It's Monday, one of the most stressful days of the week for many people. It's so stressful that more heart attacks happen Monday mornings than any other time of the week.
Unfortunately, stress is not restricted to the morning hours once a week. Situations that can cause stress are ever looming. We can't avoid life's events and the stress that is sure to accompany them all together, but we can find ways to minimize stress and manage it better.
1. A Healthy Diet
A healthy diet gives your brain the fuel it needs to function at its tiptop level. Specifically, vitamin D and omega 3s might play a role in alleviating anxiety and depression.
Listening to RELAXING music (hard rock, metal, and rap do no qualify) soothe the mind and lower heart rate and blood pressure.
This is one of my go tos. There is something about writing out my thoughts and concerns that slows my mind down long enough for me to see a solution to a problem or put it in proper perspective.
4. Activities that Bring You Joy
Nothing combats stress like doing something you thoroughly enjoy. What is it that makes you happy? Do it! Make time for it.
5. Movement and Exercise
Exercise improves mood and de-clutters the mind, both of which reduce stress. I always had the most euphoric moments of peace and clarity following a run. I no longer run but manage to stay active taking fun classes. If you need some ideas for fun fitness options I have listed a few in a previous post to get you started.
Laughter melts away stress. Watch some stand up comedy on Netflix or even go see a live show. New comedy out in theatres? Grab a friend to share the laughs with. My favorite I-desperately-need-a-laugh-like-right-now go to? Buzzfeed videos on YouTube. Don't judge me.
7. Self Care
There is something about taking the time to show yourself a little kindness and attention that makes the weight of the world melt away. I promise it works. When life gets hard find a way to be gentle, tender, and loving with yourself.
8. Gratitude and Optimism
A stressful event can make us feel like everything in life has gone wrong. The solution? Remind yourself of ALL that is still right in the world. Write down at least ten things you are grateful for. If you are reading this post you have internet connection and your eyesight. Start there.
9. Planning Ahead
This is more preventative than curative. Planning ahead takes the stress out of the those daily occurrences that can cause major tension: finding your keys, wallet, subway/metro ticket, and ID card in the morning, deciding what to wear, cooking, packing lunch, oh this list could go on and on. All of these cause predictable stress we are completely capable of remedying before it even starts.
Make it a habit to put your keys, wallet, subway or metro card, and work ID in a place you will see it at night so they can be easily and quickly be picked up the following morning.
Pick out (and iron) your clothes the night before. I have even switched to a capsule wardrobe. Having less to choose from with only items I really like makes getting dressed a breeze!
Do all of your cooking for the week only once or twice a week; I go with Sunday and Wednesday nights, making sure to make enough for dinners and lunches. Saves me time and money.
Getting enough sleep reduces stress in a number of ways. It improves our productivity and our mood. Being more efficient while making fewer mistakes definitely lowers that so-much-to-do-so-little-time feeling too many of us experience which leads to feeling stressed out. An improved mood also helps us better deal with the potential stressors of life. I can't be the only one who gets grouchy and more pessimistic when I don't get enough sleep... Don't skimp on sleep if you can help it; this is the time of day your mind and body uses to relax, recuperate, and rejuvenate.
I hope these tips are helpful and make your life more serene and peaceful.
Happy Monday my loves!