6 Ways To De-stress
Our lives can get really hectic, and between balancing friends, family, and work, we tend to forget about taking care of ourselves. It can be easy to focus on all of our responsibilities to others and neglect our bodies and minds that work so hard for us each day. Without any rest and relaxation, we can't be our best self, and it's likely that we'll burn out from our crazy schedules. In order to stay sane in our busy lives, it is important to set specific times for ourselves to do things that make us feel rested and rejuvenated. Even when we think our schedule is too busy to fit in "me time", there is always a way to fit in things that we make a priority in our lives. Check out these ideas below on simple things you can add to your daily routine that will help you to de-stress and relax.
Daily meditation is a great way to relieve stress, improve your mood, and increase overall happiness. Not only does meditation have mental benefits, it can help you physically as well, with reducing blood pressure, increasing energy levels, and decreasing tension-related issues. Starting this practice may be difficult for some people as it requires quiet time, and disconnecting from the outside world of social media, cell phones, and emails, which is easier said than done. The benefits of this practice are definitely worth the few minutes that it will take out of your day. If you are new to meditation, you can try using an app on your phone that offers guided meditations. I like using Omvana which is available in the App Store and Google Play. This app is free and offers a large library of guided meditations, as well as ambient tracks for self-guided meditation.
Much like meditation, the daily practice of yoga helps both the mind and body. Yoga has been attributed to helping lower cortisol levels, improving symptoms of depression, increasing focus, and overall relaxation throughout the body. Besides helping to make your mind healthy, regularly practicing yoga will help build muscle tone and increase flexibility, so it's benefiting your body in more ways than one! Yoga of course does take discipline, and requires you to temporarily shut out the distractions around you in order to receive the full benefits. If you're looking to start out for free and without having to take class from outside your home, I recommend going on YouTube and searching beginner yoga classes. Lately, I have really been enjoying the videos from Boho Beautiful on YouTube. Make sure to check out her guided meditation video series which is really great.
Reading can be a wonderful daily routine that can help you to unwind and decompress after a long and stressful day. While reading, the stresses of the day seem to disappear, and the mind is distracted by a good story. If you aren't into fictional novels, try reading something about a subject you'd like to learn more about, or maybe even a self-improvement type of book. Whatever genre you are interested in, try to get in at least 15 minutes of reading every day, and more if you can spare the time, it will make a big difference in your stress levels!
Exercise is a key contributor to lowered stress levels. While performing physical activity, the brain releases endorphins, which works are a natural painkiller and stress reliever. Exercise also helps to relieve tension, and improve sleep quality, which both contribute to living with lower stress levels. Even if you're short on time, a 5 minute workout can contribute to a better mood and less stress. Lacking motivation or need some inspiration? Check out my current workout routine here for some ideas.
In our busy world, we are surrounded by things that are supposed to make our lives easier, but in fact, can actually create stress. We spend so much of our lives staring at small, bright screens, that we might not take the time that we need to relax from our day. If you are anything like me, you are checking your phone all day long, with little time to just unwind. Try to set a time every day when you turn off your phone, and do something you really enjoy. Another practice to try is to have a "cut-off" time for phone use each night. At this time, you can silence your phone or put it in do-not-disturb mode. This will help you to not think about all those pending emails in your inbox, or keep you up late on Instagram.
6. TAKE A BATH
This is one of my personal favorites after a long and stressful day. Taking a warm bath can help to soothe your muscles, calm your nervous system, and increase blood flow. To get even more out of your bath, there are a few things you can try, such as aromatherapy products like lavender bath oil or Epsom salt soak. You can even try meditating while taking you bath to get even more relaxation benefits.
Try to incorporate one or two of these techniques into your daily life, and you'll start seeing a difference in your stress levels right away! Do you have any special ways that you like to de-stress and relax? Share with me in the comments below!