Kicking off Stress Awareness Month with some valuable stress management tips. Stress is a part of life, we all have it and there are certainly seasons of life where it is kicked into high gear. While mental, physical, and emotional stress does change from time to time, it is always important to have empowering tools to fall back on to support your stress response. One thing for sure- we aren’t meant to be in a constant state of fight or flight. I’d encourage you to take inventory of all of these and see what you can add to your everyday life to support your big life goals.
Three Balanced Meals
Seems simple, but this is often where many people fall short. Stressful times often mean time is limited, and unfortunately prioritizing actual meals are low on the totem pole for most people. It is important to set boundaries around meal times; ensure we have quality sources of protein, carbs, and fat; and aim to eat in a relaxed state. I’d encourage quick and simple meals, batch cooking, or even quick, fast casual dining if you’re in a pinch for time. During stressful times you have higher mental and physical output, which is all the more reason to really fuel your body to support your lifestyle.
Choose “In the Moment” Activities
During your off days, having activities that really make you lose track of time can be helpful. So many activities fall under this umbrella, including reading, playing an intramural sport, cooking a slow, intricate meal (I love Food 52 for these recipes), spending some time at the dog park, volunteering, learning a new skill, the possibilities are endless! In an “always on” world, these activities are more important than you’d think.
Again, something so simple (we need to do it to, well, live), yet after times of constant stress, it takes time and dedication to get ourselves to breathe right. I’ve certainly been there! In fact, it took consistently practicing yoga for me to finally realize that I wasn’t breathing right at all. Shallow breathing is common if we’re constantly caught up in the hustle and bustle. I’d recommend starting off with a simple app like headspace, calm, or breathwrk. Daily breathwork goes a long way!
If you work with me, you know I bring this up alot (it does a lot!). Being intentional about your magnesium sources can help support your body’s stress response and help with body relaxation. This can help with day to day relaxation and also sleep. Beans, dark green leafy veggies, nuts, and avocados are good sources to start with.
Putting it All Together
This is just brushing the surface on methods that can help with your stress response, but all are really impactful. Start small, and check in with how you feel. It’s important to give your body some support!