Awhile back I posted about stress and anxiety. Not gonna lie, I was terrified to hit “publish” and afraid of the judgement, to let go and speak up about what I’m experiencing internally.
But I was floored by the feedback! I’ve never felt such an outpouring of love and support, and encouragement that we’re all going through the same types of weird stuff, whether we talk about it openly or not.
So with that in mind, I wanted to do a follow up post about how I cope when facing these situations of stress, anxiety and a whole bundle of nerves, because let’s face it – we’ve all been there. My hope is that whether you’re whether you’re moving, painting your walls, looking for a new job, or simply overwhelmed by what to make for dinner (I hear you) it seems stress, to some degree, is an inevitable part of life. But instead of panicking — ok, maybe after panicking — it’s how you combat the stress that this post is about.
From daily routines to little pick-me-ups, here are my 5 tried-and-true tips to help usher more calm into your life:
- Get those endorphins pumping! I can safely say that 90% of the time I’m in a crumby mood it’s because I haven’t exercised that day… or week. When sh*t hits the fan and your schedule gets crazy, the first thing to get neglected is often your health. But it should be the other way around – it should be the first thing you do. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, and this triggers a positive feeling in your body and helps you regain a positive outlook on life. So when you’re feeling miserable go take the dog for a walk, do some yoga, run hill sprints – whatever exercise you enjoy doing, go do it! You’ll feel better as soon as the sweat dries.
- Take it one day at a time. This became a saying when I began writing my thesis in university. On the days when projects were piling on top of themselves and all I wanted to do was to present my thesis (when I had barely begun writing the intro), my partner constantly reminded me my thesis was a project with sequential steps, not a book where I could just flip to the last page and be done with it. I’m the first to admit that I’m guilty of wanting everything immediately – but that type of mindset gets overwhelming when you realize just how many steps are involved in getting to your goal. So remind yourself to take it one day at a time, and to cut your list down to something more manageable that you can do day-by-day as opposed to month-by-month.
- Trust your inner circle. I love the expression “find your tribe and love them hard.” Because those are the people that’ll recognize when you’re going through a rough spot and reach out with love, support and a shoulder to cry on… and maybe if you’re really lucky, a pint of ice cream! Sometimes it’s hard to know when to reach out and ask for help, even if it’s just to run a crazy idea by (I’ve had plenty of those “does this sound crazy” conversations), but these are the people that’ll always have your back! PS. If you ever want to run a crazy idea by someone, I’m your girl!
- Do something that makes you happy. Whether it’s cuddling with your pup, pampering yourself with a luxurious eye mask (I LOVE this one from Body Shop) or taking a long walk outdoors, take the time to treat yourself and indulge in an activity that makes YOU happy. Even if it’s just for 30 minutes, that’s all you need to refresh, re-set and restart.
- Focus. Yes, focus. When there’s so much on the go and so many ideas floating through your head, it’s hard to concentrate on just one task at a time. I’ve found over the years that by turning your phone on to Do Not Disturb and using apps like Headspace and White Noise can help you hone in on the job in front of you, leaving you more productive and efficient than ever.
Bonus: At the recommendation of a good friend, I went to Float House for the first time last week. I cannot recommend it enough! Read more about my relaxing experience here.