5 daily habits to manage stress
Let's just keep it real. No matter who you are, what your occupation is, how much money you have or don't have, life can get stressful at times. As adults, we take on more responsibility with age and with wisdom. And between career demands, balancing family, taking care of others, or just trying to survive, the load of responsibilities can pile up. This can naturally cause stress in our bodies.
I'm not sure if you're a single, independent, dog mom and entrepreneur like me, but my life can get pretty crazy. Having a self-care routine & being intentional with stress-relieving practices has become very important to me in order to function daily. Let's go over a few ways to manage stress and prevent yourself from having a meltdown.
Yoga has been around for CENTURIES, and no wonder because the benefits of yoga are endless. Yoga allows us to slow down and really connect with our bodies by understanding how certain movements feel ( both comfortable and uncomfortable). When you just get into yoga it can be somewhat uncomfortable because you're moving your body in ways you may never have, while activating your muscles and breathing at the same time. Yoga allows you to be present and focus on yourself, while blocking out everything that causes stress externally. One of my favorite places to do yoga is in the comfort of my own home, following Yoga with Adrian . A 10-30 minute practice daily is all you need to lower your stress levels.
This definitely shouldn't come as a surprise. Dance can be therapeutic AND fun. When you're dancing, your brain releases happy chemicals and gives you feelings of release, joy and confidence. When people dance they tend to block out anything going on externally and can focus on feeling the music.
Dance classes are a great way to relieve stress, get exercise and meet people with a similar love of dance. Types of dance class are endless and include hip hop, salsa, tap, African, Real Riddim™, etc.
If you love dance, but maybe you're shy or don't want to put yourself out there to dance in front of others, then try scheduling in some solo dance sessions at home by turning up your favorite beats and just letting loose. Literally "dance like no one is watching".
Writing down your thoughts can really do your mind a favor. Sometimes we have way too many thoughts flowing through our minds. And all of those thoughts mixed with daily tasks and responsibilities can cause big feelings of overwhelm. Sometimes if we don't have people we can talk to, like family, friends or a licensed therapist, we can bottle everything inside. This is never a good way to deal with stress. We have to let those thoughts and emotions go.
The best way to let them go is by releasing them on paper. Writing down events, feelings, or important interactions can help us sort through them and understand how to move forward. Journaling is also a great way to track your growth. You can always go back and read previous journal entries to compare your actions, emotions and state of mind in past and present.
Journaling helps us to recall situations that made us happy, sad, or uncomfortable. This can also prevent us from loading our thoughts onto other people who may not have the capacity or time to deal with what we are going through at the moment.
Meditation along with yoga has been practiced for years and years by ancient healers and monks as a way to understand one's self and purpose. Meditation can be difficult to get into if you're someone who is used to being on the move, has constant racing thoughts, or has trouble sitting still. But that's also a perfect reason why it would be perfect for you.
Many people think that mediation is sitting still, humming, and completely having no thoughts. While the sitting still part is true, mediation actually allows your thoughts to come to surface. If we're constantly on the go most of the day, when do we really have time to process our thoughts and emotions? How can we decide what we want for ourselves, how we should handle situations, and reflect on our actions.
Meditation brings self awareness, enlightenment, creative ideas, clarity and also allows a release of negative emotions. How can we expect to show up as our best selves if we don't even truly know ourselves or understand how we think? Mediation is truly a beautiful tool once you learn how to use it.
5. being in nature
How many times a day do we get to truly enjoy and take advantage of the outdoors? Usually we're in and out of our cars, public transportation, or just spending a few minutes walking outdoors. If you have a dog, try making your walk more of a self-care practice rather than a chore or responsibility.
According to Health Harvard Publishing, "Spending at least 20 to 30 minutes immersed in a nature setting was associated with the biggest drop in cortisol levels.".
Being in nature can bring a sense of calmness, especially when it is quiet and you can take in sounds like the wind, birds, or water. Some popular nature spots can include the beach, the forest, lakes, mountains, or simply your local city park. Mov
ing our focus on things like trees, clouds, the moon, or stars can help us shift our thoughts and ground ourselves. After all, we are part of nature so it would make sense that being in natural settings can bring sense of peace and tranquility.
Adding these habits into your daily routine, just one at a time can make a tremendous difference on your stress levels and mood.
While it can be difficult to schedule these activities into our daily lives, it can really improve our quality of life when we are consistent. Remember that life is not just about working, socializing and moving fast. We have to take care of ourselves and learn to make the best of what we are given daily. Your health and happiness is a priority.