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Emergency balance plan

In times of heightened stress and fear, it's more important than ever to find outlets to balance and recharge yourself. When you're at your limit, it's time to break the glass and use your emergency balance plan. If you don't have one yet, you can start creating one with these recharge tips below.

Evaluate your stress level

Often people aren't aware of how stressed they really feel. It's only in times of breaking points that they know their limits. Tunning in often to how you're really feeling can help you identify and recognize where you're at on your own scale of stress; it can even help avoid hitting your limits.

To get to know your own stress scale, make a note somewhere every day (in a notebook, on your phone, etc.) with a number from one to ten (one being the least stressed, ten being the most). You can do this more than daily; perhaps do it when you're feeling calm or when you're feeling stressed. In addition to a number, make a quick note next to it about what you were doing. Before you know it, you'll not only have gotten to understand your stress scale, you'll also have identified what triggers you the most and what calms you the most. 

Deflate your stress

When you're at your limit or just want to add a sense of calm to your day, it's time for a release. You can release discomfort in a number of ways and it matters first to evaluate your needs. If you're feeling lonely or in need of support, perhaps it's time to reach out to a loved one who understands and loves you. Or, maybe you would benefit from reaching out to a medical professional who is trained to provide you with the best care and relief. Verbally letting out what is causing you distress is one of the healthiest things you can do when you need support. It also utilizes our strongest connection humanity has to offer: community. 

If your need is more in line with needing a break from it all, perhaps it's time to open a book or turn on a show that shifts your mind from the ongoing stress cycle to something lighter. Think of your stressed mind as a clenched fist. You can only do it for so long before the muscles begin to tire. Give yourself a break by tunning into something that offers some relaxation. 

If your need is less obvious and you can't quite place what specifically to do first, it's time to move with exercise. Moving your body is a great way to care for yourself while also processing your emotions. You needn't be in the best shape nor push yourself to benefit from moving your body. You could start in your living room with some light stretching followed by a free youtube exercise video (like a silly dance routine or yoga). Whatever suits you and feels good is the right thing for you. Once you start moving, don't be surprised if self-reflection comes during or afterward.

Listen to your body

When you're off auto-pilot and really paying attention to how your body feels, you're honoring and listening to your body's needs. Take this moment for instance. Tune into how you're feeling right now. Are you completely comfortable? Do you have discomfort right now that you could be preventing? Are you straining your body anywhere like your neck or your back? Tunning in can sometimes allow for small corrections that can offer more comfort. 

In addition to aiming to feel comfortable, you can tune into other things your body needs like more rest, healthier foods or more movement (as mentioned above). Ultimately, you know how you feel. The important thing is to make time to listen to your body and follow it up with self-care action. 

Take care of yourself always and recharge your self-care often.

Kelly Stone Cramer


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