3 Easy Steps to Reduce Daily Stress
Raise your hand if you are stressed! Most of us live full, busy lives with lots of things to get done in a relatively short period of time. We have work deadlines, family and community commitments, parenting issues and budgets to manage. Without realizing it, chronic stress can severely impact your health and happiness.
In fact, it has been linked to almost every major illness. Raise your hand if you don’t feel like you have time to manage your stress! Here’s a little secret… I have three simple stress reducers that won’t take you any extra time and might even save you some money. Try one a day for the next few days and repeat. Notice positive shifts in your energy and be proud of yourself for building new healthy habits!
Move Your Body
Spending too much time in the car or at a computer can make you feel sluggish and tense. Stress will settle in which limits creative thought and your ability to solve problems. Get up and move! Instead of taking the escalator, take the stairs when you can or park further away from building and walk the extra distance.
If you have time, add in a few stretch breaks throughout the day, head outside for a walk after meals, or join a weekly dance or yoga class. Getting daily exercise not only helps you stay in shape, it puts you in a better mood and offers some serious relief from stress.
Are you the type of person that “can’t have fun until the work is done?” I can relate! However, I’m changing my tune because, guess what? The work, the chores, and the “to-do” items never end! If you don’t add fun to the list, it will never happen.
Here’s a motivator – scientifically, it has been proven that you are what you think about most of the time . If you are always stressed and worrying, you will have more stress and worry so it’s actually more productive to have fun. Isn’t that the best news?!
Make a list of things that you enjoy, put at least one of them on your calendar each day and treat it like it’s the most important meeting of your day. You’d never miss a meeting at work or at your children’s school, would you? Aren’t you as important? The lives you touch get better when you are happy ~ trust me!! If you don’t have extra time, drop a chore from your list. Will it really matter if the floor gets vacuumed a day later?
Crowd Out Stress Producing Foods and Drinks
What you may not realize is that drinking coffee or soda and snacking on sugary foods may feel like temporary relief from your daily stress, but they actually make it far worse! Sugar and caffeine are “intense foods” that take your body through a roller coaster of ups and downs. This puts tremendous stress on your adrenal glands which regulate hormones, blood sugar and your immune system.
To cut the stress, try slowly cutting down your intake of caffeine by swapping in herbal teas and tall glasses of water. Surround yourself with low-sugar healthy snacks that you can eat instead when you have sweet cravings (see Laurel’s hummus and veggie snack wrap recipe). You’ll feel more relaxed and balanced throughout the day.
Just practicing one of these stress reducers per day will make a significant difference in your overall health and happiness. Give them a try and let us know how you feel!