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  • 3 Daily Habits for Strength When it Matters Most

    This is not medical advice. Seek a medical professional.

    Prepping for a hurricane is emotionally and physically exhausting. The stress of the storm buzzes in the background of my mind while I handle the everyday tasks of running a business, a family, and/or a household while also planning for each and every disastrous scenario.

    It’s not my favorite. 

    Friends from my northern hometown ask me how I deal with the stress of hurricane prep. There’s only one answer: 

    I. Have. To.

    As a single parent of three, I have to show up. There is no “check, please?” May I have a pass on this one? attitudes.

    Surprisingly, I feel empowered even while I’m stressed.

    How? I’m working on daily habits that build my strength for when I need it the most.

    We feel strong when we have a support system, trust our decisions, and feel healthy enough to endure physical challenges.

    1. Practice a technique for grounding yourself, because when you need to make a tough judgment call, you’ll want to feel as much calm and clarity as possible. Practicing may only take 60 seconds, and it’s a habit that you can easily pair with making your coffee in the morning.

    What’s a grounding technique? It’s a practice that tells your brain that you’re safe. When your brain is in Fight or Flight, it’s tough to make weighty decisions or keep a peaceful demeanor for the people who depend on you.

    An example of a grounding technique can be as simple as deep breathing. Another is my classic, go-to technique: 54321.  Name 5 things you see, 4 things you hear, 3 things you smell, 2 things you feel, and one thing you taste. The steps tell your brain you’re safe and make room for calm and clarity.

    2. Incorporate a workout routine–and stick to it most days.  It makes sense, right? If you lift weights regularly, you’ll be more likely to pick up that risk-taking child of yours, and you’ll feel more energy to help your neighbor move that monstrous piece of furniture. 

    Physical strength gives us the freedom to help other people, solve our own problems, and react in emergencies. 

    3. Touch base with a friend whom you respect and lean on during challenging times. In other words, don’t neglect the people who provide you with advice and support when you need it most. During a regular week, prioritize a text to a friend just to ask how she’s doing. Make a plan to have coffee with a friend so you don’t lose touch. Offer to pray for your friend or do a favor.

    These women are my tribe who validate my feelings, build me up, call out my nonsense, and remind me that I’ve got what it takes to be strong.