No matter how hard we try to avoid it, stress seems to find us wherever we are. Persistent stress — whether from a traffic filled daily commute, heavy workload, or a myriad of other reasons — can have lasting physical effects on the body. Unmanaged stress has been linked to a number of health problems including insomnia, eating disorders, and mental health struggles.
So it's more important now than ever before to manage our stress in a consistent and efficient way. Creating daily stress-busting habits is truly the only way to successfully manage stress. Find out my favorite ways to destress below!
1. Breathing exercises
Taking a moment to just breathe and relax is so important, yet often overlooked. Something as simple as three deep breaths during a stressful moment (kids having a tantrum, during a heated argument, etc.) works wonders. And if there is another person involved in causing your stress and they are willing to breathe with you too, that's really a win-win. I bet by the end you two won't even remember what you were arguing about!
Meditation has been shown to improve your overall mood and is an effective tool at managing stress. Begin with just a few minutes a day and slowly work your way up to what I consider the "sweet spot" (around 20 minutes). Simply set a timer for 5 minutes and try to clear your mind. This is quite challenging at first but gets easier with time and will tremendously help with an overstressed lifestyle.
3. Find a creative outlet
Sewing, painting, drawing, and other crafts are some of my favorite stress-relievers because they are actually fun! Sure some people are more creative than others, but you don't have to be the next Picasso to enjoy the art of painting, and reap the benefits of it. When you engage in a quiet activity, you allow your brain to relax and recharge, and be better equipped to handle the stress that will undoubtedly come your way. Plus you get to make something cool in the process :)
There truly aren't many cons to daily exercise, and you definitely won't find them in this post. Aside from the obvious physical benefits (i.e. when you look in that mirror and say heyyy), daily workouts affect us mentally as well. When we engage in physical activity, your body releases mood-boosting chemicals called endorphins which helps you look good and feel good too.
Even though some of us think our phones and computers are an outlet for stress, they can sometimes be the complete opposite. Sure, technology's not all bad and connects us to people all over the world in ways we never thought possible. But it can also cause procrastination which can make us feel even more stressed when we had things to do that we are now scrambling to finish. It's important to set a time for answering emails and being present online, while also maintaining a consistent work schedule and limiting distractions. In fact, I have a whole blog post about it here.
Hope this helps on your journey to a stress-free life!