How to Protect Your Energy in Times of Stress

Three simple tips to help you stay true to yourself and avoid becoming overwhelmed.

We’ve all had those days where we feel depleted, both physically and emotionally. And now, with an ongoing pandemic and ever-changing rules and norms, it feels even harder to protect and preserve our energy and emotional well-being. To do so, it’s important to develop sustainable strategies that help us stay grounded and calm.

Here are three strategies to help you stay true to yourself and protect your peace:

Learn to say “no” compassionately

Most people have a hard time being direct and saying “no” to commitments, favors, and even optional work obligations. We may feel obligated to appear agreeable and simply say “yes” to every request that comes our way. But when you say “yes” to things that you don’t truly want to do, it builds resentment inside of you and depletes your energy. To compassionately decline an ask, try phrases like:

“I’d love to, but I’m overcommitted at the moment.”

“My plate is full, unfortunately.”

“I wish I could make it work.”

Set healthy limits and boundaries 

You likely already know which types of interactions drain you. Sometimes it’s hard to eliminate these interactions altogether, but you do have the power to limit them. For example, you may not be able to avoid a colleague who often drags you down, but you can gracefully exit conversations that are noticeably draining by saying things like, “Can we continue this conversation at another time?” Learning to set limits is part of your ongoing self-care. 

Spend a few minutes outdoors 

Try to go for a walk during any breaks you have during your day. Even a five-minute walk paired with some deep breathing can be the reset you need to restore your peace, decompress, and process any stressful interactions you may have had. Studies show that time spent in nature is linked to cognitive benefits, and also improvements in your mood, mental state, and physical and emotional health.

A few simple changes to your daily routine can help you feel so much better emotionally. Your mental health and well-being are worth it — make the small investment and you’ll see great results.

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