Stress has a significant impact – on the mind, the body, and on our emotional landscape – which causes us to react quickly, often without thinking of the effects of our reactions. While the sudden impact of COVID-19 is undoubtedly a stressor for all of us, managing our own stress is crucial not only for self-care but so we can respond vs. react to these new challenges in our businesses.
The S.T.O.P. practice is an effective tool to help us manage stress. By allowing and recognizing whatever stressful emotions we may be experiencing, we can take the necessary steps to proceed forward to best take care of ourselves. When feeling worried try this:
S. Stop what you’re doing for a moment and simply recognize what’s happening.
T. Take a breath or any sort of pause to tune in to ground into the present moment.
O. Observe what’s happening-- are you tired, overworked, in pain, overwhelmed? It’s okay to feel it.
P. Proceed forward. Perhaps consider taking steps to address whatever will assist the stress. If you’re tired, make the effort to get more sleep. If you’re in pain, try some stretches. If you’re overworked, log off on time at least one day out of the week. Proceed in a way that will support your long-term self-care.
We cannot stop the stressors but we can practice responding to them. By engaging in self-care practices, we not only support ourselves and our families but our businesses.