Last week I received some alarming news about a family member. Afterwards, I felt anxious, jumpy and overwhelmed. My brain was so flooded with stress hormones I felt paralyzed and was struggling to remember any of my self-care tools! Can you relate?
Stress can interfere with cognition, focus, problem-solving, memory and mood. When we reach the point of complete overwhelm we need to pause, breathe, get out of our heads and re-set.
The fastest way to do this is through somatic practices (somatic = engaging the wisdom of the body).
Here are the things I do (and advise my clients, family and friends to do) when I need to feel good FAST:
- Try earthing. Science is showing that reconnecting with the earth’s electrons can have enormous physiological and psychological benefits. I recommend lying on your belly on a blanket in the backyard for at least 15 minutes, ideally longer.
- Lower anxiety and promote good sleep with legs up the wall. Usually 10-15 minutes is all you need. Many report feeling like a new person after this yoga posture. It’s an amazingly effective awesome re-set!
- Walk around the block. I’m a huge fan of incremental self-care. You don’t need to power walk or run a marathon to feel the benefits of moving. Pick a new route, unplug and take a 15-20 minute jaunt. Breathe in the fresh air, listen to the sounds of nature and imagine your worries releasing through the soles of your feet as you hit the pavement (or trail!).
- Shake it off. Trauma specialist Dr. James Gordon has found 5 minutes of vigorous body shaking (or dancing) can generate long-lasting relief from stress and trauma. Read about his research and process.
After getting my feet on the forest floor and then walking around my neighborhood with a friend, I could feel my body let go and my mind began to come back online. The issues are in the tissues. When we remember how connected our minds and bodies are and make the choice to course correct and do something different, we can find healing and release. Move a muscle, change a thought.
DO YOU LIVE IN NORTH CAROLINA, WANT TO VISIT NC OR HAVE FRIENDS/FAMILY IN THIS GORGEOUS STATE? I moved to the Blue Ridge Mountains last year and I am in the process of creating magical, Western North Carolina-based nature/mindfulness experiences designed to reconnect you to wilderness and yourself. Learn more and keep checking this temporary page for updates. Be the first to learn about NC offerings: email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to be added to my mailing list!
SCHEDULE ME NOW TO SPEAK TO YOUR COMPANY OR ORGANIZATION IN 2021-22:
- My 2021-2022 speaking calendar is almost full! I’d love to create a balanced living workshop, keynote or personal retreat to help your team, organization or employees feel less stressed and more resilient, creative and focused. For 20+ years I’ve been working with companies/organizations such as Women in Conservation, Merrill Lynch, the Center for Women in Law, the Hewlett Foundation and more. Email me, I’d love to discuss how I can support your team or organization. Learn more here.
Thanks for sharing my blog! Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by mindfulness coach/author/speaker and self-care evangelist Renée Peterson Trudeau. Passionate about helping men and women find balance through the art/science of self-care, her work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, US News & World Report, AARP, Spirituality & Health and more. She and her team have certified more than 400 facilitators in 10 countries around the globe to lead self-renewal groups for women based on her pioneering work. She’s the author of two books on life balance including the award-winning The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal: How to Reclaim, Rejuvenate and Re-Balance Your Life. She and her husband live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and Austin, Texas and are enjoying a new empty nest. More on Renee here.