Okay so here I am celebrating my 9 year anniversary and over the years I’ve been asked lots of questions. Some of them more often than others so I want to share my answer to one of my most asked questions.
It’s a question about stress…maybe you can relate.
The question more or less goes something like this. “I’m so busy all the time and don’t know how to manage the stress of trying to keep everything together. How do you deal with stress since you spend so much time helping people. Do you have any tips for someone like me?”
I agree that we are busier than ever before which creates a compounding effect when it comes to stress. We can actually feel pressure around us due to deadlines, daily routines, and the unexpected life curve ball. But, we can also experience a feeling of tension and stress on the inside too. I find this to be especially true for highly sensitive people. It can sometimes feel like you can’t catch a break because there’s external and internal stress happening a lot of the day. Plus stress can have a cumulative effect on us, where if we aren’t managing it consistently it can begin to build up and overflow.
So, finding ways to manage stress are a great investment of your time.
This is one of those things where there is no one way or right way to do this, it’s more about finding the ways that are right for you. I’ve included my top 6 ways to reduce stress in my life; hopefully they will give you some inspiration about ways to reduce stress in your life too.
1. Meal Prepping:
I started meal prepping in 2004 when I was still commuting a minimum of 1000 miles a week. (yeah, I know, lots of car time.) I continue to meal prep every Sunday because it adds so much time to the rest of my week. This is a game changer for me because I know that there’s lots of food ready to be put together and I can do it really quickly.
I meal prep a lot of food because we primarily eat at home as opposed to eating out during the week. I invest about 5 hours into meal prepping on Sunday but it completely pays itself back the rest of the week. I create snacks and to go packs for myself and my husband so we have food to take to work. At dinner time, I can make an entire meal in under 20 minutes because all of the chopping, slicing, peeling and spiralizing is already done.
Even spending 30-45 minutes chopping and washing veggies that you’re going to use that week will make your life a lot easier. Do what’s right for you and your lifestyle.
Yeah, this one doesn’t sound very glamorous because it isn’t but it really works. I know you’ve heard the research about exercise reducing stress and increasing all the feel good chemicals and hormones in the brain and body; and it’s really true. Like yours, my schedule is really busy so I like to get up early which allows me to get 15 to 20 minutes of exercise in first thing. Not only do I feel better it helps me to increase my energy for the rest of the day.
Sometimes I’ll also get a walk in after work too but I usually do my workout in the morning. If you’re not a morning person, find a time that’s a fit for your natural rhythm. Honestly there are some days that I can only get a mini workout in, like 7 minutes but I feel so much better afterwards. Whatever you can get in, it’s worth it.
Drinking water helps to move out the old toxins from stress and replenishes the body. I walk around with a water bottle because it helps me to remember to drink my water. (If I don’t have it with me I can completely forget to drink water for several hours.) I feel more calm and balanced when I drink water throughout the day and I notice that my stress level is easier to manage.
If you take your body weight and divide it in half, you will have the amount of water in ounces that is generally recommended. So if you weigh 120 pounds, you would generally want to drink 60 ounces of water each day.
4. Get Outside
I find that if I’m inside too long my body feels overwhelmed and I feel frustrated. Being outside is something that I really love and I can literally feel the stress dropping off of me when I go for a walk or just sit in my backyard garden.
For me it’s not so much what I’m doing as long as I’m outside.
5. Passion Projects
I love to make things, read books, and watch movies. When I take too much time away from these things it really shows up in the way that I feel. I usually carry around what I call a purse project which is just a small knitting project that I can work on for a couple minutes here or there. For me, working on a project even for a few minutes really helps me to decompress. When I have larger pockets of time, I like to work on bigger projects, or read a physical book, or watch a favorite movie.
(Hello Harry Potter Weekend)
6. Salt Bath
This is one of my go to things especially if I’ve had a particularly tough day. I love a good hot bath with some Epsom salt, Sea Salt, Baking Soda, and a little bit of Lavender Essential Oil. This really helps me to slow down and to clear away the day. It almost feels like a reset for the day and it helps me to relax so I can sleep more soundly that night.
I hope my stress busting methods will give you some ideas of ways that you can add some self care and balance into your life. Try not to overthink this, just try some different things and see what really works for you. If something works, great; if not, no biggie just move on to the next thing.
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