Stress is typically just a part of life – whether you’re still dealing with hail damage from that weird storm that passed through St. Louis recently or you’re grappling with the daily grind of work. But you don’t have to become a big stressball if you take a little time to manage stress. Here are some ways to reduce the stress in life and worry less.
- Meditation. Mediation is a very helpful practice, especially when done regularly. Stilling the mind brings balance back into our lives. It helps ground us. Even just 5-10 minutes a day in the morning can help the whole day be so much better and more manageable. And meditating at night before bed helps you fall asleep with ease and get a more restful sleep. Now just sitting there silently can be a big challenge (gotta love how the mind wanders). Guided meditations are often easier because they give the mind something to focus on. We highly recommend meditations guided by Mary and Richard Maddux and their Meditation Oasis podcast, which includes several meditations you can listen to for free.
- Yoga. Yoga is basically a moving meditation so it helps in the same way and has the added benefit of getting the body moving and shifting up our energy.
- Nature. Spend time in nature – something as simple as a quick walk through Forest Park or your closest park can be very uplifting. It’s very revitalizing and balancing to spend time in the fresh air, surrounded by natural beauty. It doesn’t have to be a whole day at the park – even a quick visit on your lunch break can be really helpful.
- Something to Look Forward To. Whether you’re climbing a mountain with work or climbing the walls with your kids, always make sure you give yourself something to look forward to each day. It could be something as luxurious as a massage or something as simple as setting aside a few minutes to just stop and pet your pet. Having a treat to look forward to makes whatever needs to be done feel more manageable. It gives us a light at the end of the tunnel.
- Rest. Oftentimes we wish we had more hours in the day; and many people try to get those hours by cheating themselves of enough sleep. But night after night of not getting enough rest just makes us more stressed out and less productive and effective when we’re awake. Doctors typically recommend 7-8 hours a night. It helps to not work or watch TV right before bed because the brain needs time to wind down (yeah, no laptop in bed). It helps to allow about an hour before sleep to wind down. Maybe you can’t swing a whole hour; but do try to give yourself some time to unwind before your head hits the pillow. As we mentioned above, meditation before bed is a great way to help you fall asleep. Reading before bed and taking a warm bath can also help you drift off more easily.
(This article originally appeared on Hello Beauty.)