Self-care during times of stress

Self-care during times of stress

Self-care, one of the first things that flies out the window during times of stress. Or sorrow; at least for me. When I am under duress, I eat food that is not good for me, I don’t exercise, and I lock myself away from the people in my orbit. Unfortunately, I am not using that time to process the bad feelings; I binge-watch Netflix, read books, and take long hot baths. Avoidance at all costs until I am ready to face it head on.

My stressors

To begin with, I am starting this online business. When it was just an idea and I was running around getting an LLC, opening a bank account, and finding suppliers, other more difficult challenges were waiting for me, but at first it all seemed so easy and fun.

I was just beginning to deal with the more challenging aspects of starting an online CBD business when an important person in my life passed away. She wasn’t supposed to die. She was going to beat the cancer and return to the office. And work with me till one of us decided to retire. And we would both be happy with how our lives turned out.

But she had a heart attack, taking us all by surprise. And instead of retirement and happiness there was sorrow and loss. I never got to tell her how important she was to me and that because of her, I had the courage to think about making a change in my life and starting Phenix Rising Wellness.

But I was also angry (I will admit, the anger surprised me; it feels so selfish). How dare she die when we still had so much work do; find a CBD- friendly credit card processor, update the shopping cart system, write product descriptions, and a multitude of other things still on the to do list?

Old habits resurface in times of stress

It’s easy for old habits like poor diet and lack of exercise to move in when you stop paying attention. Additionally, not getting enough sleep or being over-worked to the point of burn-out doesn’t help either. I knew I was slipping, but I was prepared for the consequences. Luckily, my back-sliding was relatively short-lived and I was ready to start moving forward again. I had to stop wallowing in my anger and frustration.

Reality check

So what woke me up? The scale. Yes, that square of glass and metal that we all hide out-of-sight in the bathroom. I have been pretty diligent during my 60th year, with nearly daily weight checks, but for a week I let myself just be. Eating junk food, not exercising, being angry. And I avoided the scale like the plague, because I knew the result would be added poundage.

And I was right. I gained back about three pounds of the hard won 40 pounds I lost. But you know what? It’s ok. I know where it came from and I know what I have to do to get back on track. I gave myself permission to eat junk food, binge watch the final season of “Orange is the New Black”, and grieve.

Advice from a non-therapist

Give yourself time to process.

  1. Go for a walk in the park instead of running on the treadmill.
  2. Help someone in need.
  3. Eat your favorite foods once in a while, or twice in a while.
  4. Go out with friends or stay in with friends.
  5. Binge-watch multiple seasons of your favorite TV show.
  6. Read a good book.
  7. Take a hot bath.
  8. Give yourself time and permission to heal and re-group.
  9. Start or return to a favorite hobby.
  10. Breathe.

Whatever happens in the day-to-day, be kind to yourself. Do what’s right for you when the time is right.


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