You can stress less!
Sometimes in my writing world (and life in general), stress can come creeping up. With timelines for writing, book production and more, it can sometimes be a bit overwhelming.
Here are 11 things that help when stress comes calling:
1.Take control of your time. Make sure you have a flexible routine in place. This will help you get things done but don’t be so rigid that it causes stress instead of lessening it.
2.Take some time during the day to just be with yourself. Might sound strange but sitting in silence for even a few minutes or more helps you to enjoy the moments of the day.
3.Get some exercise. Move often. Exercise can reduce stress and has too many health benefits for me to list here. And just because your friends can run a zillion miles a day doesn’t mean you have to do the same thing. Exercise is different for everyone. Pick something that is fun for you and that you will look forward to doing. My favorite thing is to dance!
4. Include some laughter into your day. I love keeping funny videos on my Favorites list on YouTube account so when I need to just sit and laugh, I have an instant list. I also have comedy specials on Blu-Ray discs ready to be played. There are even some podcasts that will tickle your funny bone.
5. Prepare for the day the night before. Each evening, plan tomorrow out from picking out your clothes to what you will eat. Again, remember to be flexible especially when it comes to meals. You might get home late or the stove decides not to work. Make sure to relax and go with it.
6. Tap into your creative side. I know you might say you don’t have a creative bone in your body but you do! Everyone does, it just might look different from your best friend. Maybe it’s cooking up a gourmet meal or drawing stick figures or taking pictures of sunsets. Look for your creativity – it’s there!
7. Take some deep breaths. When feeling a bit stressed, deep breathing will help by lowering your heart rate, blood pressure and the stress hormones in your body. That’s a pretty good return on something that is super easy to do!
8. Meditate each day. You don’t have to sit on the ground, legs in a pretzel position and your back super straight. Meditation is about taking 5 to 30 minutes to clear your mind by doing something repetitive that helps you relax. It can be listening to soft music, walking, crocheting – anything that helps you to slow down and clear your mind.
9. Keep a gratitude journal. I know you’ve heard this before but keeping track of life’s everyday simple joys will really help you focus on the good in your life even when things feel a bit overwhelming.
10. Get outside. Go and enjoy nature, wherever you might be. I’m lucky to live by the coast so I get to enjoy the beach, rivers and parks. It doesn’t matter where you live. Even in the city, you can go outside and take a walk. There is just something about being out in nature.
11. Get some sleep! Did you know there is such a thing as sleep hygiene? It’s going to bed at the same time each night, a cool, dark bedroom, no TV and more. The optimum sleep time is 6 – 8 hours but everyone is different. Just set up a routine before bed that helps you relax into a peaceful sleep.
Now I can’t say I do each of these every single day (remember that word flexibility?) but I do try. My sleep has gotten better as I incorporate these ideas into my bedtime routine. I also love getting out into nature. I definitely get into my creative side through writing, crocheting, painting, jewelry making and more. So when you need to reduce some of that stress you’ve been carrying around, try some of the tips above.