As your life becomes more stressful & busy, de-stressing & relaxing can also become a bit more challenging. When dealing with the kind stress, it's not one of those things a nap can always fix.
To me, at least, relaxing that actually brings in ease & calmness was something I had to learn. My self care rituals for stressful days don't always involve the typical simple things like taking a bath or curling up with a book. When I experience high levels of stress, my mind is often all over the place & no amount of trashy TV or dark chocolate can slow it down.
Re-Evaluate Your Priorities
Even though it might not seem like it, this is a huge part of self care & pretty much the whole idea behind it. Are you paying attention to the right things, the things that are important to you? Are you devoting too much time to those things that might not matter a whole lot but bring more stress into your life? Maybe you're trying to do too much & you're spreading yourself too thin? Take a closer look at where that stress is coming from & where your valuable time goes.
The whole idea of turning off, to me anyway, doesn't mean that you should run away from any negative emotions, thoughts or feelings. You have to allow yourself to process it all, feel it & try not to push it all away. You can do this by free-writing, brain dumping or journaling.
Learning to say 'no' is also a part of taking care yourself. It's okay to be unsure, to allow yourself to take some time out to think things over & reconsider certain commitments or new responsibilities. Don't say 'yes' too quickly or easily, especially if you ever feel unsure about committing to something
Take A Step Back
Sometimes the stressful situations you find yourself in have nothing to do with you. It's so easy to get dragged into some 'drama' or uncomfortable situations between friends & family members. Some people, as much as we love them, can be great at emotional dumping. Venting is something we all do & it's a healthy way of expressing feelings. Dumping on the other had, can feel very toxic & overwhelming. Knowing how to take a step back, drawing a line between your life & someone else's like is all about setting boundaries & protecting your own energy. You have to remember to look out for yourself.
Breathe It All Out
As you experience stress, your body sends out stress signals - your heart beats faster, your muscles tighten, your palm start to sweat. I find the best way to deal with unpredicted stress is to train yourself to recognise those signals & then you'll react better to those stressful situations before everything gets completely out of hand. Your body tends to feel stress quicker than your mind does so this is why it's important to pay attention to your body's physical signals. When you can identify those stressors, you can then work on eliminating them. Breathing exercises are my favourite way to calm myself down quickly. Everyone is going to be different, so it's just about finding what works best for you.
Long term stress can change the way you process it & make you more vulnerable & susceptible to even more stress & emotional imbalance. These things tend to build up over time & can come back & hit you out of nowhere.
This is why it's so important to not push it away, to not tell yourself that'll you'll deal with it later or try convince yourself that all is well, or that you just need to toughen up. It's okay to take care of yourself, especially during times of stress & put your emotional wellbeing ahead of everything else.
Do you have any self care rituals for stressful days? How do you look out for yourself when life gets hectic?