So much work to do. So little time. Agreed, but try to relax.
Stressing out can actually lessen productivity. It can also be mentally and physically harmful. Women naturally multi-task and many of us have a tendency to bite off more than we can chew. Don’t let stress grip your shoulders throughout the day. Here are seven simple steps for de-stressing your everyday life.
1. Spring clean your space
Remove one thing from your desk before you begin working. Working in an untidy work space can add to cognitive overload. I tend to accumulate things in my work area—post-it notes, an empty coffee cup, knick-knacks like a stress ball that I hardly ever use. When I’m stressed out, I set a timer for 15 minutes and clean one area, whether it’s my desk or removing the clutter in my purse. Spring cleaning my space helps to trick my brain into tangibly putting things in order before I tackle the big stuff and voila I’m on my way to de-stressing.
2. Take a stretch break
There’s no need to do a yoga warrior pose in the middle of a crowded grocery store, but feel free to roll your shoulders back while you’re waiting in line. At the office? Take a stretch break by reaching for the ceiling in a victory pose. I do this even when I’m sitting down. Muscles tend to strain when we are stressed. Stretching is a great way to de-stress and break some tension in the body.
3. Burn calories… duh!
Working out regularly is proven to reduce stress. Let off steam in a hot yoga class. Let loose in a dance class. Get physical in a kickboxing class. Burning calories can keep you from feeling burnt out. Being physically active is one of the healthiest ways to fight stress. Plus, it’s doing your body good. I run to clear my head and de-stress. I find that I’m more productive after a good workout.
4. Cue the tunes
Much like clutter, noise sometimes adds to stress. Drown stress out with soothing music—whatever that may be for you. When I’m having a hard time focusing, I plug in earphones and listen to tunes that make me happy.
5. Dream on, dreamer
Go ahead and find your “happy place” whether that’s poolside in the summertime, or cozy on the couch with your pet. It’s important to allow a few minutes each day to meditate. Instead of venting by complaining, try replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. Positive thoughts are powerful and can help get you through a stressful day. Try to forget about the to-do list and list things that you are grateful for each day.
6. Walk it off
A brisk walk does wonders for me. Taking a walk is like coming up for a breath of fresh air after long bouts of concentration. Don’t sulk as you walk. Use this time to level your head and enjoy being outdoors.
7. Treat yourself
Be kind to yourself and treat yourself to something pleasurable, like a massage after a rough week, a hot bath at the end of a long day, 20 minutes in a quiet corner to read or to power nap. We can be our own worst critic so it’s important to reward ourselves regularly. I like to give myself small rewards to look forward to after a stressful week. For example, I’ll take a bath, schedule a pedicure with a girlfriend for the weekend, or a hike with my dogs. Reclaim the things that you enjoy doing and begin incorporating these activities back into your schedule.
Life can get overwhelming but what’s the point of all the hustle, bustle, and hard work if we don’t stop to enjoy it?