Between your to-do list, work, running a home, being a wife or girlfriend and perhaps a mama too, it’s easy to relegate your relaxation to the bottom of your priority list. Stress can be detrimental to our health and quality of life, so having a set of go-to’s that help relieve tension is a major benefit.
This week, in particular, I’ve felt my stress levels spike for one reason or another. I’m going to be solo parenting for the next few days so this post is quite timely because I want to make sure that I’ve got everything together to help navigate every possible situation as calmly as can be. I’ll be honest, there are times when I don’t practice what I preach and let my self care practices slide even though I know how important they are to live a balanced life. I know I need to work on making time for myself during busier periods, it’s all part of the learning process. We’re all works in progress and that’s OK.
Personally, trying to find that work-life balance causes the most stress and guilt, especially when it comes to my son. Does that work/life balance even exist anyway? Daily habits to help enhance and bring some ease into my life has helped me in so many ways. Incorporating the smallest of rituals can make a big difference and these are just some of the things that I’ve tried to help relieve some of the stress in my life and feel good.
WRITE A LOVE LIST
One of my favourite things to do is to make a list. I’m all about lists for keeping me on track and organised but I also think they are great to remind you of the things that you love and enjoy. Saving your love list on your phone, tablet or laptop means that you will always be reminded of the things that make you happy. The list doesn’t have to be full of major life events either, it can be just little everyday things such as your favourite bar of chocolate or lipstick.
GET IN TOUCH WITH NATURE
Believe it or not, something as simple as fresh air can do you the world of good and it’s free. Taking a break from a stressful day at work by going for a walk on your lunch break and getting your head out of your computer can be highly beneficial. Try to get outside for at least 10-15 minutes a day and you will really notice the difference it makes to your stress levels and general wellbeing.
GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP
There is nothing like a good night’s sleep to put a spring in your step. Waking up refreshed and energized makes for a better day than waking up groggy and tired. I try to get as much sleep as my toddler will allow (he’s been sleeping pretty well recently) and when I do feel great and ready to attack the new day. Try to turn off your phone and computer in the evening so that your brain is well rested before bed or rubbing your wrists with lavender essential oils, it really helps to get a good night’s sleep.
TREAT YOURSELF TO SOMETHING THAT WILL BRING YOU MORE JOY
How often do you treat others, but forget to treat yourself? A simple self care practice to help relieve stress can be as simple as treating yourself to something that will bring more joy in your life. It could be a cosy pair of pajamas, a candle, flowers, chocolate a new vinyl – anything that makes you happy and distracts your attention away from the source of your stress for a while. I’ve been looking over on Lyst and ASOS for new blanket scarf to wear on my planned walks in the crisp chilly autumn air – long walks and being in nature always bring a smile to my face!
TACKLE ONE THING AT A TIME
When you have a lot on your plate, it can be so easy to become overwhelmed and stressed thinking about it all. Rather than thinking about everything that you have to so at once, break things down into bitesize chunks to make everything more manageable. Not only will breaking things down bring more clarity, it will also relieve some of the mounting stress that you’ve been under.
A restful mind makes for a restful soul – or so they say. Recently I’ve got into meditating again, I generally do this unaided in the evening before bed or after I wake, however, there are some fabulous phone apps out there at the moment. I find meditation very relaxing and a great way to unwind after a stresstful day. Emptying my mind for a few minutes and getting some head space also makes for a great night’s sleep.
GET THAT SERATONIN FLOWING
Exercise can make you feel great! Some of you may think that I am crazy, but it’s really true. Working out releases a hormone called serotonin in the brain, the bodies natural happy hormone. I always feel better after a workout compared to before a workout, which means when I work out in the morning it gives me a natural boost to start my day.
GET PREPARED & ORGANISED
Preparing ahead and planning your time is a great way to reduce your stress levels and release any tension. Being unprepared is a definite route to increased anxiety levels, but if you already know what you’re doing there is less room for any vulnerable feelings because you are more in control.
HAVE A GOOD DECLUTTER
I don’t know about you, but a cluttered room or desk really makes me feel stressed and less focused. Creating a less stressful environment by putting away or ditching unwanted items can help create a sense of clarity and release.
UNPLUG FROM SOCIAL MEDIA
As I mentioned in a previous post, social media has a lot to answer for when it comes to harming our wellbeing. It can get incredibly overwhelming and makes us feel unsettled if we let it control us. From time to time, give yourself a break from social media and tap into your surroundings more for a less stressful time.
WHAT LITTLE THINGS MAKE YOU HAPPY? HOW DO YOU LIKE TO DE-STRESS DURING OR AFTER A BUSY DAY?
*This post was commissioned by Lyst, but all opinions are my own.