8 Ways to Replenish Your Emotional Reserves

Between the uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus and the recent social unrest due to racial inequality and the demonstrations against police brutality, emotions are running high. We need to recognize this is not something we can make magically disappear and it is causing a great deal of pain. It is important to keep expanding our awareness and keep reminding ourselves how each and every one of us can be part of the solution. 

During these challenging times, feeling stressed and overwhelmed is expected, but creating moments of peace within each day can nourish the spirit and boost your overall resilience. Stepping up your self-nurturing habits can help lower anxiety and increase focus so you can think more clearly about the issues at hand. 

Every day, our sense of inner peace vies with the stresses outside. I think of this as emotional energy reserves… Our healthy, self-nurturing habits build it up, and stress siphons it down. 

At times when we’re feeling especially good, it’s human nature to take on too much, stay up too late, and drive ourselves too hard. This is like overspending when there’s money burning a hole in your pocket. Before you know it, you’ve splurged the energy you had and are left without reserves.

The trick is not to wait until you’re overdrawn. Successful stress management means constantly monitoring your stress level and making daily deposits to your emotional energy reserves, by doing nurturing, rejuvenating things. 

When you know you’re going to be under pressure, look ahead and see what you can do to make it more manageable. For example, when I have a particularly stress-filled couple of weeks, I plot out breathing spaces; the good meals I plan to eat, the yoga classes I’ll attend – even the nap I’ll take on the weekend.

In addition, I have a short list of “emergency” remedies – guaranteed rejuvenators that I can count on anytime I’m starting to feel just the tiniest bit frayed or vulnerable. They’re not designed to solve all my problems in a split second; their purpose is to reinforce the habit of making self-nurturing choices. Each one is a spiritual oasis. After reading mine, try to come up with some of your own. They don’t have to be complicated; a few deep breaths at a key moment can change your whole state of mind.

Kathy’s 8 Go-To Emergency Remedies

  • Switching the car radio to a classical station – rock music and talk radio are designed to stir you up and sometimes that’s one stimulant too many.
  • A cup of chamomile, peppermint, lemon balm, or valerian root tea – this gives me fifteen or twenty minutes of restful quiet time while I sit and drink it.
  • A drop of lavender essential oil to your wrist 
  • A warm bath 
  • A tension releasing stretch routine…  Try this 8-Min simple routine that can be done in a chair and will open your chest and release tension in the upper back – https://www.kathysmith.com/kathys-corner/8-min-stretch-routine-everyone
  • Deep, rhythmic breathing. See what Patrick McKeown said on my podcast about a revolutionary breathing technique to improve sleep, boost energy, enhance conversation, and heighten performance… https://www.kathysmith.com/podcast/episode-84-patrick-mckeown-the-importance-of-nasal-breathing
  • Take a meditative stroll in the great outdoors 
  • Juggling – I love it; it forces me to clear my thoughts and be in the present!

Stress is normal, but if you let it escalate and peak, it can start costing you sleep, or worse. That’s why it’s important to find ways to take the edge off throughout the day.