Monday, November 2, 2020

Resources for Self-Care in Challenging Times

The following are some resources for self-care to address burnout, stress, and overwhelming feelings.

Marisa Cohen interviewed IMPACT Boston Meg Stone about how she regained energy and passion for advocacy work. Cohen identified six things to avoid burnout: 
  • focus on self-nourishment 
  • harness your anger 
  • narrow your focus 
  • take regular breaks 
  • celebrate small steps 
  • find the power of an affirmation
Emma Seppälä, Christina Bradley, and Michael R. Goldstein report on research about the effectiveness of breathing in stress reduction. For instance, changing the rhythm of our breathing can slow our heart rate and can help us find calmness and improve our ability to think clearly. Breathing in speeds up our heart rate and breathing out slows it down. One recommended exercise to increase calmness is for several minutes inhale to a count of 4 and exhale at a count of 8. 

Linda Graham highlights the benefits of self-compassion for reducing anxiety and fear and practices that can help build resilience: She says: “Mindful self-compassion teaches us to notice and focus on our feelings, but then gives us a practice to shift those feelings.” She recommends two self-compassion practices to build resilience: 
  • Self-compassion breaks For instance, if you start to feel overwhelmed with an emotion, put your hand on your heart which “activates the release of oxytocin, the hormone of safety and trust.”  
  • Develop self-compassion as an ongoing practice For instance, practice saying “May I be kind to myself in this moment, in any moment, in every moment.

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