Sometimes you have deadlines due, people to call back, errands to run, and a myriad of other life needs happening all at the same time. Daily living can be very stressful at times. But how you react to that reality is something that you have the power to control. We get it, it’s easier said than done but the most important aspect to stress management is being mindful when you can feel tension rising and actively think through what tools are in your self-care toolkit. Below are some tips that can help you manage your stress in times of need.
Remember to breathe during moments of stress
Sounds simple enough, right? When was the last time you really stopped to be conscious of your breath? Unless you practice yoga or meditation, it has likely been a while. Try this simple exercise of breathing – breathe deeply, from your gut, for 5 seconds, and exhale slowly for 5 seconds. Do this for one minute and see how you feel after. After a few breaths, you should begin to feel the stress alleviate from your body.
Focus on the here and now with a “I did it” list
You may not have been able to get everything you want done in the day but focus on what is most important in the moment that you are in. Rather than beating yourself up on what you don’t have or what you couldn’t get done, find comfort in knowing that what you can do now is most important – not what you need to do tomorrow or what you didn’t get done yesterday.
Start by creating the anti to-do list and create an “I did it” list. At the end of your day, write down all the tasks and things you did that may not have been on your initial “to do” from the day. Did you have an unexpected, and needed, phone catch-up with a friend? Perhaps you finally responded to pending emails in your inbox.
Smiling can do wonders for your stress levels
Try smiling and laughing – even if you are by yourself! It will feel strange at first but you’ll start laughing at yourself and that forced smile will become genuine. Science backs it up and shows that smiling does in fact alleviate stress – and reduces heart conditions. Put on your favorite comedy and laugh your way into a better mood.
Move the stress through your body
Our bodies hold onto so much stress. Have you ever noticed that your shoulders get tense, or your tongue is tense against your upper mouth. Find a moment to move your body – whether that is a fitness class, a walk around your neighborhood or even to go out and do errands. Find a way to move your body to relieve yourself of the mental stress you might be holding onto in your body. If all else fails, have a solo dance party in your home!
Write out your feelings to relieve stress
Stress usually means there are a million and one things on your mind. Try writing it all out. Turn the mental to do list into a visual one where you can see it all on paper. Prioritize the list – what’s urgent, what’s not and go from there. The mere fact that it is on paper, means you won’t forget it and it will help you release the thoughts from your brain.
If you have any stress management tips, please share below in the comments!