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  • Writer's pictureMeghan St. Clair


Part of the creative process is the ability to learn new information.

It's not optimal to learn in isolation, yet to learn from or be in relationship with others requires thinking to be challenged.

It's natural to respond to challenges with the fight, flight or freeze response. However, to stay present and engaged in the learning process (and relationships) requires a bit of self-management (because you can't control what others do or say).

When faced with a challenge, here are some strategies to manage mind and body in order to stay present in the moment:

  1. Breathe. Box breathing is one technique to bring yourself back to center. Picture the perimeter of a box. Breathe in for four, hold for four, breathe out for four, hold for four. Repeat.

  2. Move. This Harvard study tells us to exercise, in whatever way your body is able to reduce cortisol and raises endorphins. The combination creates stress relief.

  3. Drink water. Hydration helps to lower your cortisol levels - the hormone that causes stress.

  4. Eat well. Too little or too much? Stress has an influence on your metabolism and your eating habits. Also, your eating habits have an influence on your stress hormones.

  5. Sleep. The recommended amount of sleep each night is 7-9 hours. Lack of sleep, anxiety and depression are a self perpetuating cycle. Do you practice sleep hygiene?

  6. Get grounded. One way to step outside yourself and get perspective is by practicing shinrin yoku.

You don’t have to change who you are or what you think, but you can be open to the idea that you have the ability to learn things in order to broaden your understanding or perspective.

Loving yourself helps you to more fully love others.

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