Five Tips to Manage Stress

Stress. The one thing that seems to be a common term for every single person I come across. And that is frightening to be quite honest, butttttt I totally get it. We live in a world of complete busyness and it’s being glorified more and more by the day. Having said that, I want to bring you 5 tips you can use to manage stress!

Do you feel like you’re brushing your teeth, and eating oreos at the same time? Because that is the sentence that explains my life.  

Stress is pretty common in my life and up until recently, I let it consume every single nook and cranny of my life. I think the worst thing someone can tell you is “hey, you need to reduce your stress.” And the reason I think it’s so bad is because more often than not, it’s stuff that is out of our control. I’m going to repeat that. It’s normally stuff that is out of our control. Let that sink in for a moment. I needed to keep reminding myself that it isn’t in my hands. It’s circumstance. Accept what I cannot change, which is probably the hardest step of all. It’s all about where I am in life right now, and this current season is VERY challenging at times. I stress the VERY because there are days that life seems to be just fine, and then there are days where I want to hide in a corner of my closet and just cry. That’s just the plain honest truth. And I’m sure if you’re a mama, you can relate. If your life is all unicorns and rainbows, please share your magical juice with the rest of us!! Even if you’re not a mother, maybe you have work pressure and that’s leading to a crazy amount of stress. Maybe you’re going through grief of losing someone, or a divorce. A rough patch with a friend. Health issues. 

So, it’s all about managing it. Things will always stress us out. Circumstances are funny that way. I’ve yet to meet people that are completely stress free in my world, but the best part is realizing that some people have learned how to manage it and they seem “stress free”.  So let’s talk about the 5 ways we can manage stress, so we can aim to be the best versions of us!

1 // MOVE

Whether you choose to move your mind, move your muscles, or move your breath, choose to do it. Meditate to help clear your mind and actually take time to do this. It only takes a few minutes of your day, and is 100% worth it. Try the Headspace App if you have no idea where to begin but want to give it a go. If that’s not your thing, give yoga a shot. There are hundreds of channels on YouTube where you could spend easily 15 minutes of your day just giving your breath some attention, and that itself will do wonders for calming you down and refocusing. Here’s a great channel to help you get started. Or perhaps, running is your jam, and you just need to hit the pavement for 20 minutes t0 clear your mind. Whatever it is, get moving. It’ll do things for you that you didn’t even know you needed, and give you endorphins which we all need a little bit more of anyhow!

2 // PRIORITIZE

One of my favorite things to do is to do a brain dump. If you’re like me and have about 37 tabs open on constantly in your brain, this is for you. Write it all down. I mean everything. From little to big.  The dentist appointment you’re putting off. The piece of paper that you need to mail. The stuff in the closet that needs to get driven to Goodwill. Just all of it. Put it down on paper or in a google doc or whatever. Just get it all out there out of your brain, so you can actually see it all. It’ll help you understand what’s important, and what you could potentially be on the backburner to be able to focus on the important ones.

Another thing I recommend doing if you struggle to prioritize tasks from your to do list, is to think about your TOP THREE. Your top three are the ones that need to get done that day. The most important ones.  If you can slowly start to understand which ones need focus immediately, it relieves a lot of stress knowing that you have your to do list under control, and you can feel a sense of calm knowing that you have a handle on some things in your life. 

3 // SELF CARE

Self care. It’s a popular term nowadays. But the gist? You can’t pour from an empty cup. When you’re stressed is when you need this the most. Fill your cup up friends. It could be simple things like get more sleep. I’m not talking to you mama with the newborn, but once things go back to normal, go to sleep at the same time, and try to not look at screens. Because believe it or not, you CANNOT catch up on sleep. It’s a complete myth. Maybe you need hydration. So, drink lots more water because who couldn’t use more water right? Maybe go see that chiropractor for that back pain that you’ve been avoiding. Maybe, self care looks like  actually sitting down and going through the tough job of bills and creating a budget tracker. I don’t view self care as getting manicures. Those are luxuries. Think about the things that are self care, but are technically necessities that we put aside. Repeat that one. Self care are the things that are technically necessities in our life, but we put them on the backburner assuming we’ll get to them at some point. Nope. Nuh uh. Not going to work. These are the important ones. Make time for those, for they will make a difference in how you feel throughout your day. Can’t figure out how to make time? My best advice is to schedule it in. You make appointments for the luxuries right? Make “appointments” for the necessities too. You need it. 

Self care are the things that are technically necessities in our life, but we put them on the backburner assuming we’ll get to them at some point.

4 // ORGANIZE

Alright. This one is hard I know. Who the heck has time to organize? But I don’t mean organize like go buy bins from Home Goods, and then your life is organized. Damn, I totally wish that’s how it worked. I mean “organize”, like sit down and make a meal plan. Or declutter your closet and get rid of those things that you no longer wear. Keeping those pre-baby jeans in hopes they will fit? Girrrrrl, been there, done that. Embrace your new body, already. You created a whole human inside your body! THAT’S BIG STUFF in case you didn’t remember!! So, buy new jeans that’ll make you look AND feel good. Because guess what? Getting rid of these things gets rid of a cluttered mind. And that’s what I’m trying to say when I say “organize”. Throw out all the crap in the freezer and the pantry that nobody eats. I know it hurts to throw it out, but you’re not doing anyone any favors by keeping that packet of whatever in there just so you can feel good about now wasting food. Just get rid of it. Now you can actually see what’s left in these spots, and be able to know what you’re going to eat this week. HALLELUJAH!! Ahhhh, more space in physical spaces equals more space in our minds. 

5 // SAY NO

We live in a world where we feel the need to say “yes” more often to please others. But what about us? What about YOU? Have you sat down to wonder if that event or dinner or lunch or whatever you agreed to is going to bring you any joy. If it doesn’t, why are you doing it? Ask yourself these hard questions because I guarantee if you think about it, you’ll start to realize you’re saying “yes” far too much. And sometimes more events on our calendar is more clutter space in our mind, which definitely leads to more stress like I mention in #4. We all need down time to decompress, and if you’re constantly running around to every single birthday party, every single Saturday, well you’re basically running on nothing. Say “no” once in a while, and enjoy catching up on a book maybe. Or do some gardening. Do something to fill that cup up like I mentioned before in #3. People will get it if you miss their event. I know many moms who have said no to me before because they needed some family time. You guys, I love when people are honest and tell me that they need that time together with their loved ones. Because, I get it. I’ve been there. So try it, it’s freeing folks. 

I hope this helps and you’ll actually think about adding some of these or bits of them into your life just in case you feel super stressed. And friends, ask for help. I guarantee there are people in your life who are willing to help. Just ask. 

Pin this for later just in case you want to reference back to it! 

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1 Comment

  1. Indrani
    May 11, 2018 / 4:27 PM

    Beautifully written-

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