There’s no place to run, no place to hide. You’re surrounded. Stress will get you. You may as well surrender, right?
Nope! Stress doesn’t have to beat you down anymore. There are a slew of easy techniques that will help you conquer that evil, little joy-sucker to help you live a more prosperous life. Yay!!!
Let’s start with the basics. Stress, as defined by the dictionary (yes, I’m fancy and Googled it), is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. But stress can be negative or positive. Positive stress can push you to accomplish something or solve a problem. Negative stress can bog down your mind. Our goal here is to manage our stress and make it positive. Here’s how:
1. Drink | NOT alcohol! Alcohol, though calming at first, can create more anxiety and stress in your body. Teas, such as chamomile, are natural and inherently calming. Water is the body’s best friend. It flushes and rehydrates to give the body energy. Give your water a boost with a recipe like the one below.
Stress Reducing Detox Water | recipe via budgetsavvydvia.com
- 8 oz water
- 1 strawberry, sliced
- 4 cucumber slices
- 2 lime slices
- 2 dried mint leaves
Add ingredients to a glass, let sit for 5 minutes and drink.
2. Eat: My first instinct when I’m stressed it to run through the chip aisle at Publix and get one of everything. Like alcohol, it feels great at first, but junk food can also cause more stress in the body. Our bodies don’t like junk food, especially in times of stress. Try snacking on nuts, like almonds, or fruit. These foods are high in Vitamin B which is a natural mood booster.
3. Move: Yoga improves circulation, strengthens muscles and calms nerves. It can be done in the comfort of your own home during down time, before you hop in the shower or right before bed. It’s easily modified for any level of yogi. Moves like Child’s Pose, Corpse Pose, Cat Pose and Eagle’s Pose (shown in the wonderful gif below) help relieve tension in the body and force you to focus on balance rather than your stress. Trust me, your body will feel the difference.
4. Sleep: Sleep is so important, especially in relieving stress. But when we’re stressed, we don’t sleep. It’s a horrible, never-ending cycle. So, how do you get to sleep when you’re super stressed and tired but can’t sleep? Magnesium is a vitamin found in our bodies, but sometimes we just need more of it. Magnesium helps improve muscle and nerve function, blood pressure regulation and energy production. When taken before bed, it helps relax the muscles for a more restful sleep. Aromatherapy is another helpful tool. Bath and Body works sells this beautiful little mister that will make your bed smell like a day spa. When sprayed on your pillow, their Aromatherapy Lavender Vanilla Pillow Mist will help clear your mind to get you to sleep faster. Finally, write stuff down. When my head hits the pillow, I begin to recount every conversation, every unfinished task and every problem I had that day. I now have a little notebook and pencil by my bedside. Rather than dwelling on something I can’t change in that moment, I write it down (by hand, NO SCREENS ALLOWED!) so it’s out of my head and on paper. It clears my mind and allows me to relax.
Vanessa Rao | CW44 Tampa Bay