For those who may not know, I am a naturally stressed out person. My cortisol levels run high on their own, and as a result I am usually in some sort of fight or flight mode. Over the past few years I’ve become far more aware of this and worked hard to find ways to de-stress my body. Exercise is one of many simple ways to ~chill out~ when I’m feeling stress starting to weigh me down. But I’ve tried my fair share of techniques over the years, and I know that exercise isn’t the end all be all of stress relievers.
When I first got into this whole healthy living lifestyle, it took me a while to understand that true health comes when your body and mind are working together. All the push ups in the world can’t fix a bad mindset. Stress is unique in that it has a direct effect on the body, so I truly believe that finding ways to lower your stress levels is hugely important to your overall wellness.
So I’ve put together a list of my favorite ways to de-stress for anyone who might be in need of some suggestions. Try one or try them all, whatever works for you! I hope you can incorporate some of these suggestions into your routine the next time you’re feeling stressed.
De-clutter your life
Get rid of anything you don’t need or have use for. This means things and people. Clean out your closet and donate anything you don’t wear. Throw out old magazines. Clean out your pantry. Get rid of toxic or empty friendships and relationships with others. Simplify your home and your life as best you can.
Say no more often
Don’t worry about pleasing everyone else. If you don’t want to do something, say no. Practice saying no. Get good at it. Never feel bad or apologize for doing what is best for you. You create more stress by trying to please others before yourself.
Write things down
Don’t leave everything to your memory. Write down birthdays, dinner dates, and deadlines. Write them on a calendar, or in a planner. Make notes in your phone. Take some stress off of your brain and write things down.
Stop speaking negatively to yourself
Look for the positives in everything you do and everything you are. If you wouldn’t say it to your friend, sister, mother or daughter, don’t say it to yourself. What makes you different? What makes you special? Acknowledge those things and learn to truly appreciate yourself. No one is you and that is your power.
Document your “win of the day”
What was the highlight of your day? What made you smile, or feel warm and fuzzy inside? Maybe it was a good cup of tea, or a great conversation. Whatever it may be, write it down. Take a moment to recognize it. Appreciate those special moments that can be found in every day.
Listen to music
There is a song for every person and every emotion. Music is connection, with others and with yourself. Turn the volume up in your car. Sing out loud in the shower. Listen to a playlist while you cook dinner. There is therapy in listening to and singing along with music.
Read a book
Disappear into another world for a while. Get lost in a new story. Take your eyes off of a screen and read something new. Feel the pages between your fingers. Expand your knowledge and vocabulary as often as you can.
Designate “Me Time”
Whether it is 20 minutes or an hour, set time aside for yourself. So much stress is put on working hard, but you need to have time to recharge the batteries. Take a long bath, buy yourself dinner, or exercise. Take the time to focus on your own needs.
Wake up earlier
Start by waking up just 15 minutes earlier. Set out your clothes the night before and leave your phone plugged in away from your bed. A great day starts with a great morning. Build yourself a routine and stick to it.
Praise others instead of becoming jealous of them
Compliment people. Learn to appreciate someone else’s personality or beauty without belittling your own. In the world of social media it is easy to compare or feel insignificant, but jealousy is a reflection of our own insecurities. Learning to love and appreciate others for who they are helps us do the same with ourselves.
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