(WBNG) - September is National Self-Care Awareness Month, and although September ends at the end of this work week, self-care is something that should be a focus 365 days a year.

Over at Binghamton University, Jennifer Wegmann is a lecturer in Health and Wellness Studies. In her classes over at BU, she stresses the connection between self-care and navigating stress in a healthy way.

“When we’re in states of chronic stress, like most of us are, what happens is we stay kind of tuned up,” said Wegmann. “When we’re tuned up, we deplete our resources our personal resources. Over a period of time, that wears us out. So one of the things that we have to figure out how to do is come to a place where it’s called close the stress cycle.”

According to Wegmann, being able to close our stress cycle on a regular basis is what gives us respite and allows us to recharge when we are in states of stress. Wegmann said that’s where self-care comes in. “Self-care helps us close our stress cycle,” she said. “What may close your stress cycle might not close mine, it might be different for me. Across the board, one of the things that we know is super effective in bringing our bodies back down and out of this tuned-up stress state is breath. So breathing and breathing exercises.”

Wegmann said we live in such a fast-paced culture and are taught to keep busy. However, her advice is to give yourself permission to slow down and take care of yourself. The slowdown should not be perceived as not being productive, but an investment in yourself that will pay off with long-term benefits.

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