The environment is changing around us, uncertainty and fear increase stress for ourselves and our clients. Below are some tools that we've developed to help you take a brief timeout for yourself.
ASCEND Stress Relief
While listening to the sounds of nature we recommend practicing slow, deep breathing techniques for 10 minutes to help reduce stress. Listen to as many times throughout the day as necessary to help reduce stress.
Steps to Proactively help reduce stress
1. Morning Routine
Upon waking in the morning, take a few minutes while still in bed to take 5 deep breaths in and out. Focus on your breathing, breathe slowly in to the count of 5 and exhale to the count of 5.
* By doing this simple breathing technique, you're signaling to your body that you are safe. We recommend starting the day with this breathing technique and to use it throughout the day whenever you recognize that you feel overwhelmed or stressed.
2. Evening Routine
Choose an activity that brings you peace (gardening, going for a walk, stepping out into your grass barefoot for 10 minutes, or watching a funny TV show). Engage fully in the moment allowing all worries and concerns from the day to be put on the shelf.
* The more you can practice allowing yourself to step away from the stress and find things that help to re-energize you, the better you will be able to manage any stressful situations that may present themselves each day.
3. Nighttime Routine
Right as you sit on the side of your bed about ready to lay down for the night. Imaging you have a large lock box next to your bed. Take all of the issues from today, fears, uncertainty, negativity, and imagine you are placing all of it into that box. Take a minute and whatever comes up for you, place it in that box.
Once you are done, shut to box and lock it. Place the key on a shelf. Lay down and as you lay down, if thoughts from the day start to creep back into your awareness, remind yourself that you already put those in a safe place and it's taken care of for today.
Do the same breathing exercise as the morning routine, taking 5 deep breaths. Any time you have a thought that is negative, overwhelming, or that makes you feel bad, remind yourself that is in the lock box and tell yourself that's in a safe place and I'm letting go of it for tonight.
* By doing this nighttime routine you are setting yourself up to have a restful evening and signaling to yourself that all the problems of today are safely locked up and you can choose to pick them back up tomorrow, or you can flush them in the morning.