My oldest son is in the middle of finals and is a bit stressed. I asked him his plans for the day and he went through all the prep and papers that he had to work on. The last thing that he said was “Then I will watch sloth videos because they make me smile”, which made me smile. My son was giving me a wonderful example of self-care.
There are many things going on in the world and our personal lives that can and are causing extreme stress for us. Whether you are concerned about politics, climate change, financial issues, your relationships, your health or finals, you are probably stressed. It seems to be a fact of life these days. A certain amount of stress helps us to accomplish things. However, if we go over that amount, then stress starts to cause problems for our physical and emotional well-being.
Many of the stressors in our lives we have little to no control over. If your boss is in a bad mood, it more than likely has nothing to do with you, but it quite likely will increase your stress load! The important thing is that we are engaging in self-care every day. Every day we need to find things that make us smile, like my son’s sloth videos. And, like those videos, it does not have to be anything huge, but rather something that may only take a few minutes. The smile that is created, however, will reap many benefits. Your blood pressure will be lowered. The cortisol levels (the stress hormone) will also be lowered. You can sense your heart rate and breathing slowing down. In short, your body relaxes and starts to recover from all the damage that the stress has been doing.
Learn from my son. Watch a sloth video today! If that doesn’t do it for you, take the time to figure out what does. But be sure to take the time to care for yourself. It makes you a much healthier human. (Okay, watch a puppy video!)