Lately I’ve been feeling so stressed out, and it’s causing anxiety and minor health problems, such as over-eating, delayed periods and shortness of breath. I know I’m not alone in this; in compiling research for my book, many of you stated that dealing with stress and working to find balance is one of your greatest struggles.
I’m here to try and help you ease a little of that stress today by incorporating small daily habits.
I’ve been working hard at practicing these daily habits myself, and am hoping that you will join me so we can both make small changes to better our lives. This list is organized by habits you can pick up as soon as you wake up, during the day, and before bed time.
AS SOON AS YOU WAKE UP IN THE MORNING
1. Practice gratitude
Practicing gratitude helps us remember what is truly important in life. Or if you’re like me, start a Gratitude Jar!
2. Read one chapter of a self-help book
The key is to do a little light reading before you start your day to inspire you to be the best version of yourself. Books I would highly recommend include both On Becoming Fearless and Thrive by Arianna Huffington.
3. Sweat it out
Sometimes, just getting my workout over with in the beginning of my day relieves stress because I don’t have to think about it! Also, you’ll get those endorphins going- which will make you feel calmer and happier throughout your day.
4. Drink some tea
Studies have proven that drinking tea in the morning, such as Green Tea, not only provides the caffeine you need to jumpstart your day, but it’s also great for your immune system. Perhaps swap out the coffee for tea.
5. Envision what you hope to accomplish for the day
Sometimes I don’t like using the word “meditate” because it scares people. But essentially, if you are taking some time out of your day to simply think in peace, you are meditating. Positive thoughts go a long way. Take a moment to simply think about what you hope to accomplish throughout your day, and envision yourself getting the things done that you need to.
THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY
6. Stick to a clean eating meal-plan
Putting healthy foods in your body will do the hard work for you. You won’t feel as agitated, bloated, and guilty if you consume the right things. If possible, try to plan out your meals for the day, and stick to a healthy eating regimen. Allow yourself one cheat meal a week. (Or if you’re like me, start with 3 cheat meals a week, and work your way up ;))
7. Clean as you go
I’m always baffled how I can clean my home and then just a week later, it’s already a mess. Like- how does this happen?!! It’s usually because I’m not cleaning up as I go. Simply putting things away after you use them and cleaning up after each meal makes a huge difference. When you are finished with your morning coffee (or tea!) wash the dish right away. Fold your laundry as soon as it’s fresh from the dryer (and put the clothes away!) Little habits like this can go a long way.
8. Deep breathing
When you feel yourself start to get worked up, it’s amazing what 5 deep breaths can do for yourself. See for yourself; go ahead and try it right now! Breathe in…….and out. Repeat 5 times. Deep breathing releases oxygen into your brain, allowing you to think clearer and calm yourself.
9. De-Clutterize your space
It might be just because I’m Type A, but working in a cluttered area adds on unnecessary stress to my day. File away papers that you don’t need at the moment. Put away your clothes if they are sitting out. Keep your desk a space for work, not stress.
10. Take time to stop and smell the roses
Literally! Don’t take the little moments in life for grated. Slow down and enjoy the beauty around you. It puts life back into perspective!
Insomnia used to be such a problem for me in college, but luckily, it’s much better now. I can’t fall asleep if my mind is racing a million miles an hour. Sometimes just getting those thoughts out on paper can make a huge difference and help you sleep better. This is one of my favorite journals; isn’t it the cutest?
12. Turn the electronic devices off an hour before bed
I know that I’m slowly killing myself when I check my email before bed. Just like that; I’m instantly wired and can’t sleep. Likewise, checking Facebook or Instagram right before I hit the bed alerts me as well.
13. Go for a short walk
Going for a walk after dinner helps metabolize your food and gives you some space to clear your head before you start to unwind for the night. This was actually one of the daily tasks I challenged myself to this summer to live more intentionally.
14. Learn when to give it up
I tend to feel much more stressed out when I have a raging to-do list mocking me. Lately I’ve been incorporating a strategy that has helped me SO MUCH, and it’s just a tiny habit. Essentially, I’ve learned when to give it up.
For example, early this spring I made a whole list of house projects I was going to finish over the summer. I made a plan of completing one project a week. The first few week of summer, I had so much anxiety over that STUPID list. Just last week, I decided to crumble up the list and throw it in the garbage. The truth is that I’m too busy to have my house look immaculate and fixed up right now, and throwing away that list was so empowering. I learned when to give it up and GET REAL. #yolo
15. Get to bed earlier!
Seriously peeps, let’s get real. We all need more sleep. Go to bed half an hour earlier. You’ll thank me in the morning.
Hopefully, incorporating little habits into your day can help relieve some stress. Try these out!
What do YOU do when you need to relieve stress? Leave me a comment below!
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