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Four “Don’t Do’s” For When Things Are Feeling Heavy

You might find yourself in a mix of emotions reacting to recent news and events. But even when the world feels heavy, there are things that you can do to protect your well-being during a difficult time.

Here are a few ideas on caring for yourself when things are tough:

Don’t dehydrate!

You naturally lose water throughout the day through normal body processes (like breathing and peeing), and if you lose more water than you take in, your body can become dehydrated. Even mild dehydration may impact your mood and thinking! So aim to sip about 9-13 cups of fluid a day in order to help replenish the water that is naturally lost during your day. And keep in mind that alcohol does influence your mood and behavior so if you do choose to imbibe keep it at one standard drink a day.

Don’t forget to eat for energy.

Food literally is fuel – as calories are units of energy. And the only way to get those essential calories is eating regular meals and snacks throughout your day to keep fueled up. Remember, something is better than nothing. And if you feel up to maximizing your mood through food:

● increase omega-3 rich foods (like fish, flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts)
● fill up on colorful fruits and veggies
● don’t forget about Vitamin D (found in fatty fish, egg yolks, mushrooms, and Vitamin D
fortified foods)
● and step up your dopamine-supporting foods (avocados, bananas, chicken and other
poultry, pumpkin and sesame seeds)

Don’t just lay about with your thoughts.

Experts say that exercise can help relieve muscle tension, boost blood flow to your brain, stimulate your feel-good hormones and suppress stress-related hormones. Get lost in rhythmic movement like running or walking, match movement to breath with yoga, or try something new-to-you that requires your complete attention and focus (like a virtual or in-person group-exercise class).

Don’t let your sleep suffer.

Waking up short on sleep is a sure way to be irritable and in a bad mood. Give your body the rest if requires and craves by:

● Sticking to your regular sleep schedule and avoiding staying up late doomscrolling or
binge watching shows
● Putting a cap on caffeine, particularly later in your day
● Giving yourself the ultimate R&R treatment before bed (like taking a bath or listening to
relaxing music)

These habits are important even on a great day, but especially when you’re feeling emotionally
and physically exhausted by the outside world. Self-care is never selfish – it’s essential.


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