It’s easy for us to get caught up in our endless to-do lists, social activities, and work responsibilities that we suddenly get hit with what feels like all of the stress in the world. But, while our responsibilities and commitments are important, what is even more critical is that we take care of ourselves first.
Today on the blog, we’ve narrowed down our favorite ways that help us keep stress at bay.
Get some exercise
You’ve heard us say this before, right? Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise a day is critical to your brain health and functioning, your physical wellbeing, your mental health, your ability to relieve stress, and so much more. If hitting the yoga mat once a day is where you find your sense of calm, or if its a walk around the neighborhood, getting active is a great way to get some perspective while relieving stress.
Break out the coloring books
Yes, we’re serious. Adult coloring books have become a hot buy in the U.S. and across Europe. Part of the reason coloring books have been so helpful at reducing stress in adults is due to their ability to narrow in our focus on just one simple, soothing task. Guess it’s time for us to break out the colored pencils and get coloring!
Take at least one night a week to focus on your self care.
Whether it’s drawing yourself a bubble bath, lighting your favorite candle, or writing in your journal, taking some ‘me’ time is critical to reducing the amount of stress in our lives and taking a personal inventory on how we’re doing. Next time you’re wondering whether or not to "Treat Yo’self" — just do it.
Eat the right food.
Incorporate some stress-busting foods into your diet. Leafy greens, like spinach, contain folate which ultimately produces dopamine (a happy chemical that keeps you calm ). If you’re craving carbs when you’re stressed, try to stick to a healthier complex carb like oatmeal which will still release serotonin while helping take care of that craving. Other foods that help with stress control? Turkey, yogurt (helpful for gut health, which is key to everything mind + body related), blueberries, and salmon.
Practice controlled breathing
The simplest stress relief-tactic on this list, taking deep breaths increases the supply of oxygen to our brains and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which encourages a state of calmness in our bodies. If we take 20 minutes each day to practice deep breathing through our abdomen, we are more connected in our body and are able to quiet our minds.
It's important to keep up with our day to day commitments, but the most important commitment we have is to ourselves and our own health. Have some favorite stress-relief hacks? Comment below and let us know!