It is really useful to implement some kind of personal stress thermometer so you know when your normal reaction mechanisms are not enough in this situation.
If you notice you cannot sleep due to negative stress, have sore muscles in your back, shoulders, or legs, or if you feel more tired than normal or have a constant headache, it is time to try some relaxation techniques that can help you cope with this situation. Below are some useful recommendations from the American Psychological Association:
- Try to eliminate stressors: Identify the factors that drive you to engage in stressful behaviors. Perception also plays an important role, and it is best to be conscious about it and control your response rather than avoid the problem.
- Cultivate social bonds: Identify people that can be good listeners and make sure you can do the same for others at some point.
- Relax your muscles: In the mornings or at night, find a space to be alone to inhale, contract your muscles for 5 to 10 seconds, and then relax them gradually while exhaling.
- Protect your sleep: Avoid caffeine and alcohol while you are facing stressful situations, stop using social media at least one hour before sleeping, and turn off all mobile devices. Keep them outside your bedroom.
- Take a break in nature: Go to a local park, the outskirts of the city, or go for a walk for a few minutes, it can clear your mind and help you continue with your day.
- Reassess your way of thinking: You can counter negative thoughts by establishing more realistic perspectives.
A technique at everyone’s reach
Yoganidra: This is a practice that can help you fall asleep, and anyone can do it. All you need to do is lay down on a hard surface and follow the guided instructions. There are many tutorials on YouTube, like this one, but you can choose whichever you like best.