For some people Covid-19 has slowed us right down, and for others we’re busier than ever. When life becomes busier and more stressful, we need to increase our coping resources accordingly. I hear many people in therapy tell me that their downtime is watching Television or reading a book. Although these are often pleasurable experiences, your mind is very much active and attending to new information.
When we’re stressed, our fight or flight system is activated and producing cortisol around our body to prepare us for action. Some people are operating with this system switched on all day as they go from one task to another. It is so important that we STOP multiple times throughout the day, to reset our system and continue on with our day so our body can recharge.
The most common consequence of not stopping throughout the day is coming home from a busy day at work and taking out your agitation on your partner or a close family member. They suffer the most because we feel more comfortable around them and are less likely to lose our cool with work colleagues.
So how do we STOP? Often I will advise clients to take multiple (small) breaks at work, it only takes a couple of minutes to stop and reset your body! Take a moment on your walk to the bathroom or on your lunch break and simply stop everything you’re doing for at least 3-5 minutes. I recommend implementing diaphragmatic breathing while you STOP, so you’re literally being in the moment and noticing your heart rate decrease as signals are sent to your brain to relax!
Probably the best advice I could give you is to make sure you don’t go straight from work to home without resetting/stopping! Even a few minutes of breathing while in the driveway at home could prevent an outburst at your partner!
Brionie Fryer – Owner of Nurturing Minds