"Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths"- Etty Hillesum
Like a Pavlovian experiment, we've become conditioned to respond to every alert on our phones. While receiving a response to something you posted can be an emotional boost, getting a notice every time an app updates is more nuisance than necessity. Responding to every pop-up, causes our brains to treat each notice as if it's an emergency. If you've found your nerves are shot, try turning off those app notifications.
Turn off your phone
Anyone ever see the episode of SATC when Miranda put her cake in the garbage...and then ate it? Here's a reminder. Turning off your phone can feel like the "Betty Crocker Clinic" of phone diets, but your sanity will thank you. Try doing it when you go to bed if the very thought makes you panic. Remaining constantly connected disturbs our rest, especially when those very notifications are going off just a sleepy reach away from our heads.
I used to approach meditation as if it were a punishment. I'd sit still for about 5 minutes while I mentally swatted my thoughts away with a giant virtual fly swatter. Sh*t, I forgot to respond to that email. Swat. Did that thing I said in the meeting sound stupid? Swat. I'm still learning...and swatting, but I had this revelation recently. Perhaps meditation is a practice in self-forgiveness. It's not about having NO thoughts, but having a few minutes in which we forgive our inner critics and release ourselves from judgement.
Take 3 deep breaths
To quote my yoga instructor who always says this while I'm panting in downward dog. "Take a deep breath. Take a deeper breath. Take your deepest breath." The American Institute of Stress calls it Focused Breathing, and has some great tips! In short, focused breathing sends a signal to your brain to relax, and the brain sends that signal to your body. Quick, easy, and cheaper than a massage.
Make time for small rituals
Whether it's a face mask, a soak in the tub, or a little prolonged facial massage with your favorite cleansing oil, add time for the things that make you feel good.
Be unapologetically selfish
I won't make a blanket statement that all women throw themselves on the stake of selflessness, but we do tend to be adept at juggling a few things at once. A simple "no thanks" can produce more anxiety in us than the person we're saying no to, but again...a better you is better for everyone around you.
Take a break from adulting
I'm sure the stresses of life were very different 5000 years ago when yoga was first developed, but I wouldn't be surprised if Child's Pose has been a staple since. Balasana, or Child's Resting Pose, is said to release stress, anxiety, tension, and fatigue. This is the adult version of curling up into a ball on the floor, and it says "this is too much right now, and that's ok...plus I'm officially doing yoga so shut up".