Everyone experiences stress, though different events and experiences can cause more stress in life than others. While it’s impossible to expel all stress from your life, it’s important to practice techniques that can help you bring a bit more tranquility into your everyday routine. Practicing self care and self compassion is a huge part of leading a healthy lifestyle, and there are plenty of ways to start doing it.
If you’re busy and occupied, you probably won’t have time to soak in a bubble bath every night or sip calming tea for a half hour each morning with the sunrise. You’re chasing kids around, picking up dirty socks and rushing to get to work on time. But stress relief can be found in the little moments just like the lasting stretches of you time. It’s important to find a balance of taking time for you and being present with life. That way, you can find consistent calming whenever you need it.
1. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present in the actions, sensations and sights around you. Often, we rush through life and don’t stop to be present in the moments and surroundings that could bring us joy and peace. Try to tune out the noise and distractions that might normally be present in life so you can focus on the tasks at hand and tune in to the activities in front of you. Whether you’re gardening, driving, playing with your kids or doing the dishes, take some time to slow down and let your mind rest.
2. Stay Organized
Sometimes, stress can be caused by an overload of events in life. When you have an abundance of schedules to keep track of, it can get overwhelming. Especially if you have kids with school and activities, it can feel like you’re running all over the world every day and still forgetting things. Taking a bit of extra time to get organized can make your days a bit easier both for you and your family.
Tools like to-do lists and daily planners work wonders for keeping any schedule in check. If you usually look after your kids’ school planner, you can sit down with them and work out their planner together so your family can have a smoother week.
3. Get Moving
Getting physical exercise — even just thirty minutes each day — can help to reduce stress and increase your overall health in the long term. Moving your body can help to release endorphins that lift your mood and make you happier. Whether you go for a run, do a yoga workout or take a pilates class, exercise can give you some time to yourself and give you an energetic release to relive stress and relax you in the long term and in the moment.
4. Get Enough Sleep
If you’re stressed, it could be caused or worsened by a lack of sleep. While it’s not always convenient, adults need at least seven hours of sleep each night in order to function properly and stay alert throughout the day. Sleep and rest are highly important, as they give your body and mind the energy they need to tackle each day with a clear head. When you aren’t well rested, you’re more likely to experience anxiety, forget important things and feel stressed throughout the day.
Setting up a nighttime routine for yourself can help you get to bed at the same time each evening and wake up at the same time each morning, creating a regular sleep schedule. A sleep schedule can help you carve out the time for those precious hours and get your body used to your much needed rest.
5. Learn to Say No to Things
If you’ve got too much on your plate, you might need to learn how to respectfully say no to new opportunities. It can be tempting to people please and say yes to every favor, tempting opportunity and fun event that crosses your radar, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be good for you in the long term. So much stress comes from taking on too much at once. Learning to politely decline offers and say no can be hard at first, but putting yourself first and prioritizing your needs must have its place in your life.
6. Take Up Journaling
Taking a few moments to jot down your feelings about gratitude, life or even just the events of the day can be a great stress reliever. It can be a place to process your feelings and let out some unresolved tension from the day. You don’t have to commit to journaling every single evening or write pages and pages unless you want to, but taking a bit of time to process your thoughts can help more than you realize. If you’re stuck, you can even turn to some helpful prompts to push you in the right direction.
While you can’t dispel all of the stress from your life, you can certainly prioritize your needs and give yourself the daily consideration you deserve. You show up better for your family, friends and yourself when you’re less stressed. You deserve daily happiness, just like anyone else.