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Psychologist tips for a balanced life in times of stress

April 22, 2020


My name is Tiare Tolks and I work closely with the Medplus team to support patients dealing with stressful and challenging life circumstances. Over the last month, I have observed an understandable rise in anxiety levels due to the extremely different ways in which we are being required to live our lives. Many people have testing living conditions, fears for loved ones, worry about the certainty of their livelihoods, and general concerns about the future. My patients to cope with struggles, maintain energy for life and to remain self compassionate in these uncertain and ambiguous times. Through this newsletter, I am delighted to share some ideas and tips which can help you best navigate this unusual time in history. My suggestions are intended to increase the resilience chemicals in your body and brain and keep the spring in your step. Wecan do a lot to help ourselves, even in these uncertain times.

Today my tip is about the importance of maintaining a balanced life, every day. We need balance in our lives if we are to sustain our energy, mental well being and resilience to deal with daily challenges. To keep your tank full on a daily basis I encourage you to live by the rule of BACE!

Living by the rule of BACE means ensuring you have a spread of activity types in your day. When we have balance we ensure that we maintain some energy in our tanks for when times become testing.

BODY

Taking good care of our physical body builds resilience to deal with challenges.

· getting enough sleep

· eating healthily, staying hydrated

· exercising daily for ½ an hour, preferably in an outside/natural space

· planning chill times too

· keeping an eye on over consumption of short term relievers (alcohol, drugs,

smoking and caffeine)

ACHIEVE

Our brain gets a boost when we achieve things during the day. Achievement increases the neurotransmitter dopamine and purposeful activity increases serotonin. It is therefore very helpful to plan realistic and achievable goals every day, such as those concerning work, chores and study. Also set goals and achieve activities relating to Connecting to others and Enjoyment and Exercise. In fact, setting a goal a day in each of these domains would be ideal.

CONNECT

You can spend all day in your bubble without truly connecting to anyone. Make conversations count! Connecting with and/or helping others boosts the neurotransmitter oxytocin which boosts wellbeing and resilience.

ENJOYMENT

Do what makes you happy. Whatever that is - Watch a funny movie, play a game, do a puzzle, paint…you get the idea.

Doing BACE regularly will positively influence your mood, motivation and productivity. Growing your resilience chemicals will also reduce the impact of stress and keep you connected to yourself and your tribe. I encourage you to experiment with the ideas and share them!

If you have any questions or feel you may benefit from some one on one consultation, please don't hesitate to contact me at tiarebtolks@gmail.com or call or text me on 0221228923.