With longer working hours coupled with demanding to-do lists, it’s no surprise that many of us are feeling more stressed out than ever. This time of year also adds an extra layer of stress whether it’s navigating the busy shopping centres, spending too much money on new winter jackets or forgetting to send your holiday cards on time. So, here are 10 simple ways to make any stressful day less stressful so you can be well enough to continue tackling the ever demanding days ahead of you.
1. Take a walk
This one should come as no surprise. Getting fresh air and walking it out are two of the best ways to claw back at stress. Whether you need a quick 10 minute jaunt around the block, or you require an hour walk to the nearest body of water, walking and breathing are great ways to keep stress at bay.
2. Take deep breaths
By taking deep breaths, you’re letting oxygen flow through your body, cleansing your limbs of physical tension, combatting stress. There is a reason yoga is centred around breathing, it’s because it is the strongest force against stress. The next time you feel like screaming, close your eyes and concentrate on breathing, your body – and anyone around you – will thank you.
3. Have a banana
Sometimes grabbing a quick snack, like a banana, can make all the difference in your day. Potassium is good for your brain, keeping any oncoming stress at bay, forcing you to think rationally about the tasks at hand while naturally balancing your sugars.
4. Be grateful
When you start feeling overwhelmed, take a break to remember what you are thankful for and what is going right during the day. If you’re a writer, take notes in your daily planner of the positive parts of your day. Taking time to be grateful can change your mindset and fight off a stressful onset.
5. Try meditation
While sometimes you need to think about what is positive in your day, there will be days when it feels like nothing is right. On those days, try guided meditation. You can find short meditation videos on YouTube (or an app) to listen — with headphones — from your desk. Stress causes the brain to overthink and sometimes the best thing you can do to fight it is to not think at all. You can also practice guided meditation each day in a preventative fashion to gain perspective and keep negativity at bay.
6. Turn off your phone
Most of us are guilty of waking up and logging into our social channels and email immediately. Instead of waking up to an onslaught of to-dos and unread emails, start your day in airplane mode. Set your phone to airplane and spend your morning getting ready for your day then once you’re ready, turn off airplane mode. Starting your day at your pace makes you feel more in-control of what’s to come.
7. Crank up the tunes
With apps like Spotify, Apple Music or even Youtube, it’s easier than ever to find music to match your mood. You can navigate a series of playlists like: chill, focus, mood booster, relaxation, etc. Start your day with sounds that make you happy and optimistic, and if, mid-day, you find yourself becoming overwhelmed with your to do list, listen to a playlist that you know will boost your mood and motivate you.
8. Plan your days
If you keep to-do lists for both your work day and personal life, you most likely enjoy having some control over your schedule. You can feel more in control by investing in a daily planner or committing to your Google Calendar. Plan your day ahead of time and be sure to schedule time for a brief break to go for that walk or make a snack — you can even accompany this schedule with your to-do list for ultimate control over your day.
9. Take a bath
Taking the time to soak up and soothe your muscles with a bath, also yourself some time to think about your day proactively. Not to mention, crawling out of the tub with a fresh mind and a clean body will make you feel invincible for the rest of your day.
10. Be kind to yourself
This is the most important tip. In today’s society, we are constantly made to feel like we are not enough. When your to do list is longer than the number of hours in a day, take a moment to be kind to yourself and pat yourself on the back for making it this far. When you’re overwhelmed, you forget the accomplishments that brought you to this moment — and that’s when it’s most important to be your own biggest fan.