You can't completely eliminate all stress from your life, but you can take certain steps to eliminate the stressors you have control over and bring a calm, clear mind to whatever issues arise. If your list of daily obligations and responsibilities have been feeling unusually heavy, bring these tips to your routine to let go of that weight.
In the Morning
- Don't snooze: The first mistake happens before you even get out of bed. Those extra 10 minutes of sleep make no significant difference in your level of energy throughout the day, but if you're running late and feeling harried, everything from making breakfast to getting your purse together seems strangely taxing. Wake up when you say you're going to wake up, and start your morning out with a calm mind.
- Get moving: It's been proven that in addition to all its other health benefits, exercise eases anxiety and depression. Heading to the gym or a yoga class may be all you need to rearrange your perspective and shed some positivity and let go of stress. If you tend to put off workouts until the end of the day (and then skip them), don't leave it up to chance. Kick off the day with a workout.
In the Afternoon
- Do one thing at a time: It seems simple and obvious, but this can change your whole day. Circumstances arise where you have to be flexible and shift gears, but you do have control over whether your phone is buzzing away on your desk all day or you're working on three open projects on your computer screen at once. When too much is happening at one time it can feel overwhelming and stressful. Ironically, when you do one thing at a time, you end up finishing sooner!
- Take a moment to laugh: Lightening up the mood soothes tension in your body and relieves your initially stressed-out response on the spot. But the long-term benefits have been proven too, since it's been found that laughter can improve your immune system. Call a close friend, check out a funny video, or read an article from your favorite writer. These mini breaks during the day bring you back to your responsibilities with a refreshed outlook.
Keep reading for the ways you can tame stress at night.
In the Evening
- Enjoy some quality "me" time: Reset in the evenings and remember that "me" time is not a selfish act. In fact, everyone will agree that you're a better friend, partner, roommate, and co-worker when you're relaxed. Creating a ritual in the evening free of technology and screen time to allow your body to calm down. Try a cup of hot tea, a few chapters in your book, or a long luxurious bath to wind down solo.
- Get grateful: Even if it's something as small as waking up early for a workout or crossing everything off your list, take time to focus on all the positive things that took place over the course over the day. Keep a journal next to your bed and write them down before you drift off to sleep. Counting your blessings — and not your upcoming obligations — and drift off to bed feeling calm, stress-free, and ready to do it all again tomorrow.