Living stress-free is easier said than done. Between cooking your husband and your kids two or three meals a day, taking the kids to school and soccer practice, running errands, and putting in overtime at work, stress may just be a part of your daily routine. Unfortunately, despite the priorities of your life, the building of stress may be taking its toll on your body, mind, and overall health. Keep reading to learn 4 simple ways to live stress-free.
The truth is, if you do not adequately manage the stress in your life, it can become an unbearable obstacle that prevents you from living the life you deserve, as well as prevent you from serving others who depend on you. Therefore, managing and relieving your stress should actually be high on your priority list so that you can better serve yourself and others.
It is like the old adage goes: you can’t pour from an empty cup. Below are a few ways you can fill your cup to live stress-free for a healthier you.
Take Time for Yourself
The first step in de-stressing is to determine that you are worthy of it. Many parents, and mothers in particular, feel familial guilt for not spending every second of their day tending to their family’s every want and desire. However, if you are stressed to the point of exhaustion, are you really serving them?
Spending time with your family is all about quality more than quantity, so you want to make sure you show your best self to those you care for. This means that sometimes you may need an evening to yourself. Go on a walk about town, window shop, paint, see a movie, get a massage, or do anything simple that makes you feel relaxed and replenished. If you have a hobby, feel free to indulge some time in it. Even if you have an hour to spare, give yourself a gift by spending it on yourself.
For some people exercise can feel like a drag, but do not roll your eyes just yet. Exercise works wonders not just for your body, but for your mind as well. Scholarly articles have shown time after time a correlation between aerobic activity and a reduced amount of anxiety. Jogging, cycling, swimming, dancing, and even gardening are just some of the aerobic activities that get the heart pumping.
Increased circulation provides fresh oxygenated blood to the body and brain. This in turn stimulates regions of the brain related to mood, fear, memory, and motivation. Exercise, in any form, also stimulates the brain to release endorphins, famously known as the “happy” hormone. Studies have shown a correlation between exercise and improved sleep, sex drive, endurance, mood, energy, and mental alertness.
Additionally, having good gear improves the quality and comfort of exercise and minimizes injury. Check this out to read reviews of some of the best running shoes out there.
I personally seek to exercise for the well-being of my heart and mind rather than to lose weight. The latter is a bonus! So, all in all, exercise will also lead to increased self-esteem. Sometimes the pick-me-up you need isn’t a piece of cake, but a walk around the block.
Eating well doesn’t mean eating perfectly. In fact, sometimes it can be as simple as making small changes to your diet. Unless you have a restrictive dietary need, forget the complex and confusing diets. Instead, stick to a diet routine you can maintain.
For example, one of the most beneficial things you can do is to reduce sugar intake. Artificial sugars and sweeteners, such as aspartame, increase inflammation in the body and the brain, spike insulin levels, disrupt sleep, and in turn affect your mood.
If you have a sweet tooth, that doesn’t mean you have to forget sweets entirely. Incorporate natural sweets like a moderate amount of fruit, honey, and dark chocolate (which I couldn’t live without).
Also be sure you’re getting the proper amount of vitamins in your diet. All the usual suspects should be there: Vitamin D, C, and E should be found in your daily foods pretty easily. Don’t forget about your B5s—this vitamin helps the body’s cell processes and maintains the proper storage of fats. It also has a connection to skin issues; higher doses of Vitamin B5 may help manage acne.
You literally could not survive without sleep. Within that vital seven to eight hours of sleep, your body does much of its repair work on your joints, muscles, tissues, and even your skin. Beauty sleep nourishes your body but also your brain—there’s nothing more beautiful than a good attitude.
When you sleep well, you reduce stress and anxiety levels. If you experience trouble sleeping, try playing white noise or refrain from staring at bright computer, TV, or smartphone screens an hour before bed to help relax.
Living stress-free shouldn’t feel impossible. Keep these tips in mind and reduce your daily anxieties.