Stress management can seem daunting, but I promise you it’s doable. In the world that we’re dealing with these days implementing these healthy ways to deal with stress is needed and I’m here to help you with it. Some of these tips are tried in true from my personal experience, others are what has been recommended by professionals.
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How to Deal with Stress
Dealing with stress shouldn’t be stressful in itself. Go slow, go easy.
Don’t go through this list and immediately implement everything. Slow it down and add a new habit daily to ensure that you don’t overdo it. As I have stated in the 30 Days to a Healthier You program, you want to treat it like a snowball effect. One new thing a day (or per week) and continue from there. Make stress reduction and self-care a habit, but make it sustainable.
There are healthy ways you can cope with stress and avoid burnout, here’s 7 to add to your routine.
More posts about dealing with stress:
- Stress Resilience and How to Bounce Back from Stress
- 5 Quick Morning Habits to Start Your Day Positive
- How To Build Healthy Habits
Move Your Body
Moving your body with exercise is a natural stress reliever, it feels SO good. Sure, in the beginning, it may be one of the last things you want to do but man does it ever help. Exercise has been proven scientifically as one of the easiest ways to release feelings of anger or anxiety by releasing endorphins through physical activity. These endorphins help you feel happier and more productive throughout your day.
Additionally, exercise strengthens the immune system and improves cognitive functioning so it’s an excellent method for reducing stress levels naturally.
If you’re working on changing how you currently handle stressful situations in life, try going for a walk. Exercise doesn’t have to be intense HIIT workouts day in and day out. A simple 20 minute walk while being mindful of your surroundings helps!
Exercise Ideas for Stress Relief:
- Go for a walk
- Bike ride (whether outside or on a spin bike)
- Blast some Spotify and dance
- Play with your dog/kids.
- HIIT workout
- Lift weights
Physical activity of 30 minutes or more can increase the activity of your brain, making it easier to process stressful events that happen. There’s no need for huge exercises like running miles or lifting heavy weights, unless that’s what you want to do. Simple things to get your brain and body moving can make you feel better.
Not sure where to start? Here are some resources:
- Beachbody on Demand
- The Eat Move Meditate Program (we only open enrolment a few times a year for the 5-week program, make sure you sign up for my emails to be notified).
Let me know your favorite exercise program in the comments.
Meditation and Mindfulness for Stress Reduction
Meditation is an easy way to reduce stress. It enhances self-awareness and can also lengthen your attention span. Meditation is very calming and one of the best ways to reduce stress. If you meditate for even just 10 minutes a day it can help you control your stress levels naturally.
It takes a bit to get used to, and your mind will wander but that’s normal. It’s what minds do.
Although the advice “take a deep breath” may seem useless and cliche, it can work. Taking a few moments by yourself, closing your eyes, and taking deep breaths in a pattern can help you calm yourself down.
Not sure where to start? Here are some resources:
- Headspace App
- Calm App
- Mindfulness with Emily (one of the Eat Move Meditate coaches)
Self-Care to Deal with Stress
I know self-care seems like a buzzword these days but it’s an effective way to not only reduce stress but also make you feel happier with yourself. Taking care of yourself is one of the most important things you can do. Making time for yourself is very important when it comes to mental health.
It’s something we don’t do enough, especially as mothers.
Creating time to pick up new hobbies for yourself, going on dates with yourself, or taking a much-needed vacation alone can help you clear your thoughts. Do something to enjoy yourself. Put effort into putting yourself first. You deserve it.
Self care is not selfish, it’s self preservation.
Here are some self care ideas.
Stress goes hand in hand with your health, stress included. When you’re stressed it can cause you to lose sleep. The cycle of not sleeping, being tired, and not being able to sleep will only make your stress levels worse. Not to sound cliche, but it’s a vicous cycle.
Getting 8 or more hours of sleep can improve brain function, which can help you better process and manage your stress.
It’s recommended to shut off electronics at least 30 minutes before you go to bed. So turn off your lights, phone, work on the computer. It’s time to unwind and come down from the day. Now is a great time to do some night time stretching too.
In addition to stretching, journaling can be a great wind-down tool to help empty your thoughts. Grab a journalling notebook and write down your thoughts, ideas, and the amazing things that happened to you that day. The 5 Minute Journal is a great tool for this.
Here are some tips and posts on sleep:
Connect with Others to Relieve Stress
Sometimes you need to get out of your head and spend time outside of your environment. Taking time to connect to others is another healthy way to cope with stress. Spending quality time with friends and family is not just a distraction but it gives you time to be in the now and have good ol’ fashioned human contact.
Whether it’s a coffee date, picking up the phone, or having a virtual tea over Zoom of FaceTime. There are plenty of ways to connect with your people.
You don’t necessarily have to talk about how you’re feeling or get into the heaviness of your life (although, a vent session always feels good every once in a while).
Sometimes you just need to have normal conversations with your friends as a simple distraction from your stress. Going shopping with friends, joining a club, even staying in with pizza and a movie with your bestie will be just what you need.
Manage your time
Managing your time can also be a helpful factor in lowering your stress levels. Creating a schedule to manage your day helps keep your thoughts organized. Don’t forget to make time for fun and relaxation, too! Did you hear me? Schedule in the fun!
Set aside times of the day where you can take breaks from work or school. I know this can be difficult since so many of us are working from home now, but set a timer on your phone and get up and go for a walk, stretch, do something to give your brain a break.
Don’t overcommit yourself to tasks you don’t enjoy, and break big projects into smaller tasks. This means learning how to say no (which is probably a blog post all in itself). I like to break projects into smaller tasks because it gives me a sense of accomplishment along the way instead of working on a huge project forever and it feels like it’s never-ending.
Creating a schedule that shows you what to do and when to do it will help you visualize your time better, therefore making it settle in your brain easier. Keeping your day organized will help your stress levels stay low.
I love using day planners for this. I’m currently using the Day Designer.
Ask for Help
The best thing you can do is ask for help when you’re dealing with stress. There is no shame in seeing a professional whether it’s a counseller, therapist, or psychologist. There are plenty of virtual options to get help and there are some where it’s covered under your work benefits (or look into programs for free mental health care).
You can also reach out to a family member or friend, or anyone that you can confide in. Talking about how you feel and trying to find out why you’re stressed can help you discover how exactly you can lower your stress levels.
Whether you’re ranting to a friend or a professional therapist, pay attention to how you describe your stress. Reaching out for support is never something to be embarrassed by.
Therapy gives us life tools. Tools to help navigate through the murky levels of stress and life’s ups and downs.
Here are some reading materials you may be interested in:
- A Creative Guide to Getting Unstuck
- 6 Keys to a Happy Life
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Face Your Power & Find Your Peace
- The Upside of Stress
We have all felt it, that feeling of being overwhelmed. The stress can be related to work, school, family life, whatever. You may go through a cycle of emotions such as anger, guilt, or sadness. These emotions are not always healthy for you and your loved ones, so I encourage you to find healthy coping mechanisms to deal with stress.
Leave a comment below letting me know what’s worked for you when it comes to healthy ways to cope with stress in your life.