There are things I don't have to tell you: We're busy people these days. It doesn't matter if you work at home or in an office, wrangle kids all day, or wrangle puppies. Heck, I'm pretty sure even independently wealthy socialites with house staffs are busy. With busy-ness comes stress. Even if you love every activity you're involved in, every job you're doing, these are things that can and will cause stress in your life and body, and sometimes you just need a little help keeping it all in check. I've compiled a little list of some habits I've developed to help me manage that everyday build-up of stress, so I'm sharing them with you today. Feel free to use them as a jumping off point for figuring out some of your own management tricks! Have something I missed? I'd love to hear it in the comments!
1. Read a book or magazine
And by “a book” I mean a paper thing, with pages and a spine and ink on those pages. How much time do you spend squinting at a computer or phone screen? As someone who works in social media for both my fulltime (day) job and as a blogger, it's an awful lot of time. Looking at a screen for long periods of time can cause headaches, eye fatigue, neck strain and more. I try to remedy this by reading books. Not on my phone or ereader, but actual paper ones. Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I do very little reading tucked into a chair like the photo below. I'm too busy for that kind of dedicated reading time. 🙂 But I *do* have a 45 minute train ride into San Francisco on my office work days. That's 45 minutes of uninterrupted time to read. And it's lovely. Getting lost in a book is always good, but doing it with the “old fashioned” kind of book with pages and that luscious paper smell is even better.
2. Take a few minutes for desk yoga
I'm incredibly lucky because my work actually brings in a yoga teacher every so often to lead us through some desk yoga exercises. Taking even fiv minutes out of your day to focus, stretch, and breathe can help you have a better outlook on your day and help keep stress from completely wrecking your body. Here's a really easy set to do that isn't going to draw attention to what you're doing, if you're self-conscious about yoga-ing in the office, and I love how it feels. First, make sure you're sitting up straight with both feet flat on the floor. Your knees should be a little higher than your hip bones, and you should feel the bones in your butt holding you up (NOT your tailbone) Sit up straight and breathe; in through your nose, out through your mouth. Now place your fingertips on the vertical plane of your desk, and push the palm of your hand forward. You should feel a nice stretch in your wrist and fingers. You can also go through and stretch each finger individually. While you do this, also pay attention to your feet and your breathing. This especially feels great if you have a lot of mouse-use in your job.
3. Get a good night's sleep
It's hard to accomplish much of anything if you don't have a good foundation to build on, and for your brain and body, that foundation is made of sleep. I know parents often deal with interrupted sleep time, but that doesn't mean there aren't things you can do to help make your sleep the best possible. For me, falling asleep is the biggest challenge; I'm normally OK once I *fall* asleep, it's just getting there that's hard. I often drink a cup of chamomile tea before bed, to help me relax. I also really like using homeopathic products, like RESCUE Sleep Liquid Melts. Add in a comfy pillow and some cozy PJs, and I'm out like a light for the night.
Did you love coloring when you were a kid? I did. I would color for HOURS. I remember saving my money to go to the drugstore and I bought a huge 24×36 poster of a teddy bear village in a tree, and the whole thing had to be colored in. Well, I've recently rediscovered that love of coloring. It's basically a form of meditation, especially if you choose a repeating pattern to color. I also love that this is something Max and I can do together; he's been obsessed with tracing lately, so he'll sit and trace, while I color, and we'll talk about what's going on at school and work. (His asking me about work is basically 1. Have we gotten any good new snacks lately? 2. When's the next office party he can go to so he can eat said snacks?) I've made a Pinterest board for you, so you can grab some free printable coloring pages for yourself! There are lots of books on Amazon (Search “mandala coloring” or “advanced coloring book”) Follow Lizz from AmIaFunnyGirl.com's board Coloring for Stress Relief on Pinterest.
5. Listen to some music
You might be expecting soothing yoga-esque melodies like this, right? And those are lovely, when you're doing yoga, or maybe as background when you're reading/napping. My preferred “relaxing” music is stuff that makes me really happy.
I'm currently obsessed with this Have a Great Day! playlist, curated by Spotify. It perks me up and puts a bounce in my step when I'm walking. (So the music is tip 5a. 5b is to take a walk. Get outside! Enjoy the fresh air!) It's hard not to let go of what's bugging you when you're singing along with The Archies' “Sugar, Sugar” or Barenaked Ladies' “One Week”
I would love to hear your favorite stress relief tunes, so please let me know in the comments!
6. Homeopathic remedies
I really like using homeopathic options whenever I can, and a recent discovery for me is the awesome collection of RESCUE products. Made from a combination of floral extracts, just like they've been making since 1930, RESCUE products are made with Rock Rose for confidence & composure, Impatiens for patience & tolerance, Clematis for focus & motivation, Star of Bethlehem for comfort & reassurance, Cherry Plum for self-control & stability.
I keep the Pastilles in my backpack so they're available on the go, and the Sleep Liquid Melts are at home for those nights when I am just too restless to fall asleep. The ingredients in the the Sleep Liquid Melts are designed to help calm repetitive thoughts so you fall asleep naturally and wake refreshed.
What are some of your tricks to beat everyday stress?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.