Ways to Reduce stress by putting yourself first

This morning, I dropped off my twins at school for testing and it was pure chaos…and if there is anything that I hate, it is just that. I do not do chaos because chaos leads to stress and stress leads to a (potentially) terrible day, if you do not intentionally get it back on a better track. To get your day back on track towards positivity, you have to figure out how to reduce your stress. If you do not know where to start these reasons below will make you feel less stressed each day.

Put relaxation on your schedule

I often think about the fact that it is really hard to fit in time for myself when there is so much to do every single day. But, I’ve learned that if you do not look after yourself, you won’t have the reserves to take care of all the other people in your life that you take care of. When our reserves have emptied out, we won’t be able to take care of everyone else in your life that you typically care for. I can bet that when your reserve is low, you are also very cranky, overly sensitive, and generally just not as happy as you’d like to be, as well. Needless to say, it is very important to take time for yourself to relax, refuel, and take care of yourself each day, even if it is only ten minutes. Here are a few ideas:

Take a warm bath – this will help your body reach a temperature that is ideal for rest and relaxation! Before bed is an awesome idea and add a cup of hot tea while you’re at it!

  • Write down to-do lists for the next day as you can organize your thoughts and processes, to reduce stress and worry.
  • Do light yoga stretches so that your muscles relax, which will help with your posture as well as great health benefits.
  • Take time out to journal and pray. Reflecting on how far you’ve come is so important.
  • Avoid screens at least 2+ hours before bedtime. Put your phone on DND at bedtime, this is a game changer trust me!

Get enough sleep

Getting more sleep sounds easy in theory, but so many people find it hard to achieve. It is the most important thing to change if you are feeling stressed though. The average amount of sleep needed by adults for their body and mind to be fully rested is around seven hours a night. This of course can vary but you know you aren’t getting enough when your mood is negatively affected. Lack of sleep can stop you thinking clearly, wrecks productivity and can alter your mood significantly. The “walking tired” anger more easily, have problematic relationships and are less likely than those who sleep well to exercise, eat healthfully, and engage in fun leisure activities; all because they are too tired. What with work, errands and seeing to their family’s needs, women have so much to do that often they feel they can only get them done by staying up late. Also, it doesn’t help that sometimes, staying up late is the only way you will get “me time.’ Staying up late is probably not working for you though and improving your sleep is one of the best ways to improve the quality of your life. We need to work on being either more organized or less perfectionist about getting things done, knowing it’s okay to ask and expect help, and knowing it is totally necessary to have “me time”. But not at the expense of sleep!

Seek out a professional counselor

Sometimes, you just need to talk it out. If you are unable to talk with family or friends, consider a professional counselor who can help you work through your emotions and problems. Ray of Hope Counseling Services is just one example of a professional counselor within Georgia. They have locations all over and also offer online counseling for ease and convenience. Plus, their services are typically covered by insurance, too! If you are looking for therapy in Peachtree City, alpharetta, marietta, or anywhere else in GA, check them out!

Focus on deep breathing

When you are stressed, your heart beats fast, your body tenses up and one very important effect that you probably experience is that your mind races. Racing thoughts make thinking difficult and that is when you get overwhelmed and stressed. Doing a quick breathing exercise clears your thoughts and lets you take a time out so you can come back to the situation and deal with it calmly. To deep breathe, follow these steps: 

Take a slow breath in through the nose, breathing into your lower belly so you feel it inflate like a balloon

  • Hold your breath for 1 or 2 seconds
  • Exhale slowly through the mouth so that you are pushing out the air in the “balloon” and you feel your belly suck in
  • Make sure the exhale breath is one or two counts longer than the inhale breath as this activates a greater relaxation response.

There are so many ways to feel less stressed each day, but these are just a few of my favorite tips to help you relax more and stress less.

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