Stress and Wellness
“Wellness happens when your body is a place of safety for you even when your body is not necessarily in a safe place. You can be well, even during the times when you don’t feel good."1
It goes without saying that dealing with endometriosis is stressful. Between the physical symptoms and their impact on mental health, relationships, finances - it’s just hard. What to do?
A new approach to stress management
We’ve all heard the stress management list: yoga, mindfulness, exercise, kale, “self-care”. It can feel like a burdensome to-do list, chores that need to be crossed off—on top of just getting through the day. When you already feel overwhelmed, being told to meditate can feel like one thing too many.
In Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle, the Nagoskis describe science-based ways to manage stress that real people can use.1hormones, and digestion, as well as impacting our coping skills.1
12 tips for breaking the stress cycle
As the authors say, “The good news is that stress is not the problem”1; Being stuck in stress is the problem. But how to get un-stuck when the stress is ongoing? Here are a dozen evidence-based strategies. Think of these options less as chores to complete and more as the menu at your favorite restaurant - What am I going to choose today?.
- Exercise: They suggest this practice as an alternative to physical exercise - Starting at your feet, tense and release every set of muscles in your body for 10 seconds each, gradually moving up to your face. While doing this, imagine, as clearly as you can, beating the thing that is causing you stress.1
- Sleep, enough for your needs
- Breathe: For example, “square" or “tactical” breathing - in for 4 seconds, hold for 4, out for 4, hold for 42
- Imagination: Imagine yourself handling that stressful work situation, or watch a movie or read
- Creative self-expression: Do what you love - knit, color, fix your bike, cook a meal
- Superficial social connection, like a quick greeting to your bus driver or compliment to your barista
- Intimate connection with someone you trust
- Connection with nature: This can include time with a pet
- Spiritual connection (whatever that looks like for you)
- Mindful self-compassion: Be as kind to yourself as you’d be to your child or your best friend.3
Taking care of yourself isn’t selfish; It’s necessary to be well. This menu of proven options can help on your journey to wellness.
Do you know someone that has made a difference with endometriosis advocacy?