One of the questions I get asked often is how I manage my stress. It’s not just one thing, it’s a daily practice of listening to my body and resetting. Life is always happening, stress is a natural part of life, our power lies in how we learn to manage it.
Studies have shown that an estimated 75-90% of visits to a primary doctor are for stress-related illnesses and pains. Wow!
Years ago when I had no self-care practice and simply lived as an energizer bunny (yes that was a work nickname in my 20’s). I just kept going, I pushed myself and never took a rest, let alone a moment to pause, until I would crash and burn- which was usually getting sick several times a year. I lived with chronic migraines, digestive issues, and acne. My body was screaming, please take care of me but it took years before I was ready to listen.
Today I’m going to share with you a few simple techniques I integrate throughout my days to reset. Taking small moments of mindfulness to pause re-connect with yourself can be critical for managing your stress, your mental and physical health. Allowing yourself to reset can improve your creativity, productivity, and communication with others and just feel better at the end of the day. It’s an investment in the quality of your actions, rather than the quantity of time spent on those actions.
As you move through your “to-do” list of the day, use these tips to take purposeful pauses anytime you start to feel overwhelmed, anxious or stressed to reconnect with yourself.
Here are 7 quick tips to help you reset and get back into the flow of your day.
- Take a 1-5 minute meditation– This can be done by sitting in quiet, closing your eyes and just focusing on your breath for 1-5 minutes. Set a timer on your phone if needed. I will often do this one if I find myself waiting for someone or an appointment rather than picking up my phone.
- Turn on relaxing music– It’s likely you have access to free streaming music such as Spotify, Amazon, Pandora and more. Search for spa music, meditation music, calming music. Whether you play if for a few minutes to reset or while you are eating lunch. It’s a great way to reset your energy.
- Take a moment to be in gratitude– The act of gratitude has the ability to shift everything. When I’m really in a funk, gratitude is my go-to strategy. Perspective is everything. I begin by listing everything I am grateful for to myself, often it will even be the exact thing I am irritated with. Just the other day it was actually laundry I was so irritated with doing, so I began listing off to myself how grateful I was to have great clothes and linens. The ease of being able to do laundry and have clean clothes on a regular basis. Living in a city, I see plenty of people who are without basics in life such as clean clothes. Remembering our “problems” is another person’s dream, has the ability to shift our energy.
- Color, doodle, draw, let yourself play for a bit- I have beautiful colored pencils that sit out in my home and a few coloring books. They are a great option for when my hands want to do something. I find coloring to be incredibly relaxing and allows my mind to quiet my mind. Coloring or doodling is a great alternative to technology when our hands want to do something or we are craving a distraction.
- Sip on a cup of tea- Sipping on tea is my go-to. I don’t know what it is, but I find hot tea to be something that really calms me. I allow myself to just sip and enjoy the flavors, soaking in the warmth and comfort of it, especially during these winter months. Tea is like a warm, comfortable blanket for my soul.
- Mindful walk– Taking some time to just move and walk, reconnect with your body, noticing the environment around you is a great way to reconnect to the present moment. If you can get outside, even better, but you can also do this within your work building, on your way to the restroom, lunchroom, etc.
- Get some sunshine– If the sun is out, go and find it for a few minutes. Whether you can get outside to enjoy it or find it in a window. Breathe it in, let it wrap you up in its warmth. Don’t we all just feel better in the sunshine?! If you can’t get some sun, can you get some fresh air? Even if it’s just opening a window and mindfully breathing in the fresh air.
As always, begin where you can and move forward with love and care.