As someone who can’t binge watch Netflix for an entire day unless I’m stuck at home with a 24 hour bug or had one too many tequila sodas the night before, generally the hustle bustle and fast pace of each and every day is something that I enjoy and keeps me motivated. However; like most, I can get overwhelmed with the tasks and stress of everyday life from time to time.
Although it’s healthy to take a break and veg out from time-to-time; with work, family, social life, side hustles and everything in between, taking time to slow down just isn’t always realistic for the go-getters out there. It’s not always about taking large chunks out of your day to relax, but finding small ways to combat stress that fit into your schedule goes a long way.
Read on for five of my favorite on-the-go stress management tips below:
Go to yoga, and stay for final savasana: Quite frequently, I used to be that person that would roll up my mat and tip-toe step over people at the end of a yoga class to get the heck out of there and get on with my day. Anytime I stayed for final savasana I was fidgety and could never seem to relax - my mind was always racing with the 9,000 things I had to do, upcoming meetings at work, my target list, what I was going to make for dinner, you know. One Friday morning before work I was at a 6:00 am warrior sculpt yoga class, and had been feeling especially busy that week. For some reason, I decided to take the three minutes and try to totally relax my mind. Though I struggled to keep my mind from wandering, I left the class feeling [surprisingly] reset and a little extra ready for the day. Moving forward, I decided to make an effort to stay for final savasana - no matter how busy or hungry for dinner I might be ;)
Lavender essential oil: To set the stage - I’m not a die-hard essential oils gal. Truthfully, I never really bought into them until I tried out lavender essential oil. It was recommended to me by someone that wears a tiny bit on the insides of their wrists and on behind their ears each day to help curve her anxiety and take the edge off. At the time, I was finding myself to be especially stressed, so I thought why not give it a try. I found that for days I had a lot going on or needed help winding down at night it was the perfect remedy. It’s not necessarily anything groundbreaking, but just a little something to help calm and relax the mind and body.
Clean up the mess: Anytime I feel overwhelmed, I try to set aside time to clean and organize one part of my life - whether that be my closet, bathroom, kitchen, car or desk - making it a priority to reset and regroup always helps me reset and refocus. Sometimes, I’ll set aside a whole Saturday afternoon to clean my entire apartment. Other times, I’ll just take ten minutes after work to fold my clean clothes and put them away. It doesn’t matter if the effort is big or small, but always helps me feel refreshed and ready to tackle the next task at hand.
Exercise: Workouts have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I started swimming competitively in elementary school, and eventually the sport became my outlet. After my swimming career came to a close after college, so did the daily (and sometimes twice-daily) practices. I found that my body and mind craved how I felt after a super tough workout - that being exhausted and refreshed all in one. Though I don’t train like I used to, daily workouts will always be a part of my routine, and remain my main outlet for stress relief. Now, I totally get that high-intensity workouts aren’t for everyone, but I do think that getting just a little bit of activity every day is so important for mental health, focus, and clarity. Whether it’s walking on the treadmill for 20 minutes over lunch, running 6 miles, taking a barre-class, practicing yoga, or lifting - find something you enjoy doing and make it a priority to work into your routine.
Find your own stress reliever: Doesn’t matter what it is, but find something that you enjoy and do it often - it can be anything: spending time with family and friends, cooking, shopping, house projects, gardening, working out, baking, writing, reading, walking the dog, hiking, taking a bath - you name it.