How to Protect Your Physical & Mental Health During Times of High Stress

In anticipation of my upcoming move and all the stress and anxiety that I know comes with an overseas move, I thought it would be helpful to discuss ways I am protecting my physical and mental well-being. It might be beneficial for you as well. Even if you don’t have an overseas move on the horizon, I think these suggestions are helpful in navigating any high-stress situation. 

In the whirlwind of life’s changes, from big moves to significant life transitions, women often balance numerous responsibilities while striving to maintain their physical and mental well-being. Whether relocating to a new city, starting a new job, or juggling family demands, these high-stress periods can take a toll on both mind and body. However, you can navigate these challenges with the right strategies, resilience, and grace.

Embrace Self-Compassion

This is particularly challenging for me because I am not patient, and I often think that there is always more I could and should be doing. However, during times of stress, it’s crucial to cultivate self-compassion. Understand that it’s okay to feel overwhelmed and to prioritize self-care. Give yourself permission to take breaks, indulge in activities that bring joy, and seek support from loved ones. Remember, you are doing your best, and treating yourself with kindness and understanding is essential.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness techniques can be powerful tools for managing stress and promoting mental well-being. Take time each day to engage in mindfulness practices such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or simply being present in the moment with a good book. Grounding yourself in the here and now can reduce anxiety and cultivate a sense of calm amidst the chaos. The sense of calm that comes over me when I sit down with my Kindle is unparalleled, and I know when I feel overwhelmed and need a break, reading is my best bet. 

Stay Active

Physical activity is beneficial for physical health and plays a significant role in managing stress and improving mood. Find ways to incorporate exercise into your daily routine, whether walking, practicing Pilates, or hitting the gym. Not only will exercise help alleviate stress, but it will also boost your energy levels and enhance your overall well-being. I ALWAYS prioritize my exercise because it keeps the crazy away, so this one is an easy “Hell Yes” for me; however if you struggle to stay active or committed, I challenge you to try to keep your workout time sacred because it does make a difference.

Prioritize Sleep

This can be hard, but adequate sleep is essential for both physical and mental health in times of high stress. Avoid screens before bed, create a comfortable sleep environment, and consider incorporating relaxation techniques such as gentle stretching or reading to promote restful sleep. I struggle to get enough sleep on a good day. I like to think that I don’t need that much sleep, but the truth is I could get more. I will be the first to say that in times of high stress, the amount of sleep I get is far from ideal. However, I know how good it feels and how much better I perform when I get enough sleep. For my upcoming move, this is absolutely priority number 1

Seek Support

Feel free to reach out for support during challenging times. Whether talking to a trusted friend, seeking guidance from a therapist, or joining a support group, having a solid support network can provide invaluable comfort and encouragement. Remember, you don’t have to navigate stress alone; reaching out for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. I am lucky that after 15+ years of living overseas and eight overseas moves, we have a solid support system, and I am not afraid to lean on it when needed. 

Practice Gratitude

Amidst the chaos of high-stress times, it’s easy to lose sight of the good things in life. Take time each day to cultivate gratitude by reflecting on what you’re thankful for, whether it’s the support of loved ones, moments of joy and laughter, or the beauty of nature. Practicing gratitude can help shift your perspective and foster a sense of positivity, even in the face of adversity. During the stress of moving, we often have difficulty seeing how lucky we are. How such moves, while stressful, have afforded us tremendous opportunities. Additionally, I have movers to pack my house (I honestly don’t know how anyone could pack and move on your own; you are superheroes), as well as friends and family who are happy and willing to take us in, give advice, and help us connect in our new home.  

In conclusion, navigating high-stress times requires a combination of self-care, resilience, and support. By prioritizing your physical and mental health, practicing self-compassion, and embracing the opportunities for growth and transformation that come with change, you can weather life’s storms with grace and emerge stronger than ever.  I am counting on feeling that way at least come August. Remember, you can overcome any challenge that comes your way, and you deserve to prioritize your well-being every step of the journey.

If there is anything I can do to help you through a particularly challenging or high-stress time, make sure you reach out.

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