you feel calm Stay safe
Taking a step back/a time-out Refer to your crisis/safety plan
Journaling Call your sponsor
Tapping--Meridian points Review your options
Venting to someone safe Take action
Positive affirmations/self-talk Crying
Tolerate temporary discomfort Trust yourself
Grounding techniques Recognize unhealthy coping skills
Learning to manage stress takes time, try to be patient.