How to Support Yourself During Stressful Times?

March 14, 2024
Dr. El-Shaimaa Abumandour

Photo by Claudia Barbosa

Life is a journey filled with challenges, both ups and downs. We experience various emotions daily, from happiness and success to stress and anxiety. Pursuing success is not an easy quest; it could suck you into a whirlpool. Complex emotions and exhaustion can drain your body and soul and leave you feeling overwhelmed.

Unfortunately, sometimes, in a specific moment, your body starts declaring its rejection of pressure and exhaustion. The human body has a flawless, stunning mechanism; it can declare its rejection in different ways. Many doctors specializing in various medical fields have confirmed that stress or anxiety could have a significant impact on your immune system, digestive system, heart rate, etc.

I can assure you that going through a physical condition of any kind because of emotional strain is a painful and unpleasant experience. Although I believe the human body is, as I said in advance, a marvelous and rigorous machine, it will need time, great effort, and a self-care plan to regain its normal function after such an experience. Recovery could be a long, hard, painful, overwhelming, and full-of-doubt period. I would like to confirm that every one of us could face such a struggle. Therefore, do not be hard on yourself and be kind as much as you can if you are facing such a challenge. I perceive it as a great time to assist you in learning more about yourself, your body requirements, and what is good for you and what is not. It is a suitable time to re-attach your spiritual side, rearrange your priorities, and commence self-care strategies.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) defined self-care as the routine you could do on your own for yourself and/or your community to support and maintain health and well-being. In this part of the article, I would like to highlight a number of self-care activities and lifestyle choices that may help maintain your wellness. The following self-care strategies could be tailored to suit your needs.

First of all, it is very important to know your problem by seeking the help of specialists. Do not be afraid to ask for the support of your beloved ones. Once you detect your problem, it will be easy for you to put together an action plan to deal with it. One of the best ways to express your feelings is to write them down. This will help you feel relieved and may help you find solutions easier.

Connecting with your spiritual side will help you through your recovery journey. This will lead you to feel grateful for all the blessings that you have, but because of life, you may forget. In the meantime, it will give you the patience and power to complete your recovery journey.

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One of the most important strategies to promote your condition is to eat well and support your body with the nutrients, vitamins, and fluids it needs. It could be challenging to find the right diet for you as it could be different from one to another. It would be great to reach out to your physician for advice and recommendations. From my experience, choosing the right diet could boost your physical condition, help you recover, and enhance your mood. Do not be afraid if your eating habits change or you start to crave a specific type of food, because it is completely normal. This will change as soon as you find the right dietary plan. My advice for you is to stop eating after nine p.m. and to reduce the use of both salt and sugar in your diet. 

Sleeping well is the key factor in maintaining your body’s wellness. Sleeping adequate hours—eight hours for adults and more for children and youth—reduces the risk of adverse mental and physical conditions. It helps you feel active and ready to undertake your daily tasks.

Self-care strategies can include practicing activities or hobbies that you enjoy doing, like reading, drawing, learning new skills, etc. Spending time with your family, friends, or pet can change your mood and make you happier. Try practicing some sports after consulting your physician, which will have a great impact on your condition. Going on regular outdoor walks would be important to add to your plan.

Do not let your commitments control your life, and always remember that you should dedicate time to self-care. Do not be scared if you are having a hard or stressful time. Do not lose hope; despite your weakness, every pain will pass. I prefer considering this period as a learning period. Through this period, you reacquaint yourself with your strengths and weaknesses and try to be stronger. Do not be hard on yourself, and take as much time as you need to retain your strength. Finally, you should embrace a balanced lifestyle. It would be great to end my article with a quote by the great philosopher Socrates himself: “To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.” And another Arabic quote that said, “He who is not a light for himself, all the lights of the universe will not help him.”

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