Sometimes, taking a deep breath just isn’t enough.
Stress can be all-consuming, and many people feel powerless in the face of it. Learning to manage high levels of stress is crucial to taking care of your mental and physical health.
But how exactly do you do it?
If you’re tired of being told to “take a deep breath,” then you may be in need of another technique. Read on for four unique stress management tips to help get your life back as a mom or dad!
#1 Find a Balance of Work and Leisure
When work obligations begin taking up too much of your time, stress is given the perfect environment to grow out of control.
Even if you’re passionate about your job, making room in your routine for non-work-related activities can help ease stress and recharge your mental batteries.
Finding time for hobbies, social engagements, and even relaxing by yourself can take a bit of strategic scheduling. If you’re struggling to balance your time properly, consider some of these ideas:
- Make plans on weekends
- Take an hour after work to unwind
- Resist the urge to bring your work home
- Join a club with scheduled get togethers
#2 Take a Break From Your Stressful Environment
Getting out of your everyday environment can do wonders for stress, especially when nature is an option.
Spending time in nature has been shown to lower blood pressure, combat anxiety and depression, and relieve muscle tension. If you’re looking to get more acquainted with your wild side, try some of these relaxing wilderness activities:
- Hiking – In addition to exploring a peaceful environment, physical activity like hiking will also release endorphins in the brain.
- Go camping – An extended stay in the great outdoors can seriously alleviate stress. Try taking yourself out for a day of camping to help you calm down and unplug. Allowing yourself some downtime in a quiet place will let you fully decompress and start fresh the following week.
- Have a beach day – If the woods aren’t your thing, a beach day can offer similar relaxation benefits. Not only will the sounds of the ocean offer auditory stress relief, but safe exposure to the sun (when using SPF) is known to increase serotonin and melatonin for a healthier sleep schedule.
#3 Focus On Sleep
When it comes to stress relief, sleep is a biggie. Stress can lead to sleeplessness, and sleeplessness can lead to even more stress. This vicious cycle affects people at high rates, with over 60 million Americans suffering from sleep disorders per year.
Increased fatigue can cause your body to produce higher levels of cortisol—the chemical that makes you feel stressed. And thus, the cycle begins.
If you’re looking to combat these nighttime neuroses and fall asleep faster, give these helpful bedtime techniques a try:
- Drink herbal tea, like peppermint or chamomile, before bed
- Avoid eating three hours before sleeping, to prevent heartburn and lower energy levels
- Try natural supplements, like CBD pills to help you sleep
- Cut back on nightly screen time to reset your circadian rhythm
#4 Embrace a Meditation Practice
There’s a reason people have used meditation for thousands of years. Calming the mind can take practice (no pun intended), but once you get the hang of a meditation routine you’ll find that stressful thoughts lack the power they once had.
Meditation can take many forms, but beginners may benefit from these easy practices:
- Use online tutorials or apps to help you with meditation
- Mantra meditation, like repeating “stress does not control me”
- Loving-kindness meditation, which involves positive affirmations to promote self-love
The basic principle that connects these types of meditation is simple: stay in the present moment, and allow stressful thoughts to pass by without focusing on them.
Stress Can Be Contained
When stress becomes too much to bear, you may worry that there’s nothing you can do to combat it.
Fortunately, these stress management tips and techniques are here to help. When you take control of your stress, you no longer give it the power to control you. This may take a little bit of work, but once you’ve found your sweet spot with stress management, you’ll be happy you gave these tips a try.