I don’t know about you, but I could use some strategies to manage stress.
No matter how much I try to avoid it, stress eventually creeps into some areas of my life. It particularly occurs around deadlines or times when multiple priorities are overlapping and there’s no way around it. I try to manage it in advance with good time management skills, yet I still need to find creative solutions to let the stress out when it does start to build up.
Here are five strategies to manage stress that I use when I’m feeling the stress pile on and I need to let go of some tension:
This is probably the number one go-to stress reliever. Even doctors recommend exercise as a great stress reducer. I am a Zumba instructor so I have my regular classes, which helps with a consistent schedule. However, if I just need to clear my head, a walk or jog is perfect to let go of some of the worries and tension of the day. A couple of years ago, I was feeling fatigued and it turned out that my Vitamin D was low. Now I make it a priority to take the walk outside anytime it is a sunny day to replenish that energy.
2. Breathe Deeply
This is a practice that has truly helped me to manage my anxiety much better. Any time I feel the stress building up or drifting in, I take several deep breaths. It’s also helpful to utilize meditation practices through apps or YouTube channels.
3. See a Counselor or Therapist
I have been regularly seeking therapy for about 5 years. The amount of personal growth and self reflection that has resulted from this has been tremendous. I highly recommend therapy to everyone, no matter your life circumstance. It is extremely helpful to talk through your life circumstances with an unbiased person who has training and knowledge to help you see viewpoints that you may not realize on your own. For me personally, this is one of the best strategies to manage stress.
That alone has the power to reduce stress in your life. Many jobs offer what’s called EAP, or Employee Assistance Programs. If you’re not sure what it is, contact your HR department and ask if this is a benefit that is provided. If so, take advantage of the hotline and assistance to speak with someone about whatever it is that you are going through.
4. Find Something You Enjoy
This could be a hobby or creative talent that you already have or something new that you are trying. Essentially, you want to fill some of your extra time with activities that make you happy or excited. Some people like to paint or draw or express themselves artistically. Perhaps you like to make candles. Whatever it is, make sure that you’re not caught in the work, work, work loop. Your self care and happiness are a priority and you should not feel guilty about making time for that.
5. Do Yoga Nidra
A friend of mine introduced me to Yoga Nidra years ago and I could not believe how immediate the results were in my reducing my stress levels. If you’re not sure what it is, check out this post here. After my first time, I was so relaxed, I truly felt the stress leaving my body. I had tried yoga before, but with little success.
I always found myself to be a go, go, go type of person and yoga was much too slow for me. I love my Zumba and dancing, but not Yoga. However, this is much more like a meditation and I could truly find myself relaxing throughout the process. If you haven’t checked it out, there are many YouTube videos you can follow along with that will take you through the process.
Whatever you have going on, you owe it to yourself to take a step back if you can. You don’t want to get to a point where you have no choice but to take a step back. Try to use these strategies to manage stress and comment on any others that you utilize to reduce stress!