Do you know how to manage stress after a busy day? Life is busy, hectic, one to-do list after another. Nowadays, it doesn’t really matter how old or young you are, you’re going to feel stressed out. As parents, we do this to our children at a very young age by scheduling a myriad of activities throughout the week. As adults, we’re managing lots of activities in different parts of our life, i.e.: career, managing the home, caring for children or older parents, finances, etc. It’s endless!
During the school year, it’s not unusual to still be in the kitchen at 9 p.m. still cleaning up or making lunches for the next day while mentally planning out the next day’s to-do list. When I touch base with my neighbours, friends and colleagues, I’m sadly not surprised to find out that many others are experiencing the same thing as me.
When you keep living like this in a rushed, anxious way, you tend to live life unconsciously somehow; just going through the motions to get through the day and manage. You end up feeling drained, unmotivated and your relationships, all of your relationships suffer.
Needless to say, we know that stress plays a significant role in our overall health and wellness. Stress is linked to be one of the causes to many diseases and disorders that people suffer from. What about happiness and fulfillment? Living day in and day out without managing stress definitely impacts your personal happiness in a negative and detrimental way.
So what steps can we take in our daily lives to better manage stress? Stress and anxiety will always be there in our lives, but let’s get better control of it, instead of “IT” controlling us!
Tips to Manage Stress and Anxiety at Any Age
Download onto your mobile device some of your favourite music, maybe some older tunes that you loved years ago during your more stress free years, (for me it’s anything from Prince) and go for a walk, run, or bike ride. Get outside even for 15-20 minutes and let your physical environment help you to unwind and clear your mind. This is the best strategy that works for me! I often get my best ideas for work by going on a short walk.
Read jokes or comics, watch some YouTube videos or sit-com reruns, or meet with a group of friends and just laugh! Get distracted by others and before you know it, you’ll be thinking more clearly and feeling more at ease.
Write or Draw It Out
Journaling is a great way to get your anxieties and stresses out of your system. It doesn’t matter how you do it. It can be a daily reflection, a gratitude journal, favourite motivational quotes, brainstorming wish lists, etc. Find a journal that matches your style and get writing. Nowadays, there are great journals even at a dollar store. Perhaps you prefer to draw or doodle? This is a great strategy too to take your mind off things and to give yourself some well-deserved “ME TIME”. Keep a journal next to your bed and write or draw for 5-10 minutes before you go to sleep. In a few days, you will notice an improvement.
Add Plant Life
Bring more greenery into your environment. Do you ever notice how quickly you feel better when you’re walking in a park? There’s something about surrounding yourself with plant life or flowers that helps you feel more calm. You can easily achieve this by bringing some plants into your life. Add a small plant at work, create a small plant container on your patio, bring in some plants/cacti into your home, take care of a garden. Caring for something else often helps to distract you from your concerns.
Try a variety of apps for your mobile devices, androids or for iPhones/iPads. For example, Color Therapy is a free iPhone/iPad app that is made up of adult coloring pages and books. This is all the rage right now! You can find adult coloring books everywhere. So try a hard copy or an app and see if this strategy will help you to manage stress and get your mind off things.
Take a Break
Take a Break is another free app for iPhones/iPads that you can try. This app offers guided meditation which will walk you through short meditation techniques that will focus you on improving your deep breathing. Music and nature sounds are included in the app. Deep breathing and counting to 10 is probably the best way to quickly calm down and feeling less stressed. Did you know that deep breathing has biological and neurological benefits to your body? So… it’s definitely worthwhile to try out! If an app doesn’t cut it for you, go try out a yoga class.
Anti-Stress Quotes another free app that I love that can be found at Google Play. It includes a great variety of quotes to help you with positive thinking and to help you re-frame how you’re feeling about your life. Optimism is crucial to managing stress.
Take a few minutes the night before to plan out your next day. There are so many parts of your day that can run more smoothly if you plan it out ahead of time. Plan out your outfits, meals, activities, schedule your “me time”, etc. The more that you can have organized, the less stressed you will feel. This takes time and planning but is essential to your overall sense of well-being and really worth the effort.
These are my top 8 tips that I use to manage stress.
How do you cope with stress? How to you unwind and find balance in your life?