It’s easy to get overwhelmed by life, relationships and stress. Sometimes it’s a day-by-day struggle, and you never know for sure when a smooth stretch will turn into a rough patch. Reducing stress shouldn’t be another stressor, just take small steps to reduce stress daily to keep it from taking over.
Nutrition – Are you always hungry? Do you skip meals? Ignoring our Our brains’ ability to problem solve and think critically depends on energy that comes from food. The stomach is recognized as the second brain . Inflammation and irritation on the neuro-receptors there translate to anxiety and stress in the brain. Making sure you are FED should be your first priority, closely followed by making nutritious food to make your body AND neuroreceptors happy.
Exercise – Move your body in ways that release stress, whichever way works for you. It might be heart-pounding cardio, sensory of pressure of strength training or twisting into deep stretches with yoga. Some days, it might be all of the above. And if working out causes MORE stress, just move in a way that feels relaxing. Even 10 minutes a day can be the difference between stress release or build up.
Breath and Meditation – Breath is the gateway to meditation. As our stress levels ramp up, our breath becomes shorter, shallower and faster. Noticing your breath is placing yourself in your body, in the moment, and that in itself is meditation. Use your smart watch’s breathe setting to settle your body, mind and spirit. As you quiet your mind, you may want to expand your mindful meditation practice with walking meditation, mindful eating or following a guided meditation.
Sleep – Sleep is how our body resets, rests and recovers. When we are extra stressed we might struggle to sleep, but sleep can be the most valuable stress release. Make sure your night time routine limits screen time, and following a pattern before you crawl into your dark, quiet bedl can signal your body and brain its time to let go and shut down. Avoid particularly stressful activities before bedtime so you can settle into sleep mode.
Self Care – Self care is whatever makes you feel good about YOU. In times of stress it can be especially difficult to create routines and time for self care. Our body intreprets stress as trauma, sends us into fight or flight, and moving out of that response requires intentional practice. INcorporate any of the above tools into a self care practice. Self care and self connection can be the rest and relaxation that moving away from stress requires.