Managing stress and overwhelm is a critical component to taking care of ourselves. Even more so now due to the pandemic that has taken our daily lives and flipped them upside down. Not only are you managing your household, but you’re trying to run a business, AND be your kid’s teacher. Makes you want to crawl back in bed and hide. Amiright?! But that’s the worst thing you can do. We’ve uncovered 7 tips to manage stress and overwhelm that you can use NOW; like right now!
1. Go for a Walk
They say fresh air is good for the soul and that’s because it is! Going for a walk or just getting some exercise helps to release endorphins that improve mood and act as natural pain killers. It doesn’t have to be a long or strenuous walk; in fact you can incorporate it into the kiddo’s learning. Walk around the neighborhood looking for colors, play I Spy, or taking the pet for a walk. They like to escape for a walk to the park too!
Create an exercise routine to help you consistently manage stress which leads to long term benefits like better sleep and lower blood pressure. Consider using a fun walking app to make your walks more motivating and less boring.
2. Connect with Nature
Our backyards often have breathtaking scenery. Whether it’s the desert that has earthy colors or the forest with mossy green treetops, the nature around us is perfect for managing stress. Take a nature walk looking for different colors of leaves to use for a project or collect rocks for painting and scattering later.
With the holidays coming, collect fallen branches and use them to make wreaths or centerpieces. Studies have shown that being in nature helps to distract our minds, reduce anger, and increases pleasant feelings. Feeling overwhelmed? Exposure to nature makes us feel better emotionally and contributes to overall physical well-being.
3. Journaling to Manage Stress
Whether it’s in a book or typing on a tablet or computer, journaling is one of our favorite tips to manage stress by getting the thoughts out of your brain. It’s a valuable tool in managing stress and overwhelm and worry with many approaches like:
- Writing down negative thoughts on paper. Keep writing until there is no more negative things to write. Then tear up, wad up, or burn the paper (just don’t burn any surroundings). This simple action tells your mind that these thoughts are garbage and have no home there. Write new thoughts that are positive and use those as daily affirmations.
- Use a gratitude journal. Sometimes we don’t always recognize the great things we have in our lives. Taking a moment to be thankful and grateful for material things, people, or opportunities can help manage the stress and overwhelm of the day.
- Keep a success journal. We are often our own worst critic and this can contribute to our stress levels. Make sure you are keeping track of your own successes. Even if it’s simply that you got out of bed and actually put on clothes! And make sure to celebrate the BIG wins too; like that customer you’ve been following up with for MONTHS and she finally responded to host a party!
4. Listen to Soothing Music
Heck, listen to ANY music. Well probably not death metal, unless that’s your GSD kinda music. But seriously, listening to music or sounds of nature can slow your heart rate, lower blood pressure, decrease stress hormones, and calm our minds. Not only can music help with stress, but it can also help with focus. Incorporating music into your daily life not only helps to manage stress, but also increases productivity because stress is reduced.
Along with listening to music, singing or humming has been proven to lower stress and elevate endorphins which make you feel happy. Scientists have located a tiny organ in the ear, called the sacculus, which is activated by the frequencies of singing. You don’t have to be good enough to be on American Idol to feel the positive effects of singing. So go ahead; find your daily earworm….workin’ 9-5, what a way to make a livin’, barely gettin’ by….#yourewelcome
Being your child’s full time teacher on top of all you do isn’t ideal. Frustrations are bound to come out from you and your child. When you find this happening, take a break and find something that makes you and them laugh. Find a funny video, read a funny story, or just dance and have fun. You’re bound to smile and so are they.
7. Pet the Dog
If you’re finding yourself stressed or anxious, take a moment and give your four legged friend a little pet. Whether it’s a dog or cat, studies have shown that petting an animal decreases stress hormones and can reduce feelings of isolation and overwhelm. Petting a cat or dog increases the production of the ‘feel good’ neurotransmitters which lowers stress and increases feelings of happiness. Plus, pets are soft and cuddly!
So there ya have it. 7 tips to manage stress and overwhelm that you can use NOW; today, right now. So go ahead and take a walk, pet the dog, be silly and laugh, and sing. You deserve it.
Do you have a favorite stress reducer? Let us know in the comments below!