Between balancing work, school, and our social lives, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. How do we juggle the demands of daily life while maintaining our mental health? Sometimes it’s difficult to remember that becoming burnt out, or too exhausted to do much of anything, could be a message from our bodies that we need to take a break. Here are three strategies for people of all ages when the stress becomes too much and they need a moment to pause:
Deep breathing: Taking time to take large, full body breaths is a mindfulness technique that spans cultures, decades, and belief practices. Reminding your body to breathe, slowly and peacefully, can bring you back to a more relaxing headspace. Practicing meditation, where you focus on your breaths, can help you slow down in moments when things feel hectic.
Step away from email, phone calls, social media, etc.: The constant influx of notifications from our devices means we sometimes respond right away to everyone. It’s hard to get a break from work if your email and phone are always by your side. Consider setting boundaries with your coworkers or your friends and family that say you’ll check your phone at certain times of the day instead of answering everyone instantly.
Write: For many, writing has been a punitive process in school. People remember a professor picking apart their sentences or feeling embarrassed by their writing, but if you’re writing for therapeutic reasons, you don’t have to show anything to others that you’re not comfortable sharing. Journaling just to get your thoughts out of your head and onto the page without worrying about grammar, spelling, or how “good” it sounds can be an opportunity to process your thoughts and get a fresh perspective on what’s been stressing you.
There are many stigmas around mental health that sometimes discourage people from seeking help or prioritizing their well-being. However, by taking care of ourselves, we set a strong example to the people we love that we also want them to be happy, healthy, and confident, too.