All the love and thanks to Nick, who came up with the idea for this post. xoxoxo
Lingering Stress: The stress that is left lingering around even when the “stressor” is away. I’m the last person to be giving advice on this topic. But, hey, “We teach best what we most need to learn.” (Quote by Richard Bach.) A common cycle for some when it comes to residual stress is to gravitate towards self numbing behaviors during periods afterward, and not during the actual stressor itself. In that period of stress, you’re trying to survive. It’s when that moment has passed on in the physical realm, and you still feel chaotic and cannot bring yourself down.
Here are the foundations to finding calm, and at the end of this article, I also have a list of ways to clear your energy.
Accept and Acknowledge: Acknowledge that even though you are here in the NOW, you still feel like you’re there. Fighting with your symptoms is an exhausting battle. By accepting you still feel overwhelmed, you are not saying that you’ll surrender to being like this forever. It’s more that we must understand we cannot change until we say to our current reality: “I see you, I understand what you are saying…..and so now here’s the door.” We cannot let things pass through if we don’t let them in and accept them first.
WRITE AND SPEAK: As a writer, I am going to suggest keeping a journal. When you write, don’t think about what you’re going to say. Just write the first thought in your mind before you opened up to the page, and start there. Don’t worry about grammar, that can stop the flow if you’re hyper-focused on it. If you are not a fan of writing, try talking with a friend. My roommate and I do this alll the time. We just walk in the door and will say what’s on our minds. Make sure you ask the friend if you can talk about your stuff first (because the other person may be going through a lot, and you just want to be respectful about that, ya know?) and also that you are more looking for someone to listen rather than seeking advice. When we hear ourselves talk out loud, oftentimes, we see the situation with clarity.
PHYSICAL EXERCISE: Another way to release stress, especially if it appears physically, such as in the shoulders or jaw is through exercise. I actually suggest a Vinyasa Flow or Cardio such as biking, swimming, surfing, or jogging. Some people may disagree, but I have found that when I have restless energy, I need to release it first before bringing myself down with a restorative yoga practice.
Clean: “This is your mind! This is your mind!!! ” my mom would say when she opened my bedroom closet at my old apartment I was living in. My room was spotless, but not the closet.. I know this may sound ridiculous, but your environment often is a mirror of your mind..
SLEEP (even for the fellow insomniacs): When it comes to residual stress, physical exhaustion is just as common as still feeling hyped up. Here’s a tip: Try to not nap for more than 20 minutes. I can’t remember exactly why, but my therapist gave me this tip and said it works (however, I cannot sleep during the day, even if I didn’t sleep the night before..so I don’t have evidence) If you end up sleeping for hours and hours, your internal clock will be way off and it will be difficult to sleep at night. Practice good sleep hygiene. Try making the temperature around 68 degrees, and take magnesium. Magnesium was a miracle for when I was going off of 4 SSRI’s (yeah four, never again) and had restless leg syndrome. Some other tips that have helped are: weighted blankets, CBD & Tinctures, Calms Forte (ask you dr first, I am no medical expert by any means), and l-tryptophan (Tryptophan is a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin, and serotonin is the precursor to the hormone melatonin. So that’s why melatonin doesn’t work for everyone- their bodies need serotonin. Daily practices such a jogging or kickboxing can raise serotonin, which I recommend trying before looking further into anything else. (Read the mood cure by Julia Ross for more of an explanation on that and amino acid therapy.)
Those are some pretty basic tips. Here’s a list of one’s that have worked for me.
-Eating fruits and vegetables
-Go on a run…not for weight loss or achieving your newest time goal for your 5k…but just run free…like Phoebe in “Friends”
-Sitting out in the sunlight or forest bathing
-Get your blood tested to see if you have any vitamin deficiencies you should be concerned about, and if you do, then attend to that
-Go have sex
-Use a foam roller and stretch
-Learn about Ayurveda
-Go to a therapist
-Find a new therapist
-Journal all your feelings
-Learn about something you’ve always been interested in…a culture, religion.
-Watch a documentary
-Call a friend
-Read self-help book
-Laugh, laugh, and laugh, I cannot stress this enough. Laughter is Medicine.
-Meditate, even for 5 minutes
-Express your creativity
-Listen to a friend with unconditional love
-Ask someone how you can help them
-See the light within someone else
-Pray to The Universe, God, or whatever you feel connected to.
-The Ho’oponopono prayer/chant
Happy 2021!!! ,