If you all are anything like me, then stress is something that you battle with constantly. It is like an annoying itch on your back that you cannot seem to get rid of…ever. I am literally always stressed. I have noticed that when I stress about every little thing, I’m not able to enjoy whatever is right in front of me. So, to avoid having stress take over your life and consume your mind, I came up with 5 effective, but also simple, ways for you to relieve stress and take back complete control of your life. You’re welcome! 😉
So, if there’s one thing that you must know about me, it is that I am a list-making freak. List-making = life. Not really, but it does help to take everything that is on your mind and put it down on something tangible. Not only will this help relieve the stress, but also being able to cross off the tasks when you finish them feels oh so good!
Okay, so take it from me. I have written A LOT of lists in my day, and I have learned a couple tricks to writing a list that actually decreases your stress (instead of making you more stressed!). Here are some tips:
- Write 2-3 things you know that you will get done throughout the day. I usually give myself a freebie and write down “go grocery shopping” or “get gas” – something easy that you can check off the list, and that you know that you will do!
- Be specific. Don’t just write down that you want to read today. Instead, write down that you want to read 30 pages. When you are specific with your goals, it can make you more motivated to reach them.
- Prioritize. You don’t have to list from 1-10 based on what takes priority, but make sure that you know what needs to get done ASAP. I usually indicate the VIP “to-do’s” with a red star – something that will catch your eye and be a friendly reminder that you need to get it done right away.
- Tackle the hard tasks first. Trust me on this one. If you get the hard tasks done first, then the rest of the day is smooth sailing! I know that it can be extremely tempting to get the easier tasks done first, but then you will just be left with the more time consuming, difficult tasks later in the day. You might be too tired to get them done, then, so I wouldn’t risk it!
TAKE A WALK
Get outside! Not only does getting some fresh air and a little bit of exercise relieve some stress, but you will be so much more effective in your work when you get back to your work space. You guys, I am so guilty of staying inside my apartment for hours on end during the weekends, but I have been making it a point to go outside and take a short walk to the end of my street and back. Not only have I been feeling more motivated, but taking that break gets me closer to reaching my goal of 10k steps per day!
For those of you who aren’t able to get outside, you should still move around. When we sit for long periods of time, it cuts off the circulation in our bodies and causes us to become tired easily. It is recommended that you move around every 30 minutes, but let’s be real… some of us can’t be getting up every 30 minutes. At least I know I can’t! I have been making an effort, though, to move around more, even if it is once every 1.5 hours or so. Something is better than nothing!
It has actually been found in research studies that journaling reduces stress and anxiety, now that’s awesome! I consider blogging a subtype of journaling, so I started a blog to relieve my stress (kinda, but not the whole reasoning)! I also have a journal that I try to write in at least 3 times per week – I suggest writing in a journal more than that, but you do you! You are your own boss.
Is there a right way to journal? No, not necessarily. I think that journaling is a good coping mechanism for dealing with stressful things that are going on in your life, whether it be searching for a new job or getting married. Yes, stress can be a positive thing! If you are interested, I wrote a blog post on productive journaling – click here to read it.
DO MINDLESS TASKS
Do you ever feel guilty for binge watching shows on Netflix or for scrolling through Pinterest for hours and hours… and hours? Well, don’t! This might just be your way of relieving stress. This is sooo true for me, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Sometimes we get so caught up on having to be constantly on-the-go that we feel guilty for giving ourselves a break. You should, instead, give yourself a pat on the back! Seriously, do it!
Sometimes after a long, hard day at the clinic, I will come home and watch episode after episode after episode of some HGTV show that is playing on Netflix. It is usually Fixer Upper or The Property Brothers… Anyways, you deserve to treat yourself every once in a while. For me, every once in a while = everyday 😛
Just breathe. Simple as that. If you struggle with constantly being stressed out, then you NEED to stop and just breathe. This is something that I have been doing for myself lately. Have you ever stopped and noticed how your body reacts to stress? For me, I often feel a tightness in my chest. Learn to notice your body’s reaction to stress (like tightness in the chest or sore shoulders), then just take 3-4 deep breathes in and out.
For those of us who struggle with anxiety, it is best to breathe from your abdomen, instead of your chest. To do this, it is easiest if you place one hand on your stomach and one on your chest, so that you can be aware of how you are breathing. As I am learning more about deep breathing exercises, the more I understand why it is important. Long story short, breathing from only your chest does not effectively stop you from being anxious. If you want to learn some of the basic skills of deep breathing, read this post!
So, there ya have it! The 5 ways that I have found most effective in relieving stress. Of course, there are many other ways that you can relieve stress, but these are the 5 stress relieving activities that I have found most helpful.
What are some ways that you relieve stress? Comment below – let’s share ideas! 🙂