Work, relationships, finances…pick your poison. We’re all stressed out. And we all know the harmful effects of stress on the body — hair falling out, weight fluctuations, sickness — things that inevitably stress us out even more!
Taking steps to relax the body and mind is an absolutely necessary move towards healthier living. Here is your ultimate stress-relief guide:
1) Change Your Attitude
Changing your attitude may be the first step in stress relief. Look closely at your attitudes, habits and excuses. Do you find yourself constantly blaming others for your stress? Do you define stress as a part of your personality (“I just have a lot of nervous energy”)? Until you accept responsibility for the role you play in creating or maintaining your stress, your stress level will stay out of your control.
2) Find the Source
Finding the source of your stress is crucial. Look at what triggers your stress the most. Some triggers are obvious — losing a job, relationship strains, etc. But, daily demands such as arranging day care or a long commute can also cause great stress. Even positive events can be stressful — getting into a new relationship, moving into a new home, etc.
3) Avoid Stressors
Seems obvious, doesn’t it? Easier said than done, I know.
Learn how to stay no. Taking on more than you can handle is a recipe for disaster.
Avoid people who stress you out. If someone is consistently adding stress to your life, try to cut them out of your life completely or limit your time spent with them.
Cut down your to-do list. Supermom doesn’t exist. Don’t try to do everything all at once. Delegate. That’s what the kids and hubby are there for!
4) Find Ways to Cope
Now that you’ve taken some responsibility for your stress and have found out the underlying reasons, you can take steps towards de-stressing. Here are a few tried and true ways to relieve your stress:
Get on a Regular Sleep Schedule.
Sleep deprivation or a highly irregular sleep schedule can do wacky things to your body, messing up your rhythm. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. If you have trouble doing getting to sleep, adopt a relaxing nighttime ritual — like taking a bath or reading.
Maintaining a regular exercise routine can do wonders for your body and mind. Don’t even try the “I don’t have time” excuse. MAKE time. Even a time-crunched 15-minute walk around the block will help. Joining a weekly yoga class is another great option.
Ever think to yourself at the end of a busy day, “Wow, I didn’t spend any time outdoors today!” Try spending some time outdoors to restore some of your sanity. And really ENJOY it. Get all your senses involved — HEAR the birds chirping, SMELL the flowers, FEEL the cool wind blow across your skin, SEE the sunset, TASTE the fresh air on your lips. There, aren’t you starting to feel relaxed already??
Aromatherapy has been proven to stimulate different brain centers. Lavender is great for stress-relief. Try lighting a scented candle at your workspace or rubbing some Lavender oil onto your skin. You’ll smell and feel great!
Try whatever coping method works for you — for a healthier body and mind!